We’re all looking for services that make our lives easier. Kyte is the first rental company to offer door-to-door delivery service on both ends of your trip. Kyte will deliver a vehicle directly to you and then come pick it up at end of the rental period, as long as you are within one of their service areas. With a Kyte car rental, there are no worries about finding the pickup location, no lines, no hassles.
Kyte is no flash in the pan. Fresh off raising $200 million in funding, Kyte recently announced its plans to grow its fleet to around 10,000 vehicles in the next year.
It’s noteworthy that Kyte allows one-way rentals, both within a city and between cities that Kyte services. One-way rentals can be expensive with most rental car companies, so this is one area where Kyte may offer some outsized value to renters.
How Does a Kyte Car Rental Work?
Kyte is offering AutoSlash customers a special deal of $20 off your first rental. Just click here to take advantage of this offer. You can also score a referral bonus of $50 for both you and a friend. Basically, if you can get some friends to sign up, you can come pretty close to a free rental in many cases.
You book and pay for the rental car online ahead of time. On the first day of your rental, you just need to show your ID to the “Kyte Surfer” (a.k.a. vehicle delivery person) and then sign on the tablet to confirm receipt of the vehicle. That completes the handover.
If you cancel at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled delivery time, you are eligible for a full refund to your credit or debit card. Cancellations made within 48 hours of your scheduled delivery time are eligible for a full refund in Kyte credit. Cancel within 2 hours of your scheduled delivery time, and a $25 cancellation fee will be deducted from your refunded Kyte credit.
You need to be 25 years old to rent with Kyte in most areas. Boston-area residents aged between 21 and 25 can rent with no underage surcharge which is a nice win. In New York City, drivers as young as 18 can rent, and Kyte recently dropped both its steep $120-per-day surcharge for drivers ages 18 to 20, and the $45-per-day charge for drivers ages 21 to 25. Suddenly, this is a company Gen Zers in the Empire State should be looking at.
But it gets better. Kyte has also introduced Kyte for University for drivers under 25 renters in California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Washington D.C., which waives the underage fee for college students with an .edu email address.
With Kyte, additional drivers are completely free which is a far more generous policy than any other rental company. Note that additional drivers be added before the trip begins and must be present at the time of delivery with their driver’s license. Additional drivers must meet the age requirement.
Potential Extra Charges
Be aware that Kyte charges a (refundable) deposit of $300 for credit card bookings and $500 for debit card bookings.
Kyte offers both damage coverage and liability coverage for an additional fee. If you own your own vehicle and have a comprehensive policy that covers you when renting, you can decline both. If you do not own a vehicle but have a credit card that offers car rental insurance, then it should cover Kyte rentals (unlike many peer-to-peer rentals). That said, Kyte does require you to have liability coverage, which no credit card provides, so unless you have a non-owner policy you will need to purchase their coverage at around $14 per day.
All Kyte rentals come with 300 miles per day. The mileage is cumulative over the duration of your booking. A surcharge of $0.45 per mile will be charged if the limit is exceeded, but you can upgrade to unlimited mileage for an extra fee.
Kyte will automatically charge you for any tolls during the rental period. Unlike just about every other rental company, they do not charge a “convenience fee.” Parking tickets are your responsibility and if you don’t pay them, expect to be charged a penalty by Kyte.
Kyte currently offers three vehicle categories: Economy (Nissan Versa or similar model), SUV (Toyota RAV4 or similar model), or Sedan (Toyota Camry or similar model). All vehicles are guaranteed to come with Bluetooth, a phone charger, and phone mount. Kyte does not currently rent any 7-passenger vehicles like minivans or fullsize SUVs but that may change in the future.
Kyte provides its own vehicles. Unlike some of the peer-to-peer companies out there that rent out personal vehicles, they don’t offer unique or higher-end vehicles like Porsches, Teslas, or Range Rovers. On the plus side, since Kyte controls the whole experience, your rental will not get canceled at the last minute and leave you in a lurch as has been reported in the news recently when renting from popular car sharing services.
Returning Your Vehicle
There’s no need to fill up the tank at the end of the rental. Kyte has a customer-friendly policy of refueling at local market rates. While this may not be the cheapest price in town, it’s a far cry from the $10 per gallon many rental companies charge if you don’t accept their prepaid fuel option, which is never a good deal.
As with a traditional rental car, there is normally no need to wash or clean your rental before returning it. The exception would be if the vehicle was excessively dirty, smelly, covered in pet hair, or otherwise in non-rentable condition, which would incur a $200 deep-cleaning fee.
Traveling with Kids
Kyte does not currently offer car seats. But since they deliver the vehicle right to your house if renting locally, it’s less of an issue since you can simply use your own car seat from home. If you’re traveling with small children but renting your car from a location other than your home, you’ll have to plan ahead and obtain a car seat ahead of your trip.
Kyte Car Rental Locations
Kyte has locations in about a dozen major U.S. markets. Note that Kyte does not do pickups or returns right at the airport gates, but will deliver and retrieve rentals just outside the airport at most locations. The company uses what it calls “handoff” locations near the airports in markets they serve.
You can either take a taxi (or Uber or Lyft) from a hand-off location to the airport, or choose a hotel just outside the airport grounds that runs regular shuttles and hitch a free ride.
Current Kyte markets include:
- Jersey City
- Long Beach
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- Portland, OR
- San Francisco
- Washington, DC
- Plus many more locations opening in 2022
Kyte Car Rental Review
I used Kyte recently to rent a car in New York City and it worked as advertised. The actual rental process was basically a non-event, which is to say it was a very refreshing change from my previous New York City rental where I biked to and from the rental office to pick up and drop off my car.
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