New York

LaGuardia Airport Car Rental: The Best Companies

by Mark Rebindaine  |  Updated March 29, 2019

Its outdated facilities are infamous and its short runways the butt of many pilot’s jokes, – for one reason or another, LaGuardia (LGA) has plenty of critics. But for a lot of people, it’s the easiest route into New York and if you happen to be flying there, you’ll need the best advice on where to rent a car in this rather chaotic airport.

LaGuardia Airport (Photo: Geoff Stearns via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

To reach the rental car centre, follow the signs to the Rental Shuttle Pickup located just outside the terminal. From here, a free bus will ferry you to your chosen agency although it’s important to know that the bulk of them are located as far as 15 minutes’ drive from the airport. Additionally, a lack of security, especially at night, can be an issue around the parking lots.

To work out which are the best rental car companies across our three categories (Most Affordable, Best for Luxury, Best for Minivans), have conducted research on all the rental agencies based at LaGuardia Airport. Our findings are as follows.

Most affordable: Dollar & Avis

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Dollar and Thrifty have the best options on cheap car rentals at LGA airport with Avis a close second; the other rental car agencies are substantially more expensive. Indeed, on our sample dates, Dollar was almost 100% cheaper than some of the other agencies. So where’s the catch? Firstly, you might have to wait an hour to pick up your car, and this particular branch attracts a fair amount of overall customer criticism. If you’re prepared to pay a little extra (roughly $10 per day more) then Avis receives better customer feedback and boasts a larger selection of cars.

Best for luxury cars: Thrifty & Enterprise

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When it comes to terms synonymous with luxury, ‘Thrifty’ is hardly the first word that comes to mind, but based on our research it was the rental car agency which provided the best prices for luxury cars at LaGuardia airport. It’s worth noting, however, that Thrifty’s idea of premium and luxury vehicles (including a Toyota RAV4 and a Hyundai Santa Fe) may not be quite the same as yours. For a more traditional list of luxury cars, we’d recommend you check out the selection at Enterprise, which includes Cadillacs and Ford Mustangs.

Best for Minivans: Dollar & Avis

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Renting vehicles on the East Coast is definitely not as cheap as the West Coas, and the minivan category is no exception. If there’s seven of you or fewer, then we’d recommend Dollar’s Nissan Quest that was being leased out at $133 on our sample dates. Next on the list, we found Avis’s Chrysler Town & Country which was priced at $141 per day. In the opinion of most owners and experts, the Chrysler Town & Country is more powerful and roomier than the Quest, so for the extra few dollars we believe it’s a better option.