Although we all know New York City has a pretty bad traffic reputation, car rentals here are more and more in demand each day. I wouldn’t personally recommend a car rental if you`re just staying in Manhattan, for example, but if you want to sightsee and roadtrip around the whole State 9New York State is much more than just New York City!), a car rental is an answer.
For all those who want to put the pedal in the medal in NY, here’s all you should know to make the car rental reservation and pick-up process straightforward and hassle-free.
Find the right agency
Being one of the US’ biggest cities, it is presumed that you will have thousands of car rental agencies to choose from in New York City, and checking agencies rates one by one it’s not an easy task. An excellent option is to use a car rental broker like Miles Car Rental. This will help you save time as they compare all the best agency’s deals in just one search, guaranteeing the best deal for your money.
The New York City car rental industry is a pretty busy one, even more in peak season, so the best thing you can do to warrant vehicle availability with the best deals is to book your car at least two weeks in advance. You can save as much as 15 or 20 percent off the total cost of your rental by paying ahead. New York City car rentals are expensive, so take advantage of the discount!
- Avoid the NY airport. Rentals from off-site locations are much cheaper than the ones at the airport.
- Request customer service to send you a copy of the reservation Boucher. You will need it on the counter.
- Reserve the car for a longer period to get a lower rate. This may sound crazy but most systems are set up to give you a discount the longer you rent.
At the counter
Once at the counter the day of the pickup, there are many aspects to be extremely cautious with; whether you are taking extras or not, what type of coverage to buy, handling the required documentation, etc.
- Coverage: It is recommendable to buy at least the basic coverage offered at the counter so you will have peace of mind while you put the pedal to the medal in New York.
- CDW/LDW (Collision Damage Waiver): It exempts you from liability in case of an accident.
- LIS (Supplemental Liability Insurance: it protects third parties (drivers, passengers, and pedestrians) in case of an accident. It also protects the driver in case of being sued.
- Extras: Are a useful tool depending on your travel needs; you can add these to your reservation at the counter when you pick up the car for an additional fee. The GPS, the child booster (mandatory if you are traveling with kids), unlimited mileage, the additional driver (very convenient if you’re traveling long distances), or the full tank of gas are the most common. Make sure you clarify the extras terms with the agents before you add any of them.
- Required documentation:
- Valid ID and Driver’s License: You must present a valid Id and driver’s license hold for at least a year to be able to pick up your vehicle
- Credit card with enough funds: Although you might be able to make your reservation with a Debit Card with some agencies, it is mandatory to present a credit card as a deposit will be required as a guarantee upon pick-up of the vehicle and this will be blocked in your credit card. This deposit will be released upon the return of the vehicle.
- Age Limit: Car rental companies in New York are required to rent to licensed drivers who are at least 18 years of age or older, however, they are allowed to levy a ‘young driver’ surcharge per day on all drivers under 25.
- Printed Reservation Voucher: If you made your reservation online, make sure to have the printed reservation voucher to speed up the pick-up process.
- Vehicle inspection: Always remember to make a proper inspection of your rented vehicle before leaving the agency and report any damage to avoid extra charges when you return the car.
Be aware of NY Traffic rules and parking
Traffic laws differ from state to state in the US (and sometimes from city to city). Take a look at the basic New York City Traffic Rules:
- The default speed limit is 25 mph except where official signs indicate a different maximum speed limit.
- While it is legal to do so in most of the country, it is illegal to turn right on red in New York City.
- The driver and any passenger riding in the front seat must wear seat belts.
- Children under 8 years old must be restrained in a car seat.
- Drinking and driving is irresponsible and illegal, and it can result in the loss of driving privileges, fines, and jail time.
- Fines for breaking any of New York City parking rules can be hefty. This city has some of the most confusing rules for when, where, and how long you can park a car on a given street, so make sure to read the street signs when parking your rental car.
The above guidelines are of much help if you need to rent a car in NY. However, always try to be one step ahead by doing research on your own, and always reading the small print of the reservation contract to evade any last-minute misunderstandings.