San Francisco Trip Silvercar San Francisco –
My wife is attending a meeting in San Francisco so we decided to take a few days and explore wine country as well as San Francisco. It is always nice making a work trip into am mini vacation.
The trip report is organized in the following posts:
San Francisco and Wine Country Trip Report – Hotel Nikko San Francisco
San Francisco and Wine Country Trip Report – Sightseeing in Wine Country
San Francisco and Wine Country Trip Report – Sightseeing in San Francisco
San Francisco and Wine Country Trip Report – Using Uber Pool
San Francisco and Wine Country Trip Report – Delta San Francisco to Minneapolis
San Francisco and Wine Country Trip Report – Silvercar at SFO
Silvercar has a unique model for the rental car market. I have previously wrote about my experience on the blog a few times:
For this trip, my wife and I had two days in wine country before we planned to head into the city for her conference. A two-day rental is perfect with Silvercar for first time renters as they offer $50 off that first rental.
In addition, Silvercar has a referral program where the person renting earns $25 after their first rental. So by combining those offers, it can mean $75 off the first ride for the customer.
If you have never rented from Silvercar before, check it out by signing up for your account https://www.silvercar.com/#/account/refer and enter in JPERRI on the referral line. It is a little quirky because it makes you sign up for your account first and then you have to go down to the referral screen and enter in the code. But by doing so, you will earn $25 cash back after your first rental. So the extra few steps are worth it. Also once you complete your first rental, you can then share your own code with others and you can help them save money on their rental as well as earn $25 yourself.
Silvercar offers the rental of an Audi A4 with XM Radio, Fair Toll and Gas policy. The car has leather seats, a navigation system, WiFi and it looks cool. When you drive it it feels a little like a sports car even though it is a basic sedan.
I reserved the car about a month before the trip using the app. The rate is between $70 and $80 a day; however, on the first rental, you save $50 so that helps with the cost. So the estimated total cost for my rental was about $110 after all the fees for the airport as well as taxes. In San Francisco, that fee is $20 which is annoying since Silvercar is off airport and you have to use the air train in order to get to the transportation center first before Silvercar will pick you up.
At the time of the rental, Hertz and National were pricing around $220 for the same period. I monitored the pricing as it got closer and the Silvercar option still was less expensive then Hertz or National. Another off site rental was available for around $90 all in; however, that was a basic economy car.
Upon arrival in San Francisco, I opened up the app and there was a message welcoming me to the city. The message informed me to get on the air train and then hit the button to send a text message and that they would be waiting for me when I arrived at the transportation center.
I followed the instructions and someone wrote back right away confirming that they were on the way.
Upon arrival at the transportation center, my wife and I took the elevator to the ground level and walked to the off airport shuttle area. When we arrived a Silver Audi A4 was waiting for us.
When we approached the car, the driver stepped out and greeted me using my name. The colleague assisted us with our luggage before quickly departing to the Silvercar location. As we were leaving, another couple approached the car and the driver asked them for their name and he said that their car would be there shortly.
We departed the airport area and after a 10-minute drive, we arrived at the Silvercar rental area which was in a warehouse in an industrial area.
The driver pulled up to a car. He asked to view my identification card and credit card. After I provided them, he thanked me and he asked me to open my app. When I did, he instructed me to click the button to start the rental and a barcode reader popped up. He asked me to scan the code on the front window of the car.
Once I did, the doors to the car opened and the rental began. The colleague assisted us with loading our luggage in the car and he thanked us and he said we were all set. He informed us to return the car to the center.
The colleague did not go over the features of the car with us and once we were in the car, he drove the shuttle car away.
The car was clean and it only had a couple minor marks on the exterior.
The keys were found in the car and we were able to start it without issue.
At the dashboard, there is a center counsel with a monitor that controls all the features of the car. Surprisingly the monitor is not a touch screen so the navigation was a bit confusing and slow. There is a small tracker ball that you use to select things. You dial it one was or the other depending on what you need to do.
We quickly were able to use the XM radio and we attempted to use the GPS; however, it was too clumsy having to use the dial in order to enter our destination.
Fortunately, the area in front of the screen was an excellent place to put my phone and I utilized Google Maps for my navigation.
The car features a sunroof as well and the seats are comfortable.
I am used to driving an SUV so I found the car to be a little to low to the ground for my taste; however, the car handled well and it had a good amount of power for quickly speeding up when I entered a highway.
The heating and air conditioning controls were a little odd on the car. Every time I started the car, the fans automatically turned to full blast and were loud. I assume there is some way to disable that setting; however, I couldn’t figure it out so I constantly had to turn the fan level down. In addition, if I pushed the defrost button or the AC button, the fans moved back to full blast as well.
During the trip, we drove over the Golden Gate bridge. Upon returning in the city, we had to go through a toll boot and the toll system worked well and we did not have to stop at all at the toll booth. We slowed down and when we were under the booth the toll box in the car beeped and the screens at the toll booth indicated that we were good to go.
After driving around wine country for a couple days, we returned to the city. I dropped my wife and our luggage off at the hotel, before driving back to the Silvercar Center.
Upon arrival at the Silvercer center, a colleague greeted me and he scanned the barcode on the front of the car. The colleague walked around the car to inspect it before asking me about my experience. I said it was good. The colleague offered to take me back to the airport. I said that I called for an UBER. And he said I could wait in the car until the UBER arrived and he would assist me with my luggage. I said I had already dropped that off in the city. The colleague thanked me and he wished me a good day.
I received an email receipt within a minute of the colleague scanning the bar code. The receipt noted that an updated receipt would be submitted a day or two later with any toll charges on it. The receipt also indicated that I would be receiving the $25 credit for using the referral code shortly so I should watch my email for it.
An UBERx driver pulled up to the center a few minutes later, and I was on my way to the city.
Have you rented from Silvercar? If so what was your experience? If not, please consider using my referral code when you sign up for an account: JPERRI
Overall, I think Silvercar is a cool option for rental cars. They make it easy to rent and they take the worry out of renting. The pricing is relatively expensive, but it is perfect for one or two day rentals. If I needed a car for a week, I would go with another option. But for the first rental, I would always do two-days as you get $50 off the first two-day rental. Otherwise, I would use it for a one-day rental to cut costs.