Nissan Versa car Hertz
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

This New Rental Car Company Delivers Vehicles For Rent — But…

Why pick up the car when the car can come to you?

One company is attempting to disrupt and innovate the rental car industry by delivering the vehicle to the location of a customer — whether that location is a house, residence, or business as three of many examples — and pick it up at the conclusion of the rental, rather than the customer picking up and returning the vehicle at the facility of a rental car company, as is traditionally done.

This New Rental Car Company Delivers Vehicles For Rent — But…

Founded in late 2018 by three entrepreneurs, Kyte purportedly manages its own fleet of clean new vehicles. Upon renting a vehicle, a driver — who is known as a surfer — brings it to the customer on demand to wherever the customer is located. Once you are done with using the vehicle, a driver will retrieve it from the location of your choice. You do not even need to refuel the vehicle before you return it, as someone with Kyte will fuel up for you and only charge local market rates and applicable fuel charges with no hidden fees.

Kyte currently serves eleven locations in the United States, which includes…

  • Boston
  • Brooklyn
  • Chicago
  • District of Columbia
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • Manhattan
  • Miami
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle

…but not every location has full coverage. For example, Manhattan does not include any of the borough north of Interstate 95; and only the northwestern part of Brooklyn is served by Kyte.

Three basic classes of vehicles are offered for rent by Kyte — and one-way rentals are possible:

  • Economy — Nissan Versa or similar.
  • Sedan — Toyota Camry or similar.
  • Sport Utility Vehicle — Toyota RAV4 or similar; and Kyte currently does not have any vehicle options which seat greater than five people.

Additionally, renters must be a minimum of 25 years of age to use the services of Kyte — with the exceptions of a minimum of 21 years of age in Boston and a minimum of 18 years of age in Manhattan and Brooklyn, which are subject to hefty underage fees due to New York state law.

Your personal insurance or credit card insurance should cover the rental as with any other traditional rental car company — but you are required to have some form of liability insurance. You will be asked with which company you are insured — the policy number is optional — and if you decline their liability coverage or do not have a personal liability policy, you will be charged $14.00 per day. Loss Damage Waiver coverage is $11.00 per day.

“They have a $20 off Black Friday promo currently (promo code: BLACKFRIDAY), but a much better deal is to use promo code jweinberg (must be lowercase) to get $50 off your first rental (no min length)”, Jonathan Weinberg — who is one of the co-founders of both AutoSlash and HotelSlashposted in this discussion on FlyerTalk, where he said that he tried the service offered by Kyte recently in New York, where he is based. Not only did the service work as advertised for him; but he also revealed a couple of deals: “This is a personal referral code, but it’s a far better deal than other promos out there. You can also refer others, and if they join, they would get $50 and you would get $50. It’s a fairly generous offer.”

The company plans to expand further next year.

Final Boarding Call

This is an interesting business model; but I am not sure I would call it innovative. Despite its sometimes questionable service and restrictive policies, Enterprise Rent-A-Car does offer to pick you up if you rent a vehicle from them; and some local neighborhood facilities of major rental car companies — such as Avis and Hertz — also offer a service to pick you up or drop you off as well. Sometimes that service is included in the rental within a certain radius from the facility; and sometimes an additional charge for the service is incurred upon the customer…

…but unlike Kyte, most rental car companies will charge you extra money to refill the vehicle with fuel as one of the myriad ways of which they can profit.

Furthermore, Kyte is not authorized to pick up customers at any airports at this time; so you would need to figure out how to meet the driver of Kyte at a location off of the airport to pick up the vehicle. The best bet might be to use a shuttle which is operated by a hotel property — although members of the management team would likely frown at their shuttle being used for a purpose which has nothing to do with the hotel property itself — or you can use a ridesharing service or taxi cab to get you to a location outside of the airport…

…or perhaps you can even walk from the airport to the location of your choice to meet the driver from Kyte and pick up the vehicle.

The service which is offered by Kyte would especially be useful to customers who are in rural locations where few options are available to rent a vehicle — let alone get to a rental car facility — but because of its availability in only eleven locations and lack of authorization to pick up and drop off customers at airports, its usefulness is currently limited for frequent travelers.

Would you use the service which is provided by Kyte if it was available to you?

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

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