Skip to content
Sponsored Content fromVisit Citi All for Small's site.

4 lessons from my touchless car rental experience

Aug. 10, 2020
4 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

After sheltering in place this spring along with most of the rest of the country, early this summer we started venturing away from home for some short straight-shot socially distanced vacation road trips within Texas. And for the most part, that's going to be our primary vacation plan for the duration of the summer.

However, when I decided to cover the reopening of Disney World in Orlando in early July, that meant a flight, hotel stay, theme park visit and rental car -- all things I hadn't done since the world changed in March. I took each piece as it came and planned how we'd tackle it as safely as possible, with some components of the trip being easier than others.

Thankfully, the rental car process was probably the easiest and most socially distanced aspect of the trip.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

I'd been a Silvercar fan for almost a decade, so I knew that it was very easy to rent from them and never experience a line or mandatory close encounter of any kind with staff. And indeed, that prior experience proved to be true for my recent pandemic-era touchless car rental.

Here are four things to know if you are in the market for a touchless rental car like the one experienced from Silvercar.

The app is your best friend

I get it, you may hate having to download new apps just as I do. But this is one you want -- especially right now.

If you're going to rent from Silvercar and want a touchless experience you must -- and I repeat must -- download and set up the app in advance of the trip. This is how you will scan your assigned car and complete the transaction so you can get in, access the keys and get going on your way.

Make sure that all your personal details, payment info, etc. are in the app and there shouldn't be anything left to do when you pick up the car. However, if you do need to show a license or similar upon pick-up, the procedure is to put that down on the car hood or similar and still maintain a touchless experience.

The 19-step cleaning process that helps keep you safe

Silvercar has a 19-step cleaning process for all interior areas and surfaces that include using disinfectant and germicidal cleaning solutions on surfaces and vacuuming all footwells and cloth areas. At the Orlando location where I rented, I was told the cars are also allowed to sit for several hours before anyone would enter before and after each rental. I don't know at what temperature viruses die, but I know a parked car in the Orlando heat gets to be approximately a million degrees in a hurry.

Related: How to thoroughly disinfect your airplane seat

The shuttle was empty

At this particular location, the Silvercar rental pick-up facility does require a shuttle bus ride from the Orlando airport.

We told Silvercar we had landed via a text response that popped up when we arrived in Orlando and an empty shuttle bus was waiting outside for us.

Affordable toll and gas refuel features

This part is obviously optional but was certainly appreciated on this trip.

Unlike most car rental companies that charge massive fees for things like refueling, Silvercar charges fair market prices for gas, plus a flat $9.95 additional refueling fee. I was more than happy to spend $10 extra or so to avoid a stop at a Florida gas station right now. That saved us time and eliminated another potential human interaction.

Related: Best credit cards for car rentals

Bottom line

This may or may not be the time for your family to travel. However, whenever the time comes that you again need a rental car with minimal to no human interaction, it's entirely possible to have a touchless rental car experience with some planning and preparation.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023