Good car rental place in Manhattan?
August 18, 2012 5:51 PM   Subscribe

We live in Manhattan NYC and need to rent a minivan to take our son's stuff up to his college on Sunday September 2nd (two weeks from tomorrow)...but it's getting complicated...

The reason that it needs to be a minivan is because we're bringing up his bicycle as well as a ton of other stuff.

We've used Enterprise in the West Village in the past and they've been great and reasonably priced, but they told me that they only open at 3PM on Sundays (amazing to me, but that's how it is). This is very late for us to get going, considering we have to pack the van, drive two hours upstate, unpack and then get back.

Probably we'll be back too late to return the car and will have to pay for parking somewhere and return the van early Monday morning.

I did reserve the minivan from them for $142.99.

I also reserved a minivan at a local Avis for the price of --- $287.69. Ouch.

Does anyone have any favorite car rental places in downtownish Manhattan/the Village/etc. I should try?

Thank you. By the way, please don't suggest that we tie the bike to the top of a car. This is not going to work for us (we are not Mitt Romney and the bike is not a dog etc.)
posted by DMelanogaster to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (15 answers total)
posted by elizardbits at 6:02 PM on August 18, 2012

Hit post too fast. You can generally return zipcars 24h a day because they are kept in 24h garages, not actual rental agencies.
posted by elizardbits at 6:03 PM on August 18, 2012

posted by pickypicky at 6:12 PM on August 18, 2012

There are zipcar minivans available in Manhattan for $16 / hour or $148 per day. It doesn't take long to get a zipcar membership, but if you want to go that route, I'd highly recommend doing it quickly in order to reserve the van as soon as possible. And you can also park the zipcar in the spot where you found it, sparing you the cost of parking overnight.
posted by frizz at 6:21 PM on August 18, 2012

You could borrow a trunk rack to carry the bike that way. Or do you require a lot of cargo space?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:28 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Don't know how inconvienent it would be for you, but a lot of airport rental counters are open Sundays: maybe try there?
posted by easily confused at 6:28 PM on August 18, 2012

Maybe a different suggestion....move in early and then rent the van on a Saturday? My first school was 9 hours from home and they had early move-in.
posted by nevercalm at 6:53 PM on August 18, 2012

Where is "up to college"?

Zipcar is a good idea, because you don't pick up at a rental location but at a parking lot. That said, minivans go fast.

Most rental car companies in Manhattan open at three on Sundays because most people return Sundays after renting over the weekend. There's little or no demand for rentals early Sunday morning.

If college is close enough for commuter rail, can someone bring the bike up later? Metro North allows bikes, and I think LIRR and NJ Transit turn a blind eye to it.
posted by Sara C. at 6:53 PM on August 18, 2012

This is the sort of thing where my first impulse woulld be to rent a U-Haul.
posted by Scientist at 6:57 PM on August 18, 2012

Uhaul has vans. I don't know about Manhattan locations, but there's one in Yonkers. Airport car rentals are beastly expensive.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:04 PM on August 18, 2012

Aamcar on West 96th? I think they have vans.

Regarding Sara C.: Metro North, LIRR and NJ Transit all have complicated rules on when bikes are allowed. Plan in advance if you decide to go with Sara C's suggestion.
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:19 PM on August 18, 2012

Lots of rental companies are open all day in Manhattan - I just rented a car for two different weekends this fall and couldn't rent in Brooklyn because of the weird hours, but had no trouble finding many places open in Manhattan. Hertz, Avis.

Renting from Avis in Jersey City (Newport Mall, easily accessible by PATH) is cheaper than NY.

Do you happen to bank with USAA? They have *amazing* discount codes for rental cars. Check out the site.

If not USAA, check with your employer to see if they offer discount codes. They're not as good as USAA's, but they're better than full price.
posted by valeries at 8:24 PM on August 18, 2012

Looks like Hertz has a location right at 18 Morton St., open from 8 AM to 11 PM that Sunday.
posted by greenland at 8:45 PM on August 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

cc rentals.

please dont tell anyone. they're awesome.
posted by lalochezia at 10:21 PM on August 19, 2012

And be sure to check the mileage allowances. For example, U-Haul looks like a great deal with 3 vehicles (pickup truck, van, or truck) at $19.95 (plus CDW of $11, plus Env. fee of $1 = $31 total), but the $1.29 per mile will put a drive upstate to $500 ! Still possibly a good deal. For comparison I see that lalochezia's suggestion of cc rentals has a 100 mile a day allowance (can't find what happens if you exceed that).

Do you have a car? Do you plan on visiting any time soon? Perhaps leave the bike for another weekend?
posted by at at 8:20 AM on August 21, 2012

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