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Start-up company aims to revolutionize the car rental experience

A brand-new rental firm called Silvercar has opened its first outlet at Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport, offering a technology-reliant business model that it says should appeal to time-stressed business travelers.

Located in DFW’s consolidated car rental facility, Silvercar’s fleet consists of just one vehicle type: Silver 2013 Audi A4s. “Mobile integration is key to the Silvercar experience, as the entire customer journey can be managed from a smartphone. This means no waiting in lines or at counters, ever, when renting with Silvercar,” the company said in a statement.

Customers can book their cars through the Internet (www.silvercar.com) or through travel management companies, but Silvercar’s primary reservations channel is expected to be the apps that it has made available through the Apple App Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android.

At DFW’s car rental facility, customers “select and unlock a vehicle (via a QR code), and even receive their receipt through a seamless smartphone user interface,” the company said. Customer profiles, including payment and contact information is stored “on a secure cloud server,” it added.

Silvercar claims its daily rental rates are similar to those for full-sized cars at its major competitors. All vehicles are equipped with GPS navigation from Google Earth, Sirius/XM satellite radio, and a toll tag at no extra cost (toll fee are added to the customer’s bill). Refueling charges will be equal to local pump prices plus a $5 service fee.

“We’re mindful of the fact that Silvercar is entering a large incumbent market, dominated by a handful of well-established companies,” said Luke Schneider, CEO. “We’re energized by the opportunity to make a measurable impact on the industry by introducing a unique and refreshing experience.”

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