Rent A Car in New York City
The Big Apple draws in millions of tourists each year, and those daring enough to drive a car on its bustling city streets are in for a great time! After making their way through its famous five boroughs, visitors are encouraged to check out the many nearby wineries, parks, and East Coast beaches!
Where To Find Cheap Car Rentals in New York City
Being as it is the largest city in the United States, there is no shortage of places to rent a car in New York! Many popular agencies have facilities in New York City, most of which are conveniently located near JFK Airport and LaGuardia International Airport in Queens.
Hertz, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Avis Car Rental, AllCar Rent A Car, Budget Rent A Car and Empire Rent A Car are just a few of the many places you can reserve discount car rentals in NYC. In this sprawling metropolis, you really cannot go a few blocks without running into one!
Multiple Rental Agencies Mean More Control of Your Budget
Given the size of New York and depending on where you plan to stay, there is no particular place that stands out. The one thing to keep in mind is that the rates do vary markedly from borough to borough, so comparing rental costs among agencies well in advance is highly recommended.
Since most tourists will arrive in Queens, Avis Car Rental has locations at 25 Bowery Bay Boulevard and 305 Federal Circle, both of which are in close proximity to LaGuardia and JFK respectively. Visitors choosing to land at Newark Liberty International in New Jersey also have 24-hour access to discount car rentals.
Making sure to mirror the grand diversity of The City That Never Sleeps, visitors are free to choose from a wide selection of rental car models. You can conserve fuel and drive downtown for hours in an eco-friendly compact, or explore the coast in style with a sporty convertible!
Best Rates and Rental Locations in New York City
Owning a vehicle is rare in the city. Most residents rent vehicles to travel to the outer boroughs and along the coast of Upstate New York. Some of the preferred companies in the mega city include Budget, Avis, Enterprise, Dollar Rent a Car, and Thrifty Car Rental. Renting from LaGuardia Airport, JFK Airport, and from agencies in Manhattan is typically most expensive. Locals report great rental rates in Newark, New Jersey, making Newark Airport a logical choice for travelers who want to rent a vehicle upon arrival. From Manhattan, AirTrain Newark is a great way to travel to New Jersey to rent a car. The air rail system connects Newark Airport to New York Penn Station only blocks from the Empire State Building.
What It’s Like Driving in New York
NYC may as well be the originator of the term “traffic jam,” but do not let that keep you from seeing its awesome sights. As long as you remember to avoid a few key areas and keep a few cardinal rules in mind, you will be well on your way to exploring The Capital of the World the best way!
To keep your cool while on the road, be sure to stick to the main routes whenever possible. Interstates 76, 80, 87, and 95 all lead into the city from various directions. Although congested, New York’s road system is laid out in a convenient grid system. Watch out for jaywalkers (this is a common practice in the city) and practice defensive driving techniques at all times!
Even experienced New York City drivers avoid driving during rush hour, between 7 and 9:30 a.m. and 4 and 6 p.m., in Manhattan. The busy streets are loud, packed, and chaotic, a stressful situation for any driver. Adding to the difficulty are many one-way streets, pedestrians, a law restricting motorists from turning right on a red light anywhere in New York City, and extremely limited parking.
Drivers who can find a metered parking space will pay $1.50 per hour between 110th St. and 96th St. and $3.50 per hour below 96th St. for a standard vehicle. Travelers can find more parking information through the New York City Department of Transportation. Parking spaces in a garage or premium lot will be expensive in Manhattan, where drivers pay some of the highest parking rates in the country.
The thing to remember about driving in NYC is that passenger cars are the lowest on the traffic totem pole, coming after emergency and public service vehicles. You will have a very difficult time finding a place to park on the street, and garage rates are not for the faint of heart.
Nearby New York City Neighboring
The Northeast region of the U.S. is full of sites and attractions, many of which are within driving distance of NYC. Head 20 minutes out of Manhattan to the South Mountain Recreation Complex, which is located in West Orange, New Jersey. Inside the facility is the famous Turtle Back Zoo, Richard J. Codey Skating Arena, and Tree Top Adventure Course.
Other notable daytrip locations include Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Hyde Park West Point Military Academy, and the quaint village of Cold Spring. You can easily spend your entire vacation in the heart of NYC, but true adventurists know renting a car is the only way to take in the sights of this all-American city!
Things to Do in New York City
New York City residents are similar to visitors when it comes to rental needs and reasons for renting a vehicle. Those who rent vehicles should take advantage of the opportunity to experience the culturally diverse outer boroughs, many wineries, East Coast shorelines, and attractions in neighboring New Jersey. Below are a few popular day-trip locations: • Fire Island, New York, is a 2-hour drive from New York City and offers visitors views of beaches on New York's coast. • Atlantic City, New Jersey, is a 2-hour, 30-minute drive from New York City and offers beachfront views and gambling at Atlantic City's famous casinos. • Caumsett State Historic Park, formerly the estate of Marshall Fields, offers visitors views of the park grounds. The state park is in Huntington, New York, a 1-hour, 20-minute drive from New York City. In addition to the options above, travelers can discover many great day-trip locations within driving distance of the city.