5 Best Car Rental Apps for NYC

Best Car Rental App New York
Author: Nzoputa Erik
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Ah, New York, the city that never sleeps! 

While it’s known for its extensive public transportation system, there’s nothing quite like the freedom and flexibility of having your own set of wheels. If you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple or are a local needing a quick ride, choosing the best car rental app can be your secret weapon for a smooth and stress-free experience.

This article will guide you through the bustling digital streets of car rental apps. We’ll compare features, user reviews, and the unique advantages of NYC’s top car rental apps.

So, we’ve got you covered, whether you’re hoping to navigate through Manhattan, explore the outer boroughs, or even venture beyond the city limits. 

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Key Takeaways

  • A wide range of car rental apps are available in NYC, each with unique features and benefits. These include Zipcar, Getaround, HyreCar, Turo, Expedia, Skyscanner, Rentalcars.com, and Cargo.
  • The best app for you will depend on your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for a traditional car rental, an hourly rental, or a unique car, there’s an app out there for you.
  • Each app comes with its terms and conditions. Ensure you understand these, especially regarding payment, insurance, and cancellation policies.
  • To rent a car in NYC, you must meet certain requirements, including age restrictions, a valid driver’s license, and a valid payment method.
  • Take the time to research and compare different apps. Look at customer reviews, compare prices, and check the variety of available cars before deciding.

Here are our winners in a short overview:

AppFeaturesUnique AdvantagesBest For
ZipcarShort-term rentals, keyless entry, fuel and insurance included in the hourly rate.Convenient and flexible model, ideal for city dwellers needing a car for a few hours.Short trips around the city, shopping, or quick out-of-town trips.
GetaroundPeer-to-peer car-sharing, seamless car rental and unlocking features.Variety of personal vehicles for rent, from compact city cars to luxury vehicles.Those who need a car for a few hours or days.
HyreCarCar-sharing platform for drivers needing a vehicle for on-demand services like Uber or Lyft.Meets the insurance requirements of rideshare and delivery platforms.Drivers needing a car for rideshare or delivery services.
TuroPeer-to-peer car-sharing platform, offers a variety of unique cars.Range of unique vehicles traditional rental companies cannot match.Individuals looking for a unique and personalized car rental experience.
Traditional Car Rental Apps (Expedia, Skyscanner, Rentalcars.com, Carngo)Partnerships with major car rental companies, variety of rental options, filter features.Better suited for conventional car rental services and long-term rentals.Individuals looking for conventional car rental services.

#1: Zipcar

Zipcar has become a top choice among New York City car rental apps, particularly for shorter rentals.

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This unique car-sharing service operates on a convenient and flexible model that caters well to the dynamic pace of life in the city.

Understanding the Zipcar App

Zipcar is a user-friendly car rental app that makes accessing a vehicle for short periods incredibly easy.

The app is designed to help users locate a Zipcar, reserve it, unlock it, and drive, all within a few taps on their smartphones.

This is perfect for city dwellers who need a car for a few hours to run errands, go shopping, or take a quick out-of-town trip.

How Zipcar Works

Zipcar leasing is a straightforward process that requires signing up and becoming a member of Zipcar’s community.

The app provides details about the location and type of car available, and when you’re ready to start your trip, you can unlock the car from the app. 

Zipcars have keyless entry, and the cost of fuel, insurance, and 180 miles of driving per day are included in the hourly rate.

At the end of your reservation, you return the car to its designated parking spot, lock it using the app, and walk away.

Why Zipcar is Perfect for Shorter Rentals

Zipcar is a business model that allows you to rent cars by the hour, making it a cost-effective choice for short trips. It also eliminates many of the hassles associated with traditional car rentals.

It provides a variety of vehicle types, from compact cars to vans, to ensure you can find a vehicle to suit your specific needs for each rental. This convenience of booking, accessing, and returning a Zipcar through the app is a major advantage for city residents with busy schedules.

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#2: Getaround 

In the bustling streets of New York City, convenience is key, especially regarding transportation.

Getaround, a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform, offers just that. Known for its seamless car rental and unlocking features, it stands out as a top car rental app in the city.

Understanding Getaround

Getaround is a car-sharing platform that connects car owners who want to earn extra income from their idle cars with those who need a vehicle for a few hours or days.

Unlike traditional car rental services, Getaround offers a vast array of personal vehicles for rent, from compact city cars to luxury vehicles.

 How Getaround Works

Getaround is a car rental service that offers unparalleled convenience, allowing you to access your rental car anytime, anywhere, without physical interaction with the car owner.

It details each car, including the make, model, year, rental price, car owner’s rules, and user reviews.

The app also allows users to book cars instantly and unlock them from their smartphones.

Why Choose Getaround?

Getaround offers a peer-to-peer car-sharing model at competitive prices, allowing renters to access various vehicles.

It also offers unique and personal vehicles, instant booking and unlocking, insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and peace of mind while on the road.

#3: HyreCar 

In the rapidly evolving world of on-demand services, HyreCar is a top car rental app in New York City.

HyreCar is a unique platform that connects vehicle owners with drivers who need a car for rideshare or delivery services, filling a specific niche in the car rental market.

What is HyreCar?

HyreCar is a car-sharing platform for drivers needing a vehicle for on-demand services like Uber, Lyft, or food delivery applications like DoorDash and Postmates.

The platform allows car owners to monetize idle vehicles by renting them out to drivers in need.

Why HyreCar Stands Out

HyreCar provides a unique solution for drivers who don’t have access to an eligible vehicle, eliminating the need for long-term investments.

It also offers insurance coverage that meets the requirements of rideshare and delivery platforms, providing peace of mind for both vehicle owners and renters.

Additionally, HyreCar can generate passive income from their idle vehicles by renting them out to verified drivers, with the added reassurance of insurance coverage.

#4: Turo

For those seeking a car rental service that offers a unique and personalized experience, Turo is a leading choice in New York City. Turo has redefined car rental as an innovative car-sharing platform, allowing users to rent unique cars directly from local hosts.

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What is Turo?

Turo is a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform, often called the ‘Airbnb for cars.’ This platform connects car owners (hosts) with individuals (guests) looking to rent a vehicle temporarily.

Turo’s model enables a wide variety of cars to be available for rent, from everyday commuter cars to luxury vehicles and even classic cars.

Renting Unique Cars with Turo

Turo offers a variety of unique cars available to rent, from high-performance sports cars to vintage classics, luxury SUVs, and campervans, offering a range of vehicles that traditional rental companies cannot match.

How Turo Works

Turo is a platform that allows users to browse cars in their area or travel destination, filtering search results by vehicle type, price, features, and more. After selecting a car, users can book it through the platform and meet the host, who will hand over the keys after a quick vehicle walkthrough.

At the end of the rental period, the car is returned to the host, refueled, and cleaned, similar to a traditional rental.

#5: Traditional Car Rental Apps

While new, innovative car rentals apps like Zipcar, Getaround, and Turo are redefining the car rental landscape, traditional car rentals apps such as Expedia, Skyscanner, Rentalcars.com, and Carngo continue to play a significant role, particularly for those seeking conventional car rental services.


Expedia is a travel booking platform offering various services, including flight and hotel bookings, vacation packages, and car rentals, with partnerships with major car rental companies.

Their user-friendly interface and comprehensive filter options make it easy to find the perfect car for your needs.


Primarily known for flight comparisons, Skyscanner also offers a reliable car rental service. It operates similarly to Expedia, allowing users to compare prices from car rental companies.

One of Skyscanner’s strengths is its ability to provide localized options thanks to its wide-ranging global network, making it a solid choice for international travelers.


Rentalcars.com is a platform dedicated to car rental, offering a wide range of options from compact cars to mid-day vehicles.

It also allows for comprehensive filtering, including automatic or manual transmission options, fuel policy, and the rental company’s customer rating.


Car rental apps have revolutionized how we rent cars, but the best app for you depends on your specific needs, preferences, and circumstances.

Expedia, Skyscanner, Rentalcars.com, and Carngo are traditional car rental apps, while Zipcar and Turo are more personalized and unique.

It is also important to understand your specific requirements before making a decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Car Rental App in NYC?

There’s no definitive answer, as it depends on your specific needs. However, popular choices include Zipcar for short-term rentals, Getaround for instant bookings, and Turo for unique car options.

Can I Book a Car on These Apps Instantly?

Yes, most apps, like Getaround, allow instant booking and unlocking of cars through your smartphone.

Are These Apps Suitable for Long-Term Rentals?

Most car rental apps cater to short-term or hourly rentals. However, traditional car rentals companies like Expedia or RentalCars.com may be more suitable for long-term rentals.

Can I Rent a Car for Rideshare or Delivery Services?

Yes, certain apps, like HyreCar, are specifically designed to allow you to rent cars for ridesharing or delivery services.

Are There Any Requirements to Rent a Car Through These Apps in NYC?

Each app has its own requirements, but generally, you must be at least 21, have a valid driver’s license, and have a clean driving record. In addition, some apps may require a membership.

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