New York City Car Rental Tips and Tricks

Months of September through mid-November are some of the best times to visit New York City.  In the city, there are deals on Broadway shows, hotels, lots of other fun activities.   How about your car rental?  We hear from many customers who are interested in renting cars to travel all over the state of New York.  They want to visit Niagara Falls, Adirondacks, Poconos, Boston, etc.  Here are some tips in helping you obtain the best deal for your money.

Avoid the airport.  Rentals from off-site locations are much cheaper than the ones at the airport.  If you prefer to pick-up the car at the airport, just speak with an off-site car rental company.  We spoke with Geoffrey Smith who rented a 15 Passenger van that was delivered to LaGuardia airport from a car rental company based out of the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  He said his rental came out to be $250 less than the cost of renting one at the airport location even with including the $60 delivery fee that the rental company charged to drop-off at the airport!  The van was delivered to the airport parking lot and he called the rental car agency after landing.  He was very happy with the service and since his communication with the company was via e-mail, there were no unexpected charges.   He was right.  We recently checked the “extra” charges at LGA airport for a one day rental of a compact car; it was an additional $13.66 per day!

Brand name car rental companies have to charge you the published rate so there is hardly any room for negotiation. In New York City, there are many local car rental companies that have lower operating costs so they typically charge 10 to 25 percent less than rentals from national agencies.

Check your credit card for insurance coverage for the rental vehicle.  Most major credit cards such as American Express, MasterCard, and Visa offer car rental insurance, which saves you an average of $9-$15 per day.  Depending on how long you rent, this can be a substantial saving.

If you own your own home, your liability policy should also cover you against third party loss or damage.  Once again, do your research by contacting your homeowner’s policy and verify if this is the case.  In addition, the Personal accident coverage which offers some medical coverage in the event of an accident is secondary to primary health insurance.  So if you have health insurance, you can decline to take the one offered by the car rental company thereby avoiding any additional charges for insurance.

Reserve the car for a longer period to get a lower rate.  This may sound absurd but most systems are set up to give you a discount the longer you rent.  Of course, you don’t have to keep the car for that period but you still pay the lower rate.  Last weekend, a compact car for a 4-day rental was $299.95 but $339.95 for a 7 day rental.  We kept the car for 6 days and got the best rate with a free upgrade.  Most times when you are dealing with a local car rental company, the best things to do is pick-up the phone and speak with an agent.  Good Luck!

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