Insight Luxury Insight Audi zooms into the rental car market By Jeri Clausing / June 28, 2017 Share 1 Silvercar, which only rents Audi A4s, is available in 15 markets nationwide. Photo Credit: Mark Gronemeyer -- When it came to booking rental cars, I never used to pay much attention to what kind of auto I'd be getting.Then came the PT Cruiser incident. "You're not buying it, you're just renting it," the man behind the counter muttered when I told him my reservation indicated that I would be getting something quite different and asked for another car. "This is all we've got."My friend's son thought it was cool, but I spent three miserable days driving what I have always thought was a ridiculous-looking car. Its interior layout was so confusing that I couldn't even initially figure out how to roll down the window when I had to stop at a tollbooth. Since then, I've paid much more attention to what I'm booking, but still seem to end up with something that falls far short of delivering the basic amenities most of us have gotten used to in our vehicles.Enter Audi, which is moving into the rental market with services that not only guarantee travelers their luxury brand but also eliminate the lines, paperwork and guessing games associated with traditional car rental agencies.The automaker earlier this year announced it was taking a 100% stake in Silvercar, which rents only fully equipped Audi A4s using an app-based booking and check-in system. And earlier this year it launched its Audi on Demand service in San Francisco, and said it plans to expand that service to more cities in the future. With Audi on Demand, customers book through an app, and a concierge delivers the vehicle of their choice. Silvercar, now operating in 15 big-city markets across the U.S., is aimed more at the traditional, airport-based car rental market. I've only used it once, but it certainly delivered a much more luxurious twist on the whole experience.And this month, the company launched its first major marketing push to the agent community, offering 12% commissions, a special agent rate of $49 in all but its New York locations and a landing page that lets travel professionals book directly from the company's website."Silvercar is philosophically aligned with the modern travel agent because both are committed to providing the modern traveler with a high-touch and hassle-free experience," Amber Quist, the company's chief marketing officer, said in a press release. Indeed, hassle-free is one of the main reasons business traveler Mark Gronemeyer of Boston said he uses Silvercar whenever possible."The ease, the convenience, the fact that I don't have to wait in a big line and the fact that I am not playing car roulette to get an upgrade," he said when asked what he likes best about Silvercar, which allows you to book, check in and check out through its app.Gronemeyer said he also likes knowing exactly what car he is getting and how all the bells and whistles operate. "I know what I'm doing when I get in the car," he said. "I don't have to figure it out. Although last week I did get a '17, and I had to figure out how to use Apple CarPlay, which was hard." Gronemeyer said he also had an issue with the in-vehicle WiFi, so they gave him a 10% discount."[Silvercar] totally works with you," he said. "They are really friendly."And he notes that even with the easy app-based check-in, there is always someone on hand to help you navigate the "First World Problems" that the cars' little luxuries can create.