Silvercar, an Austin-based technology company, today opened its service to travelers visiting Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The innovative airport-based rental fleet comprises only one make and model of vehicle: the 2013 Audi A4, in silver. Mobile integration is key to the Silvercar experience, as the entire customer journey can be managed from a smartphone. This means no waiting in lines or at counters — ever — when renting with Silvercar.
Travelers book reservations through the Silvercar app, available for download from the Apple App Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android. Web reservations and bookings through travel management companies also are available.
“We’re thrilled to launch the Silvercar experience with DFW as our flagship airport,” said Silvercar CEO Luke Schneider. “We anticipate that our unique model will resonate with the connected business travelers who frequent DFW. Our vision is to deliver a consistently better car rental experience, in a consistently better car, each and every time customers rent with Silvercar.”
“At DFW, we are always looking for partners that can enhance the airport customer experience through exceptional service and the latest technology,” said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW Airport. “We think Silvercar is a great addition to DFW. Silvercar integrates the entire car rental process with smartphone technology, and that elevates the level of service we can offer to our customers.”
Once through the airport terminal, Silvercar customers will board DFW’s shuttle service to the consolidated car rental facility. The similarities to a traditional car rental, however, end there. Silvercar customers won’t find check-in lines or traditional counters; rather, the entire customer experience is technology-enabled. Customers place reservations, select and unlock a vehicle (via a QR code), and even receive their receipt through a seamless smartphone user interface.
Users’ contact, payment and personal preference information is stored in a Silvercar profile on a secure cloud server. Every Silvercar vehicle comes equipped with Google Earth GPS navigation, Sirius/XM satellite radio, and a toll tag at no additional charge (toll fees will be applied to a customer’s bill). Silvercar will charge users the local pump price for fuel plus a $5 service fee. Silvercar prices are at daily rates similar to those for full-size vehicles available from leading car rental services.
Silvercar co-founder and executive chairman Bill Diffenderffer, who himself has decades of experience in the travel industry and led the launch of innovative airline Skybus as CEO, is confident that the upstart will find an audience among savvy travelers.
“Silvercar was born out of one too many frustrating travel experiences at the car rental counter — the long waits and failure to receive a vehicle that fulfills your needs are irritations most travelers can relate to,” Diffenderffer said. “With an ever-growing set of customizations in a premium vehicle — the 2013 Audi A4 — a Silvercar becomes a traveler’s own vehicle, whenever and wherever they drive it.”
The car rental industry, Schneider says, is long overdue for innovation.
“We’re mindful of the fact that Silvercar is entering a large incumbent market, dominated by a handful of well-established companies,” Schneider said. “We’re energized by the opportunity to make a measurable impact on the industry by introducing a unique and refreshing experience.”