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New York’s extensive public transport network can make hiring a car seem unnecessary, especially if you’re only interested in the main sights. But if you want to explore the beaches, cities and state parks beyond the New York City limits – and you should – getting a rental car could be ideal. 

Language: English | Currency: US Dollar ($) | Avg. Flight time: 8 hrs 5 mins

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Driver requirements

What age do I need to be to hire a vehicle in New York?

New York is one of the few cities in the US that allows drivers as young as 18 to rent a car. In fact, this policy applies across the entire state of New York. That said, you must have held a full driving licence for a minimum of 12 months. If you’re under 25, expect a ‘young driver surcharge’.

What do I need to hire a vehicle in New York?

All the essentials: a full driving licence, an International Driving Permit and a credit card. It’s always useful to bring along a secondary form of ID, such as your passport. This does vary from one car hire company to the next, so do check in advance with your provider.

Do I need car hire excess insurance in New York?

Taking out car hire excess insurance in New York isn’t mandatory, but it’s an extra that’s well worth paying for. To keep your costs down, consider going with a standalone insurance provider – they tend to offer more favourable rates than those offered by car hire companies.

Can I rent a car with a debit card in New York?

You can rent a car with a debit card in New York, but you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money if you book online in advance using a credit card. For example, if you opt to pay with a debit card, you may have to put down a cash deposit as a security.

Which rental companies are available at JFK International Airport?

All the big names in car hire can be found at JFK, including Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Payless and Thrifty. You’ll find desks for most of them at arrivals at each terminal in the airport.

Is it cheaper to rent a car at the airport or off-site in New York?

If you compare deals for hire cars in advance, you could get as good a deal for a rental at the airport as you would for one off-site in New York – if not better (even with a surcharge).

Can you rent a car in New York and drop it off in another city?

Yes. Most hire companies, from Sixt and Enterprise to Alamo and Budget offer one-way rental deals in New York. There’s usually a fee that comes with the convenience, so do shop around for the best deal.

Can you rent a car the same day in New York?

You can hire a car on the same day in New York, but it’s more practical and cheaper to book online in advance. Book on the day and you may find that your choice of rental car is limited, too.

Can I hire a vehicle at 21 years of age in New York?

Yes. You can hire a car in New York if you are 21 years of age – but that’s not the minimum. You can be as young as 18, so long as you’ve been qualified for at least a year. For all drivers under the age of 25, a ‘young driver fee’ will be added to the cost of your rental.

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