Weekends in the city are full of opportunity and excitement. Whether you’re relaxing in Central Park or shopping up a storm on Fifth Avenue, there’s never a shortage of things to see and do – provided you have a way to get around.
Finding an affordable, convenient form of transportation in Manhattan can be a nightmare come Friday afternoon. So, what’s the secret to snagging the best deal? Turns out it has a lot to do with the type of vehicle you rent, when you rent it, and who your rent it from.
Understanding the Market
The Manhattan weekend car rental market is extremely competitive. What’s more, there’s always a high demand for vehicles. Thanks to Manhattan’s low personal automobile ownership numbers (75% of residents don’t have wheels), much of the demand comes from within the city as residents’ gear up for a weekend away from the island. Couple that with natural demand from out-of-town visitors and it’s easy to see why some agencies will increase their prices in order to generate big profits.
The Most In-Demand Vehicles
Small cars, especially compacts, are always tough to find come Friday afternoon. Coveted for their fuel efficiency, compacts provide travelers with the most bang for their buck. SUVs and minivans are also popular options as they have the largest capacity. Demand for luxury and specialty vehicles, including 15 passenger van rentals, spike in the summer months as weddings, proms and other special events dominate the city’s social calendar.
Avoid The Obvious: Chains and ZipCar
When it comes to tracking down an affordable Manhattan weekend car rental, the obvious options are often the most expensive.
Costly Convenience: ZipCar
While convenient, ZipCars are the most costly car rental option in NYC. What started as a moderately priced enterprise ($8/hr on weekends) has now become an expensive undertaking at roughly $100 a day. And that’s only after you pay the membership rate.
Another ZipCar-like service, Mint Car, only operates in Manhattan. Slightly cheaper, these cars will still run you close to $99 a day on the pay as you go plan.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better: Chains
Many Manhattan car rental customers assume that large chain companies offer the best weekend rental rates simply because they’re large companies. In all actuality, this is rarely the case. Chain car rental companies located in Manhattan rarely offer discounted rates on weekends, choosing instead to increase rates in order to generate profits. What’s more, most car rental coupons and discounts distributed by the agencies are not valid at a Manhattan location. So even though you might think that you’re going to get a deal, disappointment is often waiting for you at the rental desk.
Should You Sacrifice Convenience for Price?
For most Manhattan-ites, the easiest way to save on a weekend car rental is to reserve a vehicle from an agency located outside the city. Online forums discussing weekend rental woes in the city suggest renting from car rental locations in Newark, and even Meriden, Connecticut! Talk about an inconvenience. According to these online sources, you can secure a car rental off the island for roughly half the price of what you’d pay for a rental in Manhattan.
If only these folks knew about AllCar!
Convenient and Cost-Effective
AllCar Rent-A-Car understands how frustrating it can be to find a weekend rental in New York City. In order to help alleviate this frustration, our various New York City locations often ban together to help handle demand and improve vehicle availability. As such, it’s not uncommon for us to bring vehicles in from Brooklyn to help accommodate rental requests at our Manhattan locations. By keeping our fleet fluent, we’re able to easily manage customer requests, without increasing prices.
What’s more, AllCar prides itself on being a hyper-local focused organization. So, even though there may be hundreds of car rental providers in the city, we’re one of just two located in the underserved area of Harlem.
Finding an affordable car rental in Manhattan doesn’t have to be impossible. Simply contact our reservations hotline at 1-800-697-2227 or review our location page for more information.