One of the best ways to find a good deal on a car rental is to comparison shop. As a travel expert, I have recommended using companies such as AutoSlash and Turo to find cheap bargains. But there’s a new company that you need to know about before you book your next vacation.
Things To Know About Kyte
Kyte is a new car rental company that offers delivery and pickup service on both ends of a trip taken within one of its service areas. Just think: no lines, no hassles. College students and drivers under the age of 25 will want to pay particular attention to Kyte’s benefits (more on that in a moment).
Here’s where Kyte operates so far:
- Los Angeles
- New York City: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Jersey City, N.J.
- Portland, Oregon
- San Francisco
- Washington, DC
Important things to know about the Kyte service:
- Kyte does not offer service at actual airports but can deliver to nearby eligible addresses.
- The renter and all drivers must be present when the car is delivered.
- Child car seats are not available.
Kyte charges a (refundable) deposit of $300 for credit card bookings and $500 for debit card bookings. There’s no paperwork and no need to clean or refuel the vehicle at the end of the rental period.
You can’t rent a car without some car rental insurance. Renters are responsible for damages up to the value of the car unless they have a collision damage waiver insurance and liability coverage. Kyte offers both for an extra fee. However, if you have a comprehensive policy for your personal car that covers you when renting, you can decline both.
If you don’t 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). However, 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 Kyte’s coverage. It costs about $14 per day.
Cancellations require at least a 48-hour advance notice for a full refund. Cancellations made within 48 hours are eligible for a full refund in Kyte credit. Cancel within two hours of your scheduled delivery time, and a $25 cancellation fee applies.
Drivers Under Age 25
The minimum rental age is 25 years old in most areas. But Kyte has the Kyte for University program for drivers under 25 in California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Washington, DC. College students are required to have a “.edu” email address. The minimum required age in Massachusetts is 21 years old, and the minimum age in New York is 18.
Kyte vs. AutoSlash vs. Costco
Although Kyte’s process seems impressive at first, I wanted to see if the rates are actually affordable.
Test 1: Seattle
For a Kyte test drive, I chose a nearby address from the Seattle Airport for a June 14-18 rental.
This is the cheapest deal I found on Kyte:
- $70.50 per day economy size vehicle
- Delivery and pickup: $9.50 each way
- Sales tax: $54.03
- Total price: $355.02
Then I checked AutoSlash.com for the same dates/times on an economy car (economy car). The rates ranged by hundreds of dollars: The least expensive rate was at Payless at $367 and the most expensive rate was with National at $700.
Let’s compare rates using a Costco membership for similar dates/times (economy car). The least expensive rate was with Budget at $508 (includes upgrade to an intermediate size). The price includes $10 in coupon savings and up to 30% off Budget base rates. Larger intermediate, standard and full-size SUVs ranged from $579 to $761 for the four-day rental.
Test 2: Denver
Now a look at fares for a one-week rental from August 13-20. Here’s what I found:
- Kyte delivery and pickup at Denver’s Central Park Station: $478.84
- AutoSlash from the Denver International Airport: $488 with Fox
- Costco Travel from the Denver International Airport: $598 with Alamo
Kyte may just be the most convenient rental experience yet with its drop-off and pickup service. Kyte sources vehicles from various professional fleet suppliers, and the vehicles are stored and maintained by Kyte.
Kyte would be best used if you want to skip the airport auto rental experience or if you don’t need a car immediately upon landing. Book your rental to be delivered to your local address (minimum two-hour advance notice required). Kyte allows one-way rentals both within a city zone and between the cities it serves. This could be a cheaper option than using a major rental car company that can often add outrageous drop-off fees.
Always compare rates with other similar platforms that may help you find a great car rental deal, including:
- Turo – the largest car-sharing marketplace
- Getaround – a peer-to-peer carsharing service in the US and the UK
- Car Rental Savers – applies every possible promo and discounts
Do you have a great tip for saving money on car rentals? We’d love to hear about it in the Clark.com Community!