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Kyte is the latest rental car company to join the Tesla party, with doorstep delivery – The Points Guy

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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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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.
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.
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.”
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
Featured photo courtesy of Kyte.
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