How I Rented an Audi for $14 a Day via Silvercar!

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Whenever asked what the toughest thing is about family travel my mind immediately turns to rental cars. Sure flying with toddlers can be tough, trying to get babies to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings can be challenging, the sheer amount of gear young kids travel with can be stressful, but the rental car process seems to often be a very, very real pain point for us on trips.  This was especially true when our daughter was a bit younger, so I’m sure it will be again with #2 on the way.

By the time you get to the rental car part of the travel process have usually just exhausted much of your energy flying with your kids and getting them through the airport, collected your belongings, schlepped them to a rental car shuttle bus (that may take forever to show up), waited in line at the rental counter (if you don’t have premium service), hopefully avoided anyone getting plowed in the busy rental car parking lots, and then you get the privilege of installing car seats in a usually most unimpressive vehicle.

For my family this has often been the time when someone just snaps a bit and the vacation mentality often gets derailed.  At the end of the vacation that whole process has to be done again, only in reverse.  Oh and there was that time I almost flew right back home I hated the rental car process so much

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Dying after fighting with a rental car when C was two

I frequently have thought there just has to be a better way to do the rental car process, even if it requires paying a premium.  Well, a couple years ago a new option was introduced via Silvercar.  They only rent silver Audi A4s (in addition to the Audi Q5 SUVs in Denver…you know, ski trips and all), and they all come with free WiFi, free GPS, free satellite radio, free toll tracking (just pay for the tolls you rack up), and they will refuel the car at the going gas station rates + a $5 fee.  Before you start thinking this is something clearly not geared for families, know that they also offer infant, child, and booster seats at no additional charge.

Silvercar

I’m excited about all of those Silvercar facts, but the feature I am most excited about is that they will often pick you up and drop you off at the airport (depending on the exact location).  You can just let them know you have arrived via their app (or text them) and they can come and get you at the airport instead of you having to haul off of the airport premises to them in some over-stuffed shuttle bus.  Again, I believe this process varies some by airport, but at locations where they come to you, I think this is a huge improvement!

I’ve tried to use Silvercar a couple of times, but for various reason have had to cancel the reservation each time.  However, I finally have a use for Silvercar that I’m 99.9% sure will stick.  We were able to get the Audi + car seat for just $14/day plus taxes and fees!  That is a better price than we would have gotten if we rented a tiny and probably beat-up economy car from traditional car rental companies.

To get that price we stacked their current $39/day May rental special in Phoenix and Miami with the $50 off promo for new customers.  There are likely several codes out there, but I know that currently FTU50 works to save $50 off two day rentals.  That worked out to $14/day for an Audi, car seat, and much improved service over traditional rental car companies!  They also have a referral program that gives $25 via Paypal to the person that refers you + $25 to your own Paypal account.  My own referral code is SHULL if anyone is looking for a referral code to use.

Reportedly this referral code stacks with everything else, so my cost could turn out to be just a couple of dollars per day – I’ll report back after the rental with how everything worked out.

Silvercar is located in Austin, Dallas Love, Dallas DFW, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco, and is coming soon to Chicago and possibly even Vegas!

Have you used Silvercar for a family trip?  How did it work out?

Comments

  1. I just finished my first Silvercar rental yesterday. I got the same rate as you did. The only thing I did not like is that on the last day of thre rental the audio system gave out for some unknown reason. Also their was no charger for devices in the car. I complained and will get an additional 15% off.

    • @Mauri: What do you mean by “no charger for devices in the car”? Are you saying that an Audi A4 did not have a 12V plug for you to charge your phone or you expected Silvercar to prvide you with the specific adapter for the devices you were carrying?

      • What I meant to say is that the 12V plug they had in there did not work at all. Other cars that I have rented before always have at least a USB port to charge devices like phones.

  2. Darn, no MCI. That is the WORST airport to fly into w kids because the rental cars are so far away. I’m flying by myself with my boys in July and am seriously considering renting booster seats just so I don’t have to schlep them from the airport, though that would end up costing over $100 (and with my luck, they’d have list the reservation and I’d be SOL).

  3. Hi there,

    I like Silvercar too. I had a good experience with them, even there was a small issue with their app, but I guess it’s fixed now.
    Only have tried them once but will for sure use them again 🙂

    But please don’t use click bait headlines. Your headline is irritating and let me assume something else.
    Because the 14$/day are only good because you rented for two days. Rent for a week and it doesnt look that good anymore. Take some offers and do a one day rental and it gets even cheaper. but that is not a daily rate. Just an advise 😉

    • Peter, the headline is exactly what the post is about. Sorry if you file it under “click bait”, but for me “click bait” is when the title leads you to believe the post is about one thing, when it really isn’t. I do have to try and title posts in a way that makes people want to read them, because otherwise they won’t. If enough folks don’t read, then the blog eventually can’t exist. It’s just the way people’s attention spans work on the internet these days. I promise to never intentionally title a post about something if that’s not what it is about, but I can’t promise to not try and come up with headlines that make people want to read.

      Glad to know you had a good Silvercar experience (minus the app issue)!

      • Thanks for your reply.
        Well you are right the headline is no lie, but if you read it, you expect somthing different. If you had put the two days in the headline it would be more obvious. I was looking for a great deal to rent a silvercar for a couple days (more than two) with this rate. I dont meant it bad, I just wanted to let you know. I like reading your blog, but a lot of blogs and “news sites” are now changing over to have headlines which are not a lie, but not really giving you what you would expect. I stopped following all of them.

        But anyway hope to read more good stuff about silvercar here. Its really a great deal and most of the time cheaper than regular rental cars. Only the cars could be better equipped. I know against competetors the cars a well equipped with wifi, navigation system and so on, but i am still missing a lot of the “standard” features of an audi. Go to germany and rent an audi and you get all that above with regular rental companies and even more extras in the car.

  4. I would try Silvercar if they offered Audi Q5 and Q7 in more locations. Since most of my business car rentals are with Hertz due to corporate policy I can only try Silvercar when travelling with family on vacation. With wife, 2 kids and lots of luggage an A4 won’t be enough for us. Thus, they should expand their offers and include bigger cars. As for car seats, unless you get them free of charge like with Silvercar I always bring my own to vacation trips. My kids are now using seat boosters and you can buy a new one for $42 on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Graco-Highback-TurboBooster-Seat-Spitfire/dp/B004GEC8LU). Thus, when travelling on vacation I just check my own seat boosters on a duffel bag and use them on the rental car. For example, Hertz charges $65 per car seat for the rental period. If you have 2 kids and rent cars in 2 different locations (like I do in Hawaii when you visit more than one island) you are talking $260 in car seat rental when you can check them in for free in most airlines if you have elite status or a credit card.

  5. We try to divide and conquer with rental cars, especially if they’re not attached to the terminal. The driver heads to the rental car center (with as much of the luggage as possible) while the other parent stays with the toddler and heads to baggage claim. On the return, the driver drops the family off and returns the car.

    Phoenix actually has a baggage check station in the car rental center, but you have to be 90 minutes early for your flight. We were only 88 minutes early so we didn’t get to test it out. The fewer items to schlep, the better! I wish more airports had that service.

    • Rachel, we often do the same divide and conquer when feasible. Bummer about missing the 90 minute cut off by 2 minutes, but cool they have that!

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