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Kyte is the latest rental car company to join the Tesla party, with doorstep delivery

April 22, 2022
5 min read
Kyte is the latest rental car company to join the Tesla party, with doorstep delivery
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Joining the list of rental car companies offering customers the opportunity to rent Tesla Model 3s, startup Kyte expanded into the subscription model service in select markets last week, following a $200 million financing round.

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(Photo courtesy of Kyte)

Advancing beyond its signature model of doorstep delivery for short-term, on-demand rental cars, Kyte has now stepped into the electric vehicles market with a new fleet of Teslas available for rent on a monthly basis.

As of April 15, Teslas are available to rent in Kyte's San Francisco and New York City-area markets; the latter includes Manhattan, Brooklyn and Jersey City, New Jersey.

Known for its doorstep delivery, Kyte enables users to pick up and drop off their rental car almost wherever and whenever across 13 U.S. cities, ranging from Southern California to Miami and Philadelphia. In other words, Kyte quite literally brings the car to you (and comes back to get it later).

"Our short-term, on-demand car delivery service is our first product to market – meant for one-off trips to and from a destination," Erik Zahnlecker, Head of Product at Kyte told me. "Kyte's long-term vision is to be the largest operator of electrified and autonomous fleets, so getting started with Teslas is very much along that path."

A monthly Kyte Tesla subscription starts at $995 per month for 12 months and goes up to $1,350 per month for three months. The subscription does not require users to sign a contract, allowing users to either cancel or extend their subscription plans.

"Consumers can cancel their subscription each month when Kyte reaches out with a new monthly rental renewal contract. Consumers need to give two weeks’ notice before they expect to have the car picked up," said Zahnlecker. "If someone decides to cancel a subscription prior to their originally selected duration, Kyte will charge them for the monthly difference in pricing."

In addition to the use of the vehicle, a subscription includes insurance, registration, maintenance and roadside assistance.

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Related: The perfect rental car? My experience renting a Tesla Model 3 from Hertz

"Our subscribers can [have] the car for three, six or 12 months, with the option to extend at any time," he said. "And the icing on the cake is that our subscription is very competitively priced to the alternatives, which are leasing and buying."

Tesla's online calculator estimates a $519 monthly payment over 36 months for the baseline Model 3, for a total down payment of just over $5,700 for the first month.

(Screenshot from the Tesla Leasing Calculator)

Although the Tesla cars from Kyte available come with level 1 charging cables, expect to pay to use said cables throughout your subscription time.

"Customers can find Tesla superchargers along their route with the built-in Tesla software," Zahnlecker noted. "When we deliver a Tesla to a customer, we immediately give them access to the Tesla application, where they can add a credit card to be [billed] when they charge at a supercharger."

(Screenshot from Kyte)

Although the Tesla Model 3 is the only model currently available, the company plans to offer the Model Y down the line. It's part of an overall push to diversify its subscription services for individuals looking to rent a vehicle for a duration exceeding the typical rental car booking.

"Longer-term subscriptions is one of our next big pushes to deliver on our stated mission and provides convenience for consumers who are looking for alternatives to traditional leases or committing to owning a vehicle," said Zahnlecker. "Convenience is not having to go to the dealership and negotiate, not having to buy insurance or registration (or go to the DMV), not having to take care of maintenance or roadside issues. Flexibility, meanwhile, is not being locked into a vehicle purchase or a long-term lease."

I first rented a car from Kyte last year after discovering Kyte was the cheapest option for the week I needed a rental car in late July. I cannot emphasize how clutch its delivery service was. Upon flying from Washington, D.C. to Boston in the morning, I spent the day working from a coffee shop in the Back Bay. At the scheduled pickup time, I simply walked a few blocks to pick up the Kyte. It really could not have been any easier.

"In this day and age, consumer expectations are different than they used to be. People don't want to wait in line for their groceries, food, shopping or their car rental, they expect it to be delivered to them," said Zahnlecker. "They expect convenience — and that's what we're providing through and through."

The Tesla subscription service will eventually be available in all Kyte markets as the company grows its footprint throughout 2022.

"We fundamentally believe that EVs are the future," said Zahnlecker. "Before we know it, 'range anxiety' won't exist and EVs will rapidly become the majority of vehicles on the road."

Read more: My experience with Kyte, the rental car startup that brings the car to you

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees