Renting a rideshare vehicle can be a great option if you don’t have an eligible vehicle or if you’re just tired of putting miles on your own car.
It’s a fluid market, however, as evidenced by the advent of KINTO, a rental platform. Senior Contributor Gabe Ets-Hokin delves in to find out what’s up with KINTO.
What do you do if you’re the finance arm of a huge automaker, and maybe you’re stuck with thousands of lease-return vehicles you can’t sell? It’s 2020, so you start a carshare company, of course!
What is KINTO?
- Southern California
- Dallas, Texas
- Houston, Texas
- Napa, California
*availability accurate as of 8/7/2023
Like most of what we do these days, it’s administered through a smartphone app.
Drivers sign up with a credit or debit card, select a pickup/dropoff location, and go get their cars.
Unlike other Uber vehicle rentals, KINTO is priced by the hour, day, or week and includes all expenses: insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and maintenance.
When the driver is done with their shift, they drop the car off at the pickup spot and they’re done!
Or they can use it as their personal use car when they are not driving for rideshare or delivery.
How Do I Sign Up With KINTO?
It starts with downloading the app. Once that’s on your phone, you’ll need to follow directions and upload your info as directed.
For background checks, KINTO uses Checkr, which many other gig companies use, and wants you to meet about the same standards as the other companies – decent driving record, no felonies, no reckless driving or DUI, 21 years old, driving for a year or two.
After all your info is uploaded, including a selfie image of yourself with your driver’s license, and you pay a $25 background-check fee, you’ll get a notice you’ve been approved, usually within 3 – 5 business days.
Once approved, you will also receive $25 in driving credits.
If you are interested in driving for Uber all you have to do is connect your driver profile to your KINTO profile, when you begin your reservation your assigned KINTO vehicle will be added to your Uber profile.
If you are driving for DoorDash or other approved delivery services you do not need to update your profile. It’s great to no longer need to upload the vehicle information and insurance card to your Uber account, pretty seamless.
How Does KINTO Work?
Once you are ready to reserve a vehicle, you open the app, tap “new reservation,” and select the reservation type.
If you pick custom you can rent for as little as 4 hours and up to 28 days, these cars are actually newer than the weekly fleet so think less miles and less wear and tear, or you can select weekly and rent up to 4 weeks at a time. set the date and time you want to work and hope an available car shows up.
When I did it, I found a couple of Priuses waiting for me about a week out, but nothing for the same day or the next day; availability likely varies from location to location.
Driving works like any other car, as it’s a car. You unlock the car via the app and bring your own charge cables.
The app directs you through the checkout procedure. If you need extra time, you can extend your reservation but try to do it in the first 48 hours or else you may have trouble with availability.
What Does KINTO Cost?
Starting rates are $10 for hourly, $75 for daily, and $280 for weekly.
Though the cost really depends on the car you select and the reservation type.
It’s nice to see that you can get different types of hybrids including the Prius, Corolla hybrid, RAV4 hybrid and Sienna hybrid.
In terms of variety, they have everything from compact, to full-size, SUVs and Toyota vans.
I will say I wish I could pick which car model I specifically get but you have to pick the type like SUV, Midsize, Hybrid compact, etc, and see what you actually get assigned.
Does KINTO Offer Electric Vehicles?
KINTO recently added the 2023 Toyota bZ4X to their California fleet and right now it’s only available to select KINTO customers and invited Uber drivers. But it’s nice to see they are stepping into the EV market.
What’s clear to me is that the rideshare-rental market is merciless, with companies coming and going.
We’re aware of a handful of options for car rental, including:
- Rideshare Rental
- Maven Gig
- Lyft Express Drive
- Fleet Rentals (mostly in NYC)
- Getaround (in San Francisco and Los Angeles)
- Waive Work (also just in L.A.)
KINTO Customer Reviews
The Apple App Store reviews KINTO a 4.3 out of 5 stars with over 1.1k customer ratings, here are a few customer reviews from the app store in 2024:
KINTO 5-Star Review
KINTO 3-Star Review
KINTO 1-Star Review
Is KINTO Worth It?
One thing drivers mention in their reviews is how clean the cars are and how professional the KINTO staff is.
Which all sounds better than the Getaround experience I had (missing charge cables and mounts, dirty cars, and interiors that smelled like weed 😷 ).
I think we all love not having to wait in line at traditional car rental companies so it’s cool to just do everything with the app and pick up on your own to get on the road quicker. If there are issues their customer support team is great and available 24/7 by email or text.
So is it better? It really depends on the competition and your own situation. If you want the flexibility and low start-up cost of renting a car when you want for however long you want, KINTO may be the only game in town. Give it a try.
Have you used KINTO? Have questions about this story? Do you have some tips, tricks, or closely guarded secrets about renting a vehicle to use for rideshare or delivery driving? Sound off in the comments!