Silvercar, an Austin-based company that is looking to disrupt the car rental business, is coming to Seattle.
On July 31, Silvercar will launch its service at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with an opening fleet of 50 vehicles, all Audi A4s. Silvercar said it is more focused on travelers coming to and from the airport than getting people around town the way car-sharing companies like car2go and ReachNow do. In terms of tech-oriented car companies, it is somewhat similar to ZipCar, with designated pickup and drop-off zones.
Audi bought Silvercar earlier this year, following years of collaboration, including a $28 million investment from the German automaker in 2015. It’s another example of traditional car companies teaming up with tech-oriented transportation companies, in the same way that Ford purchased shuttle bus service Chariot and expanded it to Seattle earlier this year.
Silvercar says it “eliminates lines, counters, paperwork, hassles and uncertainty by delivering the entire experience through an easy-to-use mobile app and friendly concierge service.” Users reserve cars in advance, via smartphone app or Silvercar’s website and the concierge is on site at the airport to help out with any issues.
Reservations must be at least two hours long, and the cost in Seattle is listed in the app as $59 per day.
Silvercar already has a presence at airports in Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York and San Francisco. In addition to Seattle, Silvercar is also expanding to Orlando this summer.
The company said it plans to double its airport operations by the end of next year. Silvercar also has a couple non-airport pickup and drop-off areas in New York City and Miami.
Silvercar is growing its engineering and development team as it continues to expand. Silvercar recently added Amber Quist, previously the chief marketing officer at car2go, to be the company’s first CMO.
Tech-oriented car companies have created a lot of different ways to get to and from the airport in Seattle. Both car2go and ReachNow added airport service in recent years. And ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have a designated pick up area at the airport as well.