Car rental in New York
Rent a car in New York

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Despite being famed for its glistening skyline, bustling shopping streets and fantastic museums, New York is much more than Manhattan. With a rental car in New York, you can explore the cut and thrust of this urban heavyweight before escaping to the undulating mountains of the Adirondacks and catching magical sunsets on ethereal Fire Island. This varied and naturally beautiful state has cosmopolitanism and rural delights in equal measure, all of which await when you rent a car in the aptly named city that never sleeps.

It's your choice: Where to go in New York

Cheap flights to New York from the UK will land in the city's JFK or Newark airports, as La Guardia is reserved for domestic flights. Journey times to Manhattan when you rent a car in New York are approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic. The average flight duration between New York and the United Kingdom is 6 hours and the state operates on Eastern Daylight Time, which is 4 hours behind GMT (GMT-4). Seasons in New York largely mirror those in the UK, though visitors should expect colder temperatures in the winter and long, hot summers with temperatures regularly reaching over 30 degrees Celsius. Those travelling on a British passport do not require a visa to enter the United States but an online registration form and payment are required at least a couple of days before you travel.

Things to do in New York

New York is one of the world's most diverse cities with endless things to see and do, both day and night. Midtown's attractions include the iconic Times Square, Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building and Broadway's theatre district showcasing the very best in live entertainment. Downtown is home to attractions such as St. Patrick's Cathedral and the moving memorial to the September 11th attacks - booking in advance is required to visit the memorial and the former site of the Twin Towers. One must-do is taking the ferry to Ellis Island and catching a glimpse of Statue of Liberty, which historically welcomed immigrants to America and was a gift from the French government. Drive across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, stop for a picnic in Prospect Park and head to Coney Island for an afternoon at this delightfully kitsch theme park. To make the most of your trip, consider exploring Manhattan like a local, either on foot or by subway, both to avoid traffic and to take in New York's vibrant atmosphere firsthand.

Important info about New York

Being famous for its urban epicentre, the wider state is actually largely rural. When you rent a car in New York, make sure to get out of the city and take in some truly spectacular nature. Take the opportunity to explore some upscale beach destinations with your rental car in Long Island, which forms part of metro New York. Here you can explore Fire Island National Seashore, pristine beaches along the North Shore, iconic lighthouses and discover opportunities for hiking, swimming and boating. Long Island's Central and Eastern Suffolk Counties are also home to gorgeous wineries and laid-back beach towns. To bypass traffic, it's advisable to drive via Staten Island or take a car ferry. When you rent a car in New York you can also head north to the rugged Catskills. The wild lakes and mountains feel a world away from the cosmopolitan city streets and offer locals a much-needed slice of nature.

Weather in New York
Country United States of America
Language English
Currency US dollar
Time-Zones GMT -4
Country Code +1646

Good to know

If you hold a valid license issued by another country, you don't need to apply for a special permit if you are merely visiting. However, an international permit is advised for those whose original license is not in English. Though a credit card is not a legal requirement to rent a car in New York, this can cause delays due to pre-screening process and it is, therefore, advisable to contact the rental firm in advance. Vehicles drive on the right in New York so make sure you are comfortable with this before renting a car - especially if you plan to drive on Manhattan's busy streets. Keep an eye out for signs indicating specific road rules, such as no turning left between certain times and in most of the country turning right on a red light is prohibited.

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What to taste in New York

As one of the world's great international cities, New York's food scene is unrivalled in terms of choice. From the classic American hot dog to Michelin starred restaurants, New York caters to all palates and budgets. The culinary journey starts with breakfast and it doesn't get more New York than the bagel. Choose from an array of toppings and wash it down with a freshly squeezed orange juice. For a quick lunch, grab a slice of authentic Italian pizza, many of which are still prepared by immigrant Italian families who are now part of the fabric of New York. Sample a classic steak for dinner followed by a slice of creamy New York-style baked cheesecake or head to one of the many fantastic burger joints to see how they do this perennial favourite Stateside. And vegans and vegetarians will delight in the sheer variety of plant-based fare on offer in the City.

What to bring to your friends from New York

New York's shopping scene is one of the most eclectic in the world and when it comes to souvenirs, you will be spoilt for choice. Either opt for one of the classic gifts such as a New York T-shirt or mug, or seek out the one-off boutiques for something more unique. Take a stroll through bohemian Williamsburg in Brooklyn, or explore the vintage shops and boutiques of Nolita and Chelsea to find some true gems for your loved ones - and probably a few for yourself as well!