NYC Car Rental

Useful info, Tips & Hints about Rental Cars in New York

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NYC Car Rental

NYC public transportation may be considered rather efficient, while the legendary yellow NYC taxis are almost a city’s attraction. Nevertheless, nothing can beat the autonomy of NYC car rental. A rental car allows you to plan your everyday schedule in your own way without taking into consideration factors such as the available bus or train routes or the distance of your destination from the disembarking stop. What’s more, the otherwise iconic NYC taxis are hard to find during rush hours or rainy days, and they can end up being quite pricey due to the high NY traffic levels. Hence, if you relish independence and you don’t mind the parking cost or driving in traffic, a NYC car rental will definitely be the ideal transfer option for your journey in the Big Apple.

Do you Need to Rent a Car when Visiting New York City?

Opting for a NYC car rental when planning on staying inside the New York city limits is a questionable choice. New York’s public means of transport offer adequate services and good connections while being cost-effective, and NYC taxis, for-hire cars, and private transfers are always an option to avoid driving by yourself in the traffic or looking for a parking spot.

On the other hand, besides the NYC attractions, NY’s surrounding areas are also worth your time and visit. Hence, a rental car is extremely handy if you want to travel to destinations such as the Catskill Mountains, Niagara Falls, Atlantic city with its famous casinos, the aristocratic Hamptons, or even Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC. Public transportation to those destinations is definitely a hassle, while some of these areas aren’t served by a bus or train. At the same time, using a taxi for all your transfers will be proven a costly option.

Our Tip: The dropping off of your car rental in another state comes with a surcharge.

How to Get a Cheap Rental Car in NYC?

Discovering the cheapest car rentals and benefitting from the best deals require an intensive “search and compare” procedure. Various car rental companies are present in the city of New York providing top services and competitive prices. Verily, both international agencies and local providers are on tap to offer you a value-for-money car rental. Use a search engine, compare your options and come up with the right vehicle for you.


Extra Tips To Save Money from Your NYC Car Rental

  • The sooner you make your reservation, the lower prices you’ll secure. What’s more, early bookings give you the possibility to choose from a wider variety of available vehicle models.
  • Almost all car rental agencies charge per day. Thus, you should return your rental car before that time to avoid paying for an extra day.
  • You should take some pictures of the vehicle before starting your ride. In that way, you’ll be able to prove any already existing damage.
  • It is advisable to refill the NYC car rental before dropping it off. Car rental companies usually overcharge gas.
  • Spouses or domestic partners can drive the car rental without extra charge, as long as they are 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. If you want to add another person as an additional driver, you should expect to pay an additional fee. 

How Much is Car Rental in NY?

The cost of a NYC car rental depends on the vehicle’s type and the renting duration. Overall, an economy or compact car is approximately priced at 35$/35€, while a family or SUV is 40$/40€. If money isn’t a problem and you are planning on renting a luxury car, you should expect to pay around 60$-70$/60€-70€ for a day’s rent.

Is it Cheaper to Rent a Car at the Airport or Online?

Renting a car online is always a good idea as it usually comes with better prices along with more available car models. What’s more, when flying to NYC via plane, it is extremely handy to have your rental car waiting for you at the airport rather than waiting for the often time-consuming procedures that follow renting a car on the spot. Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that as convenient as airport car rentals may be, they are pricier than renting a car in another city’s location.

What do I Need to Rent a Car in NYC?

The required documents to rent a car in New York are a valid driver’s license and an ID or passport. For foreign drivers whose licenses are written in another language than English, it is advisable to have an International Driver’s Permit as well. Other than that, a credit card will be requested as a guarantee (the car rental agency will withhold the deposit sum until the return of the vehicle), even if a debit card payment is agreed. The credit card must belong to the person renting the car. 

As far as the age limit is concerned, the minimum age to rent a car in New York is 18 years. Nevertheless, drivers under the age of 25 usually have to pay a surcharge or aren’t allowed to rent some vehicle categories. 

How do I Pay Tolls in New York in a Rental Car?

New York tolls are cashless and payments are made via the E-ZPass. Normally, the car rental agency will provide you with an E-ZPass transporter. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy your own. If you already own a transponder, it is advisable to avoid adding the rental license plate to your account.

Do I Need Car Insurance to Rent a Car?

A third-party liability is necessary for renting a car in New York. Car rental companies usually offer different insurance packages for an extra fee. In general terms, it is recommended to choose full insurance. However, if you want to save money and lower your car rental fares, you should check if the used credit card offers rental car coverage or if your original car insurance extends to your car rental as well. In case you have obtained travel insurance, you should find out if it includes rental car coverage too. 

Is it Hard to Find Parking in New York?

New York City houses plenty of parking lots and car parks. Thus, if money isn’t an issue, you won’t face difficulty in finding a parking site. Alternatively, street parking is also an option. Still, you should always double-check the signage as it tends to be complicated (parking may be allowed only on one side of the road, on specific days, etc.). You can pay your parking fees either in cash or via card. The ParkNYC app allows smartphone payments too.

Our Tip: The “No Parking” signs mean that you are allowed to drop off or pick up passengers or upload goods. However, you shouldn’t leave the vehicle unattended, even for a few minutes. On the other hand, the “No Standing” signs allow only person-picking-ups or dropping-offs. Finally, the “No Stopping” signs forbid pulling-overs, no matter the reason.

What do I Need to Know Before Driving in New York?

  • If you are planning on transferring around NYC, you should choose a compact car. In that way, driving in traffic and parking will be much less of a hassle.
  • The traffic levels are higher from 06:00 am to 10:00 am and from 03:30 pm to 06:30 pm.
  • If traveling in New York in winter, check the weather forecast. Snow storms are a usual phenomenon in the Big Apple. Hence, if this is the case, you should opt for an SUV car rental. Moreover, some rental agencies don’t allow the use of snow chains. You should check your provider’s policy before making your reservation.
  • The alcohol limit in New York is 0.08.
  • You should always wear a seatbelt. Children under the age of 4 must sit on child seats, while older kids (up to 8 years of age) have to use boosters.
  • Using your cell phone while driving is strictly forbidden.
  • Unless otherwise signed, when driving inside New York limits, you aren’t allowed to turn right on red.
  • You should, at all times, respect the traffic rules, keeping in mind that any imposed fines or toll charges will be forwarded to you by the car rental provider, and the expenses for dealing with the relevant procedures will be added to the initial sum.