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Getting Around New York in a Rental Car

driving tips in new york city

It is easy to see why New York is the 'City that Never Sleeps'; there is plenty to see and do. VroomVroomVrom partners with trusted suppliers such as Hertz, Enterprise, Avis and more to bring you affordable car rental to get you around the city. There are five different boroughs to explore in New York City, and a rental car can easily transport you from Brooklyn to Staten Island, and into the hectic traffic of Manhattan.

Where to drive your rental car in New York

  • Manhattan: This famous borough is home to some of New York City's most iconic landmarks. From Broadway, to Central Park, to the observation deck of the imposing Empire State Building, this is an unforgettable area to explore.
  • Staten Island: The southernmost borough of New York is an interesting destination, with plenty of parklands and historic buildings to discover. Visitors can also take a ride on the famous Staten Island Ferry.
  • Brooklyn: Drive to Brooklyn to visit some great vintage stores and quirky cafes. Walk alongside the river for fantastic views of the New York City skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Queens: Sporting enthusiasts will find plenty to keep them entertained in Queens, and may even catch a New York Mets game. There are many interesting artworks and sculptures in the area.
  • The Bronx: Located to to the north of the city center, the Bronx is home to many attractions such as the Bronx Zoo and City Island.

Driving tips in New York

  • If you are exploring busy areas like Manhattan, consider leaving your rental car at your accommodation and travelling via public transport. New York has an easily accessible subway system and many public buses that can get you around to some of the main attractions.
  • Drive slowly and keep an eye out for pedestrians. Remember New York is one of the busiest cities in the world, and there are a lot of people on the streets.
  • Central New York is designed in a grid pattern. “Streets” run from east to west and “Avenues” run from north to south. Roads are also numbered making it easy to navigate.
  • Unlike many other destinations across the US, you cannot turn right on a red signal.
  • Avoid driving at rush hour when traffic jams are common.

Parking in New York

There are plenty of parking garages around the city, but they can charge vastly different rates. It is good to do your research beforehand. Keep note of where you park your car, as the number of parking garages scattered across the city can be difficult to navigate. Take note of signs and do not park in areas that are restricted as you could receive a parking ticket or your vehicle could be towed.

Toll roads in New York

Yes, you will find a lot of toll roads throughout New York City, and on roads linking the city to New Jersey. These roads including the Hugh L Carey Tunnel, the Holland Tunnel and the Lincoln Tunnel. For more about toll roads in the USA, see our article here.

Driving Distances

  • New York to Newark: 35mins
  • New York to Philadelphia: 1hr 50mins
  • New York to Boston: 4hrs


Make sure you fill your rental car with gas before returning it to the depot. Here are some conveniently located petrol stations in and around the city:

  • Shell, 1855 1st Avenue, New York
  • Sunoco Gas Station, 497 Meeker Avenue, Brooklyn
  • Mobil, 63 8th Avenue, New York
It is impossible to be bored in New York City. Catch a show on Broadway, or stroll through Central Park. Visit museums and galleries, and see the iconic Statue of Liberty. Take the Staten Island Ferry or walk across the famous Brooklyn Bridge.

Other driving tips in popular cities: