Can You Use the Tesla App With a Rental Tesla? (Easy Breakdown)

Electric vehicles have become extremely popular – so much so that you can now even rent them at major car rental agencies.

But you may be left wondering how the remote functions work when you rent a Tesla, such as how the Tesla app works in tandem with rentals.

You can technically use the Tesla app with a rental vehicle, but this requires access as a secondary contact, provided by the car’s owner.

This is why many rental companies do not allow this access, but Teslas rented out by individual owners sometimes do. 

Keep reading to learn more about how this access is provided and what you can do to request it.

We’ll also share info regarding the setbacks with linking rental Teslas to the Tesla app, and we’ll touch upon the downsides to doing so.

Keep reading to get answers to frequently asked questions at the end of the article!

Using Tesla App with Rental

Any Tesla vehicle that is compatible with the Tesla mobile app can be paired with one.

The question of whether or not you can access this app-to-vehicle link for a rental car, however, lies in whether or not the owner gives you access. 

The thing about the Tesla app is that, when connected to a Tesla vehicle, it acts as a remote control to unlock and lock the vehicle.

Luckily, this isn’t the only way to unlock and lock a Tesla, as both key fobs and key cards also exist. 

Still, some people do prefer the phone key method. But there is an inherent risk in a Tesla owner giving a renter access to their app, as the renter could potentially have extended control of the vehicle past the rental date. 

Linking the App with Rental

There is one key way that you can link a rental car with the Tesla app on your phone, as a renter.

And that’s by requesting access from the owner. For example, you may be renting a Tesla privately through the popular car sharing service known as Turo

The owner of a Tesla has the option to add another contact to their Tesla app account so that that person can utilize the phone key controls from their own mobile device.

If the private car owner agrees to give you access in this way, you would take the following steps:

  1. Ensure that both your phone and the owner’s phone have the most recent 4.3.1 version of the Tesla app or higher
  2. The car owner opens the Tesla app on their own mobile device
  3. The car owner selects the vehicle that is being rented
  4. The car owner selects the “security” option
  5. The car owner selects the option to “add driver”
  6. The car owner sends you, the renter, an invitation link via your contact information 

Once your rental period has ended, the owner must remember to remove you as a driver in the “manage drivers” section of their app.

Setbacks with Linking Rentals

There are setbacks, however, with linking rental Teslas to the Tesla app.

For one thing, vehicle owners are unlikely to give out phone key access to strangers, especially if they worry about the security of their EV and controlling it remotely. 

Another setback is in terms of security and privacy when renting out your Tesla to a stranger. 

For example, if the owner adds a renter as a second driver via the Tesla app, that renter may continue to keep tabs on the owner’s movements in relation to the car, such as locks, unlocks, and charging sessions.

This is due to the push notification setting that is sometimes enabled on the Tesla app. 

And of course, there is the obvious setback of not always being able to link your phone and Tesla app with a rental vehicle.

Some rental companies do not allow this, nor do certain private Tesla owners who rent out their cars

Frequently Asked Questions

Do rental Teslas have autopilot?

Certain Tesla rental cars do feature autopilot functions, which consist of Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) and Autosteer. 

To find out if either of these functions are available in your rental, check for a gray speed-limit circle to the right of the speedometer, which turns blue when TACC is on.

For Autosteer, check for a gray steering wheel icon on the touchscreen, next to the TACC circle. 

Can two people have access to Tesla app?

Yes, two people can have access to the Tesla app in order to operate the same vehicle.

This is common when there is joint ownership of a Tesla, and it also comes in handy should you ever get locked out of your Tesla or lack a working key. 

Can you add Hertz to Tesla app?

While Hertz does rent out various Tesla vehicle models to customers, you can’t link the vehicle to the Tesla app while using it.

However, if you rent Tesla vehicles from individual owners, such as with Turo, you can request that the owner add you as a secondary contact on their Tesla app account. 

How do I charge my Tesla while renting?

Charging a rental Tesla is basically the same as charging a Tesla that you own.

Find an EV charging location, or use your 120V household outlet, and open your charge port by the driver’s side taillight.

The charge port opens via the touchscreen or by pushing on its cover once. 

Then, take the charging station connector from the dock, insert it into the port, and press the connector button until the port logo turns white once you’re done. 

Final Thoughts

So, can you use Tesla app with rental? It’s possible to link your Tesla app on your phone with the Tesla you’re renting, as long as the owner or rental company has given you access as a second driver.

This enables car renters to utilize the remote phone key controls. 

However, there are some downsides to car owners sharing access with renters, as it can leave certain information vulnerable.