Confirmed: Silvercar closing all airport rental locations by early December

Nov 15, 2020

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Silvercar was born in 2012 out of frustration with some of the problems common with traditional car rental companies. The company threw out the old car rental playbook and quickly became my family’s favorite way to rent cars across the country. It offered an all-Audi fleet, and in some cases, would pick you up and drop you off right at the terminal. The company didn’t charge huge fees for tolls or gas refills and didn’t charge any extra fees for ski racks and high-quality car seats.

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In 2017, Audi fully acquired Silvercar and since then we’ve seen an increase in pick-up locations, Audi vehicle types, a vehicle delivery option, the launch of a points-based rewards program and more.

But 2020 appears to bring with it very bad news for travelers who rent from Silvercar. As first reported by AutoSlash and confirmed by TPG, all of Silvercar’s airport rental locations will close by Dec. 6

Silvercar airport pick-up location at Orlando in July (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Over the past few months, multiple Silvercar airport locations have closed in traditional leisure hot spots including John Wayne, Orange County (SNA) and Orlando International Airport (MCO), among others. Silvercar confirmed the news to TPG with the following statement:

“Due to the changing travel environment, all Silvercar by Audi airport locations will close by December 6. Silvercar by Audi will remain available to our customers at our in-town and Audi dealership locations. Customers with existing airport reservations have been notified and offered the option to cancel or fulfill their reservation at our in-town locations where available, in addition to a $50 voucher for a future in-town rental. Looking ahead, Silvercar by Audi will continue to rapidly expand its network by launching new in-town locations, with a near-term focus on Audi dealerships.”

When you try to make a new Silvercar reservation at the airport pick-up locations that are still operational as of today, you aren’t able to book past Dec. 5. Instead, you’re restricted to in-town and dealership locations around the U.S. Silvercar’s site lists neighborhood Audi dealership rental locations in cities such as Henderson (near Las Vegas), Ft. Lauderdale, Denver, Seattle, Dallas, Orlando, Tampa, Houston and others.

As mentioned in the statement, those with existing Silvercar reservations can change their reservation for pickup at one of these locations.

But even if a local dealership is an option, it may not always make sense. Matt Lischin, an Audi owner and Silvercar fan whose December reservation was canceled, tells TPG, “In my numerous times renting, I have not once used a city location — always at the airport. Unfortunately, this change is a major inconvenience and I can’t see myself in a scenario where after landing, it would make sense to trek another 30+ minutes to a dealer (and the same in reverse).”

If you have an airport rental, it’s worth reaching out to Silvercar to see if further accommodations are available. Autoslash reported that in some cases where an eligible Audi dealer location is nearby, a Lyft ride may be provided to the dealership from the airport. But in other situations, you’re likely going to be on your own to find a new car rental reservation.

I’d strongly advise taking a proactive approach to contacting the company. It can be challenging to secure affordable car reservations in many cities, especially if you require a specific type of vehicle need, such as an SUV. This is even more concerning given there’s already a rental car shortage happening in some areas, so losing a coveted holiday car rental reservation could put travelers who are deciding to hit the road in an even tighter bind.

Regardless, all customers with a canceled reservation are eligible for a $50 credit towards their next in-town rental. Make sure to get your discount code if you’re affected by this change and use it towards your next rental. It’s a solid discount that can come in handy if you need a new set of wheels to get around town.

Starting your rental car search over again? Here’s a round-up of rental car promos that may save you money and our guide to never paying full price for a rental car.

 Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.

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