Car Rental in NYC

Old May 5th, 2010, 12:01 PM
  #1  
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Car Rental in NYC

I will be visiting NYC in a couple of weeks and renting a car to travel outside of the city. I have a reservation with Dollar Rent a Car at 263 W 52nd Street. I chose this office because they are located close to my hotel and didn't charge a drop fee to return to the airport. But now I am wondering if this was a good choice because:
1. I can't find anything online about this particular location. In fact, the national reservation center can't even provide me with a direct phone number to the 52nd street location.
2. I have since read some reviews about the other Manhattan Dollar locations that are pretty bad, including arriving and having no cars available at all.

Does anyone have any knowledge of this rental car office? Should I look into other options? I am now wondering if the deal I got was too good to be true and if we might end up stuck in NYC without a rental car.

Thanks!
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Old May 5th, 2010, 12:53 PM
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Have a look at this from Google Maps: http://bit.ly/9wJUl7. Dollar seems to be located in a Central Parking garage just west of the August Wilson Theater on West 52nd Street. The phone number for the garage (listed on Central's site as 289 West 52nd) is 212-245-0068.

Here's the location on Dollar's own website: http://bit.ly/92V5Cl. There, the listed phone is 866-434-2226.

Good luck.
bspielman is offline  
Old May 5th, 2010, 05:17 PM
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It's always possible to have a reservation and not get a car in NYC. the culprits are major holidays and warm weathr weekends. The companies anticipate a number of no shows and rent more cars than they have. I've had to 1)take a cab to LGA to pick up a car - at their expense and 2) wait almost an hour for a bunch of cars to be driven in from Newark.

I don;t think this is a function of price - but of what time of day you pick up the car - and if you have special requirements. (I've seen people with 3 kids being offered the last car they had - a Mustang.)

Don;t know anything about this office - but you can call the number listed above.

When will you want to rent the car? If a summer weekend you usually need to pick up on Thursday - or latest Fri early am.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 07:59 PM
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Thanks for the replies. the number provided by the website (and listed above) is the number for the main reservation system, not the actual location.

My reservation is for Saturday, May 22, scheduled to pick up at 3:00 p.m.

I checked into rates at Hertz on W. 55th and could reserve a car there, but reserving there now would be a price difference of over $100. I guess I am just wondering if one car rental office would be any more likely to have a car than another. Is Hertz more reliable such that it would be worth changing my reservation?

We are heading to a wedding in PA, so not having a car would defeat the purpose of our trip to the area. I just want to make sure I cover my bases. Thanks for any advice!
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Old May 5th, 2010, 08:06 PM
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I don't know how to answer your questions, but I've rented from Hertz at that location with no problems - driving a car from there to PA with a drop at the Philly airport. Do you have any discounts that could bring the price down? (AAA, Costco, organization discounts?)
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Old May 5th, 2010, 08:27 PM
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Alamo and National are the same company now.

_____________________________

We rent cars regularly in Manhattan. I cannot vouch for those locations. But I stopped using the Alamo/National in th West Village because of continuous problems.

Also rentals in Manhattan are more expensive on the weekends than during the week because of people like me.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 04:03 AM
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If you're finding a lot of complaints online for that location, I'd avoid it, especially for a Sat. afternoon pickup. There are more options than the Hertz. There's a Budget I think on west 49th and an Avis in the west 50's. You might also want to check price of picking up in Jersey City. I think there's an Avis or Hertz desk at the Hyatt in Jersey City that's an easy PATH ride from Manhattan. If not, there may be one at the Newport Center Mall.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 04:17 AM
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Could you go to Neward Airport and rent there? Even with the cost of a car service, it might be cheaper than renting in Manhattan and you would not have to drive out of the city.

If you are leaving from LGA or JFK, maybe you could rent and return there.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 06:01 AM
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Personally, I think you're getting too worked up about the possibility that a car won't be available. That's a risk at any Manhattan car-rental office on any summer weekend. Cars tend to sell out all over town every weekend all summer long, so I don't think it's particularly better to rent from one location than another. But if you can make another reservation for no cost and without giving a credit card, then it might be worth it, but make your back-up reservation somewhere outside of Manhattan.

It would not be cheaper to take a car service to EWR ($70) and rent there. That would simply double the cost. The way to save money by renting in NJ is to take public transportation (i.e., the PATH) to a non-airport location and rent. Perhaps there is a car-rental office near the Journal Square or Newport Center PATH stops.

In a last-ditch effort to get a car, you could also take NJ Transit somewhere out into Central NJ and rent. Or you could also try Pennsylvania, where there are a lot of options depending on where you go. There's a Hertz office in North White Plains across from the Metro North Station (and it's very easy to reach by highway as well), but that would certainly add to the trip's length.

Where is the wedding? If we knew more of the details, we might be able to help you formulate a back-up plan. Some kind of non-car option (or at least a combo of transit a car-rental) might actually be a viable one depending on where the wedding is.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 06:27 AM
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But the reservation keeps the car here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7uvttu8ct0
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:28 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. The wedding is near Allentown, but since we will need a car while we are there and transportation back to Newark airport, renting seems to be a better option than the train. When I looked earlier, the additional drop off fee canceled out any savings gained from renting outside the city (renting in Manhattan means there is no drop charge for returning it to Newark).

I am also considering the time factor. I was hoping to maximize our time in Manhattan on Saturday and didn't want to spend a lot of time traveling out of the way to pick up a car.

However, I will look again at some of the NJ locations mentioned above and see what sort of back-up plan I can come up with. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:33 AM
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I am looking into the suggestion of taking PATH to NJ to get a car. We will have luggage with us - hopefully not too much, but at least a carry-on size rolling suitcase. Is it reasonable to manage luggage on the PATH trains (I have no familiarity with this system, so not sure what this would involve).

Thanks!
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:20 AM
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Yes, it is. It's like a subway. But check schedule for Sat. to whichever stop you need. If it's Newport Center Mall, you may have to transfer at Hoboken.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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Your posts seem to indicate you intend to rent your car in Manhattan at 3 p.m. on Saturday having stayed overnight at a West 50s hotel, then drive (I assume on Saturday) to Allentown, PA (about two hours considering tunnel traffic leaving NYC--use the Holland; it connects directly with I-78 West, the route to Allentown) for the wedding.

Regarding PATH, the farthest north it goes is Sixth Avenue and 33rd Street. At that location, to my knowledge, you'd have a tough time negotiating stairways with luggage. In any case, it would take you to unfamiliar territory in New Jersey, not necessarily in close proximity to a car rental agency. Why bother?

Since you're considering how to handle luggage, I'm assuming you'll have checked out of your Manhattan hotel and will be returning to EWR to fly out, most probably the next day, Sunday. You're not considering returning to Manhattan Saturday night after the wedding, are you? The tunnel traffic hassle, even late on a Saturday into the early morning on Sunday makes this an unwise idea.

Whether you stay Saturday night in Allentown or near EWR, you'd be returning your car at EWR. Why not rent it there? After checking out on Saturday, you could choose from several usual ways to get to EWR:

Least expensive but somewhat problematical, though certainly not impossible, with luggage, is NJTransit from Penn Station (yes, you'd have to cab there--just as with PATH), then EWR's AirTrain (monorail) from the NJTransit station directly to EWR's major rental car stations: http://www.panynj.gov/airports/ewr-airtrain.html. The significant advantage here is the direct access to the car rental counters.

There are also airport shuttle vans that will pick you up at your hotel, and, of course, car services. Also, any NYC taxi will take you to EWR for a fixed fare.

Granted, going to EWR to rent a car does not fulfill your criterion of maximizing your time in NYC on Saturday, but it makes much greater sense than traveling to a car rental agency somewhere in New Jersey that is totally unfamiliar to you.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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There are also buses that will take you to and from Allentown to Midtown Manhattan, and you could then rent a car for use during time in Allentown, return it and take the bus back to NYC. I don't know if there's a car-rental office near the Allentown, but there is pretty good nonstop bus service there, and then you could take a taxi to a car-rental office. That might be a viable option even if you need to get back to EWR for your return flight.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 11:03 AM
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No - I've had problems with Herts and Avis - our preferred providers. Sometiems people don;t bring cars back in time - and sometimes everyone tht reserved shows up. 3pm is a bad tie to ppick up on Sat - they may have none left. I would pick up ealier in the day to be sure of getting one.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:12 PM
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Also a heads up - except for the locations on E. 43rd St amd the one in the E.90's all Avis all Avis locations in Manhattan close on Saturdays at 3:00PM.

I looked at that Dollar location on google maps street view - it's pretty small, inside a garage. Looks a little funky to me.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:05 PM
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I've rented from that location of Dollar a couple of times -- with no problems at all -- in fact had almost instant check in and got my car immediately with a courteous and professional staff.
Yes, it's small, but I'm not sure why "small" is "funky". Beats waiting in line for an hour at some of the huge locations.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 06:59 AM
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Good grief. I'd rent it early and pay for parking for a day (if I were worried about them running out of cars) rather doing all that schlepping to a location in NJ.

It's easy-peasy to pick up a car and drive it out of the city.

You'd have to pay me $100 to go to all that trouble with luggage and travel time.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 07:15 PM
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Thanks again for the help with this. I don't want to make too big a deal out of this, but I know my mom will be really disappointed if we end up getting stuck waiting for a car and miss the wedding rehearsal dinner Sat night. As I am the one in charge of planning the trip for her, I want to make sure I cover my bases. So, here are my two plans. I would appreciate any feedback on these options:

1. Option A: Try to pick up the rental car early to assure that we get it. The complication here is that we are scheduled to take a tour at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum at 12:00. I scheduled it without realizing how much time might be involved in picking up the car. So, in order to get the car early, I would have to pick it up before we head downtown to the museum (rather than after the tour). Is it reasonable to think I could drive from midtown to downtown having never driven in New York? I am a decent driver, but this would be new to me. I would also be concerned about finding parking.

2. Option B: I have a back up reservation at the Avis across from Newport Centre Mall. This would require taking a cab to one of the PATH stations and then going to the Mall via Hoboken. Right now this is my back-up plan, but I considered abandoning Option A and just going to NJ to avoid potential issues at a Manhattan location and the unknown of driving in the city.

starrs, do you think that getting out of the city on a Saturday afternoon will be faster/easier than a 30 min PATH ride to NJ?

Any other thoughts/suggestions welcome! Thanks so much everyone!
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