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My Experience Renting a Tesla Model Y From Hertz

Chris Hassan's image
Chris Hassan
Chris Hassan's image

Chris Hassan

Social Media & Brand Manager

218 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 24U.S. States Visited: 26

Chris holds a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management and managed social media for all Marriott properties in South America, making him a perfect fit for UP and its social media channels. He has a ...
Edited by: Juan Ruiz
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Juan Ruiz

Senior Editor & Content Contributor

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Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been ...
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Keri Stooksbury


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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Back in October 2021, Hertz announced that they were going to order 100,000 Tesla Model 3s, the popular electric car, to offer as rental and Uber options. One year later, Hertz locations across the county have multiple Tesla and Polestar models available to rent to help satisfy the surging demand for electric vehicles.

I really enjoy renting cars and being able to experience different models, so on a recent family vacation to Orlando, I decided to rent a Tesla Model Y from Hertz since it was the first time I had seen it as an option on my travels.

The price was a little bit higher than the alternatives, and there are some charging logistics to deal with, but it was a fun experience.

Although it might not be for everyone, here is what you can expect if you rent a Tesla (or any electric vehicle) from Hertz.

Booking Process

Since we were traveling as a family of 4 with plenty of luggage, car seats, and a stroller, renting an SUV or minivan was a priority.

I compared prices across the major rental companies at Orlando International Airport (MCO) and settled on Hertz since the price was similar and I am trying to build up my Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points balance.

Had I been traveling solo, I would have booked one of the cheaper cars and taken my chance with my options in the President’s Circle section. However, lately, the selections have been very weak and I couldn’t risk not getting a car with enough space.

I settled on 2 options … a Medium 5 Passenger SUV or a Tesla Model Y. Despite being $135 more for 3 days, I wanted to drive the Model Y — and it was still cheaper than some of the other luxury SUV options, so I booked it.

Hertz Tesla Model Y
Image Credit: Hertz

I used The Platinum Card® from American Express to pay which provided a slight discount and even an extra 4-hour grace period to return the car. Without the grace period, those 4 hours would be charged as an additional day. The car rental insurance that comes with the Amex Platinum card is secondary, but I paid ~$25 for American Express Premium Protection which offers elevated primary car rental coverage.

Just like any other rental from Hertz, after I made my selections, I received a confirmation email and the reservation was immediately showing in my mobile app.

Hot Tip: If you have an Amex Platinum card, you can use CDP code 211762 for a discount when booking and a 4-hour grace period. 


After gathering all of our luggage in the chaos of the Orlando airport, we made our way over to the rental car center.

Normally, Hertz Five Star members (free to join) can skip the line by simply finding their name on the board and locating their car in the designated parking spot. However, that wasn’t the case with my rental as I was instructed to go see a representative at the desk to get my key.

Fortunately, it was a short wait and the agent gave me a quick overview of the car and informed me that I only needed to return the car with 20% battery left. That seems (and is) like a good deal, especially since the rental car standard practice is that you return (gas tanks) in full or you’ll be charged. However, the Hertz website states that electric cars can be returned with as little as a 10% charge.

Hertz Tesla Model Y return charging policy
Image Credit: Hertz

When I questioned the agent about this, she said that was true, but it would be really helpful for turnaround if customers brought them back with more. To make their job a tad bit easier, I returned the Tesla with 92% as charging turned out to be quite accessible at my hotel. But not having to stress about that aspect is nice — hopefully, this policy lasts.

Once I was assigned my car, we walked out to the garage and found our brand-new Model Y Long Range Dual Motor with less than 500 miles on it.

Hertz Tesla Model Y front
Our Tesla Model Y.

There were about 10 other Teslas as well, and they all also appeared to be new.

Hertz Tesla Model Y colors
My son was sad that we didn’t get the blue one.

Despite being an SUV, it is a small SUV, so it took some puzzle-like maneuvers to get all of our stuff in securely.

Hertz Tesla Model Y luggage
We don’t travel light.

We spent a good 30 minutes installing car seats, rearranging luggage, and letting the kids press the fart button (yes, Telsa’s have a fart noise!) before hitting the road.

Hertz Tesla Model Y packed trunk
All packed!

As it turns out, the frunk is the perfect size for an Away bag and a backpack.

Hertz Tesla Model Y Frunk
Don’t forget about your luggage in the frunk.

Learning Curve

If you haven’t driven a Tesla before, the simplicity can be a little overwhelming.

Hertz has a blog and FAQ page dedicated to learning about electric cars and how to use them. Personally, I went on YouTube to learn the basics.

For Teslas, it is quite easy. Simply tap your credit card-like key against the door to unlock, place the card on the console, shift the car into gear and drive away.

Hertz Tesla Model Y key and contract
The rental key is just a card; owners can use an app.

The dashboard is streamlined and only interrupted by a giant touchscreen tablet. This tablet controls everything including climate control, GPS, cameras, the entertainment system (there is a lot of entertainment, including games), and more.

Hertz Tesla Model Y interior screen
Hertz Tesla Model Y screen.

You could spend your first hour just tapping away at the touchscreen before you get familiar with the car, but if needed, it is easy enough to just get in and drive away — just beware of the regenerative breaking!

This Long Range Dual Motor model seemed to have all the bells and whistles including “Autopilot Computer. Full self-driving computer” as was stated in the Software section. But since this was a quick trip, I didn’t have time to play around with all of that.

Hot Tip: Read my review of the Tesla Model 3 that I rented from Turo

Charging a Tesla

As I mentioned, Hertz officially only requires that renters return the car with a 10% charge. However, even at 20% that left me with plenty of range for 3 days in Orlando as the Model Y gets over 330 miles on a full charge.

Hertz Tesla Model Y charging screen
Hertz Tesla Model Y battery level.

I would think that many renters, if only driving between hotels and theme parks, could likely rent an electric car without the need to charge it at all (depending on the length of their rental).

However, the Tesla did come with a Level 1 charger, which can plug into a standard household plug, as well as an adapter for public charging. 

Hertz Tesla Model Y charger
Hertz Tesla Model Y charging kit.

There are 3 options for charging a Tesla:

  • Level 1, Household Plug: This charger allows you to plug your Tesla into a standard 120v household outlet. While this is convenient, it can take almost 24 hours for a full charge.
  • Level 2, Public Charging: Included in the charging kit is an SAE J1772 adapter which allows Teslas to connect to public charging stations. These stations are generally more powerful and can deliver a full charge in about 6 hours.
  • Level 3, Tesla Supercharger: These Tesla-branded Superchargers need no adapter and can charge a Tesla to 100% in about 1 hour.

While you may find free public charging, Tesla Superchargers carry an extra fee that will be passed along to the renter via Hertz.

Free Hotel Charging

For our 3 night stay in Orlando, we used some Hilton Honors points to stay at the very nice Waldorf Astoria Orlando – Bonnet Creek for the second time in 2 years.

Although parking wasn’t free, I was pleasantly surprised to see that electric car charging was!

Hertz Tesla Model Y ev parking at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
EV parking at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando – Bonnet Creek.

The parking garage is quite large as it is shared by both the Waldorf Astoria and its sister property, Signia by Hilton – Orlando Bonnet Creek. Unfortunately, there were only 2 chargers between the 2 conference-heavy hotels.

One afternoon I saw that one charger was available so I parked my Model Y there for an hour or so while we had lunch and then moved it in case somebody else needed to charge.

Hertz Tesla Model Y charger adapter
Public charger with SAE J1772 adapter.

That quick boost on our final full day allowed me to return the car with over 90% charge.

With gas prices soaring at the time, saving money on fuel was more than welcome.

Hertz Tesla Model Y parking garage charger
Chargers were limited.

I can only assume that the hotel(s) will install more chargers as electric cars become more common. We’ll see how long they stay free, though …


The return process, as I expected, was very thorough. The only time I had a more thorough return inspection was when I rented a Dream Car from Hertz that cost 3x what the Tesla retails for.

When I pulled up, I was greeted by a very friendly agent who knew exactly what to look for in a brand-new car.

Hertz Tesla Model Y curb rash
Curb rash from a previous renter.

As we unloaded she checked the mileage and charge level (all good at 92%) and then we walked around the car looking for damage.

As I always do, I filmed this part because rental companies have been known to bill some erroneous charges that can be hard to prove without evidence.

The car did have a mark on 1 of the wheels that I documented when I picked up the car, so after I showed her that, we were good to go.

Moments later I had my receipt in my inbox with no additional charges, but I am still keeping the video on my phone just in case.

Final Thoughts

Hertz Tesla Model Y at Waldorf Orlando
Hertz Tesla Model Y at Waldorf Orlando.

Overall, renting a Tesla Model Y from Hertz was a convenient and enjoyable experience. I really like renting cars and view it as a part of the travel journey that I look forward to — as odd as that sounds!

Being able to rent a fun, fast car … that farts (!) … was a blast to zip around in Orlando with my family. While it was more expensive than a similar-sized SUV, we were able to save a couple of dollars on gas and the entertainment factor was invaluable.

I didn’t have any issues with range or charging, so I can easily see myself renting an electric car for a trip like this again in the future. And even better if hotels don’t charge for charging, either!

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For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Hertz have electric cars?

Yes, Hertz has Tesla Model 3, Model Y, and Polestar 2 electric cars available to rent.

Do I need to return my Tesla to Hertz fully charged?

No, at the moment you can return Teslas with as little as 10% charge left.

Do Hertz Teslas have Autopilot?

Yes, the Teslas in Hertz’s fleet are equipped with Tesla Autopilot.

How do I charge a rental Tesla from Hertz?

Electric cars from Hertz come with a charging kit that connects to standard home plugs, as well as adapters for public chargers.

Chris Hassan's image

About Chris Hassan

Chris holds a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management and managed social media for all Marriott properties in South America, making him a perfect fit for UP and its social media channels. He has a passion for making content catered toward family travelers.


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