One of the best ways to find a good rental car deal is to compare the store. As a travel expert, I recommended using companies like AutoSlash and Turo to find cheap deals. But there’s a new company 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 pick-up and drop-off on both ends of a ride that takes place 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 special attention to the benefits of Kyte (more on that in a moment).
Here is where Kyte is working so far:
- New York City: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Jersey City, New Jersey
- 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 vehicle is delivered.
- Child car seats are not available.
Kyte charges a $300 (refundable) deposit for credit card reservations and $500 for debit card reservations. No paperwork and no need to clean or refuel the car at the end of the rental period.
Renters are liable for damages up to the value of the vehicle unless they have collision damage waiver insurance and liability coverage. Kyte offers both for an additional fee. However, if you have a comprehensive policy for your personal car that covers you when renting, you can refuse both.
If you don’t own a car but have a credit card that offers rental car insurance, it should cover Kyte rentals (unlike many peer-to-peer rentals). However, Kyte requires you to have liability coverage, which no credit card provides, so unless you have a non-owner policy, you’ll need to purchase Kyte coverage. It costs about $14 a day.
Cancellations require at least 48 hours prior notice for a full refund. Cancellations made within 48 hours are eligible for a full refund to your Kyte balance. Cancel within 2 hours of the scheduled delivery time, and a $25 cancellation fee will apply.
Drivers under 25
The minimum rental age is 25 years in most areas. But Kyte does have a university’s Kyte program for drivers under the age of 25 in California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington and Washington, DC. College students are required to have an “.edu” email address. The minimum age requirement in Massachusetts is 21, and the minimum age in New York is 18.
Kyte vs. AutoSlash vs. Costco
Although the Kyte process looks impressive at first, I wanted to see if the prices were actually reasonable.
Test 1: Seattle
For a test drive of Kyte, I picked an address close to Seattle Airport for rental from June 14-18.
This is the cheapest deal I’ve found on Kyte:
- $70.50 per day for an economy-sized vehicle
- Delivery and pickup: $9.50 each way
- Sales tax: USD 54.03
- Total price: $355.02
Then I checked AutoSlash.com for the same dates/times on an economy car (economy car). Prices ranged in the hundreds of dollars: Payless had the lowest price at $367 The most expensive price was with National at 700 dollars.
Let’s compare prices with a Costco membership For similar dates/times (economy car). The lowest cost was the budget at $508 (including the upgrade to a mid-size). The price includes $10 in coupon savings and up to 30% off basic budget rates. Midsize, standard, and full-size SUVs ranged from $579 to $761 for a four-day rental.
Second test: Denver
Now take a look at the prices for one-week rental tickets from August 13-20. This is what I found:
- Kyte pick-up and delivery at Denver Central Park Station: $478.84
- AutoSlash from Denver International Airport: $488 with Fox
- Costco Travel from Denver International Airport: $598 with Alamo
Kyte may be the most convenient rental experience yet with its pick-up and drop-off service. Kyte imports vehicles from various professional fleet suppliers, and the vehicles are stocked and maintained by Kyte.
It’s best to use Kyte if you want to skip the airport rental car experience or if you don’t need a car immediately upon landing. Book your rental to have it delivered to your local address (at least 2 hours advance notice required). Kyte allows one-way rentals within the city area and between the cities it serves. This may be a cheaper option than using a large car rental company which can often add outrageous delivery fees.
Always compare prices with other similar platforms that may help you find a great car rental deal, including:
- Turo – the largest car sharing market
- Getaround – a peer-to-peer car exchange service in the US and UK
- Car rental portfolios – all possible offers and discounts apply
Do you have a great tip for saving money on car rental? We’d love to hear about it in the Clark.com community!
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