Car Up­date: Rent, Share or Bor­row

Th­ese days there’s more than one way to get the ve­hi­cle you need – or even the one you’ve al­ways dreamed of

Business Traveler (USA) - - BUSINESS TRAVELER - By Freddy Sher­man

Th­ese days there’s more than one way to get the ve­hi­cle you need – or even the one you’ve al­ways dreamed of

Gone are the days when the big­gest de­ci­sion car renters faced was which color Grand Am to pick out from the end­less rows lined up in an air­port park­ing lot. New op­tions for rent­ing, shar­ing and even bor­row­ing ve­hi­cles are cre­at­ing a range of per­son­al­ized pos­si­bil­i­ties for trav­el­ers to choose from, re­gard­less of their des­ti­na­tion. Here’s a look at the lat­est ar­ray of op­tions for travel trans­porta­tion.

Rent

Sil­ver­car is lead­ing the charge to dig­i­tize the en­tire car rental process, while of­fer­ing a great car at the same time. With no lines, no pa­per­work and no coun­ters to wait in front of, the en­tire rental process is now app-based. To keep things sim­ple, they only of­fer one car op­tion, a fleet of shiny new sil­ver Audi A4s. Cars are re­served on the Sil­ver­car app. If you’re ar­riv­ing by plane, depend­ing on your des­ti­na­tion, Sil­ver­car will ei­ther pick you up curb­side or an air­port shut­tle will take you to the lo­cal fa­cil­ity where the app even un­locks the car for you.

The cars come loaded with Audi’s tech­nol­ogy in­clud­ing Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity, GPS nav­i­ga­tion, Sir­ius XM satel­lite ra­dio and even in-car high-speed WiFi. They also come with luxury fea­tures like a leather in­te­rior, sun­roof and the leg­endary Audi qu­at­tro all-wheel-drive sys­tem for safety. And if you have any ques­tions, the friendly concierge staff at each lo­ca­tion is ready to fa­mil­iar­ize you with your Sil­ver Audi A4.

Rates are from $59 to $89 per day depend­ing on the lo­ca­tion, the day and the de­mand, and the com­pany con­stantly of­fers on­line and so­cial me­dia dis­counts and in­cen­tives. In­sur­ance op­tions are clearly de­fined and of­fered at an ex­tra charge. Sil­ver­car has lo­ca­tions in eight cities around the US and also rents Audi Q5 SUVs at their Den­ver lo­ca­tion dur­ing ski sea­son. Sil­ver­car also ac­tively pur­sues and pro­motes re­fer­rals from ex­ist­ing cus­tomers, of­fer­ing the ex­ist­ing renter and the new renter cash in­cen­tives.

Com­pa­nies like En­ter­prise Hold­ings, which has been rent­ing cars for over 50 years, are also adapt­ing to and even en­hanc­ing new tech­nol­ogy. The com­pany op­er­ates Alamo Rent A Car, En­ter­prise Rent-A-Car and Na­tional Car Rental. Na­tional’s app of­fers fea­tures like“VIr­tual Aisle”which al­lows counter-by­pass.

Emer­ald Club mem­bers can con­duct the en­tire rental trans­ac­tion vir­tu­ally, even see­ing the real-time ve­hi­cle in­ven­tory. Renters can re­serve the spe­cific ve­hi­cle they want, then pro­ceed di­rectly to that ve­hi­cle on ar­rival. The en­hanced real-time Vir­tual Aisle fea­ture is avail­able in 19 Na­tional lo­ca­tions in the US, but the app’s other func­tions are ready for Emer­ald Club mem­bers any­where they rent.

For those look­ing for a bit more horse­power un­der the hood of their rental car, Hertz’s Adren­a­line Col­lec­tion of­fers a nice se­lec­tion of Amer­i­can mus­cle in 19 dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions across the US. Choices – all of which de­liver at least 400 horse­power – in­clude the Ford Mus­tang GT, Chevrolet Ca­maro SS and even Corvettes.

The com­pany doesn’t stop with Amer­i­can Mus­cle; their Hertz Dream Car rental ve­hi­cles are some of the world’s great­est rides

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