2 Month Rental Car in NYC?
April 2, 2006 12:43 AM   Subscribe

So we need to rent a car for 2 months this summer, and most car rental agencies are quoting us numbers in excess of $2 or 3K. What Would The Green Do?

Also, please note: ZIPCAR IS NOT AN OPTION.

This is for a rental that we can pick up anywhere in the NY, MA, CT, PA, NJ area local to New York City and leave upstate in New York for the duration of the rental period.
posted by yellowcandy to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd buy a shitbox for $500, spend another $500 on having the worst faults fixed, and give it away to some homeless person afterwards.
posted by flabdablet at 1:24 AM on April 2, 2006

I don't think you are going to find much cheaper than that for an extended car rental, although sometimes the weekly rates can actually be cheaper if they are having a special. Not cheaper enough to make a difference though.

I would try to find someone on Craigslist or an aquaintance who would let you take their car that they have parked in NYC and aren't using for a few months, and maybe offer them some cash instead. Of course, then you gotta deal with private insurance, etc.
posted by sophist at 1:36 AM on April 2, 2006

A few of my friends have had success with flabdablet's solution. Two others didn't. So, YMMV, IANACS (car salesman), etc., but if you're smart about picking which junker you buy.

Someone bought a cheap car a efw years ago and now their engine and drive-train are due for a major overhaul? Bingo.

Totaled car with (repaired) frame damage? Err... This one is for the brave, the desperate, and the stupid. :-)
posted by Yeomans at 3:34 AM on April 2, 2006

You're in New York. Craigslist is in New York. Problem solved!

Don't buy a $500 shitbox. Instead, spend $2000 and get a decent, functional car. It should be a common car, nothing unusual. Something like a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. Take the time to have it checked out by a mechanic. Make sure the air conditioning and radio work. You want a commuter car that's cheap, boring, and reliable.

At the end of your trip, sell it for $500 less than paid. Explain why you're selling it. It should sell very, very fast. If you're not in a hurry to sell you could probably break even.

Here are some examples from the SF craigslist:
1994 Honda Civic DX - $2100
1995 Honda Civic 4 Door Automatic - $1800
'93 Corolla Wagon - $2150
1994 Mitsubishi Galant - $1900
posted by ryanrs at 4:46 AM on April 2, 2006

Short term car lease? I haven't the tiniest bit of experience with this but it seems to be another alternative.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:36 AM on April 2, 2006

Note that if you buy a car, you'll need insurance and registration for it, which will be hard costs. You will want to call American insurance companies and get this lined up before you go; you don't want to waste much time during your vacation dealing with this.
posted by Malor at 8:56 AM on April 2, 2006

Oh, I was assuming you were foreign... your profile says you're in NY already.

Buying a car should be an excellent idea, you'll be able to take care of everything before you actually need to drive anywhere.
posted by Malor at 8:58 AM on April 2, 2006

Car ads on craigslist often advertise the registration expiration date. It's a very efficient market.

I just noticed one of the cars I posted has already been sold. On a Sunday, before 9am.
posted by ryanrs at 9:22 AM on April 2, 2006

I would buy a car for $2000, have it tuned up by a mechanic and then sell it when done with it. Probably end up costing you less than $1000 when all is done.
posted by camworld at 12:51 PM on April 2, 2006

If you want to get a little more peace of mind, you can call local dealers and see if you can do a short-term rental on an off-lease vehicle.

A friend of the family would do this for two months every summer, and it would cost him about as much as new car payments would.

Also, there's always swapalease.
posted by Kwantsar at 1:45 PM on April 2, 2006

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