Audi-only rental car company expands

Silvercar Only Rents Silver Audi A4s

With the lines and occasional hassle, getting a rental car after a long flight can be daunting, even if you already have a reservation. Now, a company called Silvercar is trying to inject some luxury and modern, high-tech features into the process to make it less of a chore. The business recently expanded to O'Hare International Airport to offer visitors to Chicago a fleet exclusively comprised of silver Audi A4s.

Silvercar is based in Austin, TX, and is being run by Luke Schneider, a former chief technology officer at ZipCar. He told Crain's Chicago Business that the rental industry "hasn't innovated in 30 to 40 years." Silvercar's big innovation is in the booking process. Like ordering practically anything today, it's all done through a smartphone app. Customers then scan a QR code on the Audi's windshield to get going. At the end of the rental, the bill is emailed to you. Prices start around $59 a day on weekends and $89 during the week, according to Crain's. Because they're all A4s with GPS and Wi-Fi, everyone gets the same car.

In the world of ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, rental cars might seem passé, but according to Crain's, the rental market at O'Hare alone amounts to over $300 million a year. Silvercar's location there isn't at the actual airport, though. Instead, a shuttle picks up customers to take them to the company's site nearby. The business is working on a national rollout to 10 airports by the end of June, including major locations like LAX and Denver.

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