New York

LaGuardia Airport Car Rental: The Best Companies

by Michael Franco  |  Published December 18, 2015

There are ten car rental companies at LaGuardia Airport (LGA), New York. TravelMag.com evaluated them all and chose those that are tops in three different categories.

La Guardia Airport, New York City (Photo: R. Trinh via Flickr)

To get to LGA’s rental car center upon arrival, simply follow the Ground Transportation signs and then the Rental Shuttle Pickup signs on the outside of the terminal, where you can catch the free shuttle from the appropriate agency. Shuttles operate 24 hours a day and most take 5-15 minutes to reach the rental center, depending on traffic and your specific agency’s location.

Comparison Engines: Find the best car rental deals

Although we’ve done most of the homework for you regarding rental cars at LaGuardia Airport, it’s always best to do your own comparison shopping to find the best deals. For that, we recommend two reliable, easy-to-use online booking services: CheapCarRental.net and BookingBuddy.com.

The results of our review

To determine which rental car companies offer you the best options across our three categories, TravelMag.com carefully evaluated the services, fleet availability, reviews and policies of the agencies at LaGuardia Airport. Our findings are as follows.

Most affordable: Thrifty

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Your best bet for an affordable rental at LaGuardia airport appears to be Thrifty, with Payless and Enterprise tied for a very close second place. These three companies offer economy, compact, intermediate, standard, and full-sized cars at significantly lower rates than other national competitors. For our sample week’s booking, Thrifty rates were cheaper by as much as 40%. It’s worth noting, though, that for the lowest prices, Thrifty may determine the make and model of your car upon pickup. Other companies seem to adhere more strictly to certain categories. While Payless considers an economy car to be a Ford Fiesta or similar, comparably priced Enterprise and Budget options put Nissan Versa and Ford Focus, respectively, in the same class. You might be able to get a preferable car from Enterprise or Budget for just a few dollars more than Thrifty or Payless.

Best for business travelers: Hertz

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If you’re traveling to NYC for work, consider renting from Hertz. Hertz offers their Gold customers the “Carfirmation” service, which confirms reservations through text and emails and alerts travelers to the locations of their cars so that they can skip the check-in counter. It also shows other cars available and lets customers choose the one they want right from their mobile device. Additionally, the company provides “Zap Technology” which is a quick check-in process when the cars are returned. They also offer a service called “Acceler-Rental,” which allows drivers to rent a car from an automated kiosk even if they don’t have a reservation, which again, eliminates the need to stand in a lengthy line at the check-in counter. These perks helped Hertz top Zagat’s list as the best agency for business travelers.

Best for luxury cars: Budget

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Budget has the lowest prices in the premium and luxury categories, just edging out Avis’s prices on similar vehicles. If Budget does not have your preferred car available, Avis will likely have a comparable — or higher performance — make and model for a slightly greater expense. This slightly higher cost could seem especially worth it to luxury consumers. For instance, Budget’s reference point for a premium car is a Ford Taurus Limited, while Avis’s is a Chrysler 300. Both list a Lincoln MKS as their representative model on the luxury level.
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