Silvercar: The Future of Car Rentals?

enhanced-18920-1424803562-18At a recent family reunion, one of my cousins was talking about a trip she took where she had to rent a car. She raved about the service she used, Silvercar.

Today I was looking around to rent a car for a few days, and Silvercar came to mind. Unfortunately they’re not in St. Louis, but I’m really impressed with what I learned about them.

The service has two distinct features: The first is how easy it is to use the rental service. No human interaction is needed (not that that’s a bad thing, but it now seems like an unnecessary step). All you do is download the Silvercar app, reserve a car, then walk up to any Silvercar at the pick-up location and scan a code on the windshield. Then you get in the car and drive away.

That’s it. Easy peasy.

The price is usually $59 a day, but it can go up during peak periods.

Here’s the coolest part, though, both from a consumer perspective and as a business model: Every Silvercar is an Audi A4.

That’s right. When you rent a Silvercar, you’re getting a luxury car. As a renter, that’s exciting.

But the business model and the brand are really interesting too. Silvercar doesn’t buy cars of all shapes and sizes to fit every customer. They buy a single car from a single company, and they buy thousands of them. I bet they get an incredible deal on those cars. That makes repairs and replacements really easy too.

How clever is that?! It seems counterintuitive at first–to not offer any choices–but I think this is a case where that actually benefits everyone involved. It’s also a really distinct, memorable element of their brand.

I won’t be getting a Silvercar for my upcoming trip, but I wish I could.

Have you ever tried Silvercar? Can you think of other business models that offer no choices at all, but that’s actually a benefit instead of a downside?

6 thoughts on “Silvercar: The Future of Car Rentals?”

  1. Oh… That’s awesome. I want to feel like I own an Audi for a few days. This reminds me of WashU’s car rental when I was working there. It’s their WeCar program, renting out a car to students, faculty, and staff for a few hours at a time. I always saw this red Prius at this one spot, occasionally sliver which I always think that’s an awesome idea. Help lower the air pollution and give a ride to people who don’t have a car! I think they have more cars now, but it says it’s always either electric or hybrid according to their site. Here’s a very old article when they first started the program.

    • Trev: That’s awesome! I really like the simplicity of it and the ability to return the mattress within 100 days if it’s not working out.


Leave a Reply

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading