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Photograph: Courtesy Silvercar

Six excellent places to rent a car in NYC

Next time you need to getaway, forgo the train and bus route and ride in style by renting a car in NYC

By Jennifer Picht
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New York City's subway, train and bus systems are pretty convenient, even though we have a few complaints. (We're looking at you, MTA.) However, sometimes those transit options aren’t the most reliable (or enjoyable) way to ride. When nature calls for things to do upstate, or if you simply need to get out of town, the easiest option may be to rent a car. In NYC, there are various companies that offer decent deals on wheels for any upcoming fall day trips or summer getaways you’re planning. Before you book just any car rental service, takes a few of our recommendations for a test drive first. 

RECOMMENDED: Read our full travel from New York City guide 

Best car rental services in NYC

Photograph: Courtesy Jeremy Cohen

1. Silvercar by Audi

In this day and age, we do everything from read the news to book a flight through an app on our phones. So why should renting a car for a day or week be any different? Enter Silvercar by Audi, one of the few reliable on-demand car booking apps that let you reserve a set of wheels with ease as well as some serious style. Beat the lines and the tedious paperwork when you use this service that operates out of four car rental locations in New York (Brooklyn Downtown, McCarren Hotel & Pool, Columbus Circle and River Place at 42nd Street). The app takes you through each step from reserving your always-silver Audi (the Audi A4 is $59/day and the Audi Q5 is $79/day) to deciding whether or not you need insurance. The most impressive part of the experience is your ride—not only do you get to drive a state-of-the-art Audi, but you get access to all the car’s perks without any fees or strings attached. A navigation system, WiFi and Bluetooth, AppleCarPlay, childseats and ski racks are just some of the bonuses you recieve. One thing is certain: After your journey is through, you’re going to be mighty sad when you have to return your Audi. However, the simplicity of just delivering the car and the keys where you first picked them up will brigthen your spirits. (silvercar.com). 

2. Turo

The idea behind this car rental company is simple—especially if you’re familiar with online dating. It’s like Tinder, but for folks looking for a different kind of ride. Start by entering your location, then peep a lengthy and attractive list of cars (hey, if that’s what you’re into) from brands like Toyota and Lexus to a killer Volkswagen convertible. The cars listed are owned and operated by generous locals looking to make an extra buck, but it’s a pretty decent deal. (Not to mention, you avoid rental counters and all those tedious formalities.) Some of the owners are willing to deliver the car to your ideal location without any additional costs, and certain cars can be borrowed for as little as $29/day. (turo.com). 

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3. Zipcar

There are a bazillion Zipcar locations in New York, so to say you have options is an understatement. Whether you need four wheels to head upstate for a weekend, to visit Coney Island or pick up your visiting family members from the airport, this quick and dependable service is a winner. Even if you simply need a car to run a quick errand, most of them start at a cool $12/hr ($89/day). The styles vary from a snazzy Mercedes-Benz to a more industrial Ford Transit 150 Cargo Van, in case you’re planning a trip with a large group. Apply online to get your application approved and the rest is cake. (zipcar.com). 

4. Car2go

Similar to Zipcar, Car2go likes to keep things easy peasy. One key difference, however, is that this service offers a bit more flexibility. Drivers can drop-off their borrowed vehicles anywhere within the brands “home area” and if you need to cancel your rental, you can do so up to 15 minutes before your registered pickup time without any extra fee. If you just need a ride to run an errand, Car2go is likely your best bet as it's a little bit cheaper—you pay between 41 and 49 cents per minute.(car2go.com). 

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5. Dollar Car Rental

Don’t be deceived: you can’t rent a car for a one single dollar from this company. However, they are very mindful of hooking you up with the best option for your wallet. Without sacrificing the quality, anyone with wanderlust can find a trusty steed (or stallion, if you want a luxury sports car) to get you from point A to point B. There are a few more fees attached, for instance car seats and navigation systems are extra. (dollar.com

6. Budget

Similar to Dollar Car Rental, Budget offers affordable rates among various priced vehicles while catering to your specific rental needs. The brand offers 31 styles and models from expensive models and SUVs to 12-passenger vans. If you’re looking for a ride that suits a rustic, nature-filled adventure, there’s a Jeep Wrangler ($272 for two-day rental) with your name on it. (budget.com

Searching for awesome fall getaways?

Photograph: Courtesy Collective Hudson Valley

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Even the most loyal New Yorkers crave a break from the city, and lucky for us, these fall getaways are just a few hours away. 

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