Travel Guide

Airtrain passing by the JFK Airport in New York City

Comprehensive Guide to Getting from JFK Airport to Manhattan

Explore various transportation options to reach Manhattan from JFK Airport with ease, while keeping in mind your budget, preferences, and travel style.

Touching down at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is just the beginning of your exciting adventure in New York City. Situated in the borough of Queens, JFK is a bustling hub for travelers from all corners of the world.

This detailed guide is designed to help you navigate the various transportation options available to get you from JFK to Manhattan with ease, catering to your desired balance of speed, affordability, and convenience.

The approximately 15-mile distance between the two locations can present varying travel times, depending on traffic conditions and your choice of transportation. We’ll delve into alternatives such as the AirTrain and subway, the LIRR, taxis, ride-sharing services, private transfers, and helicopters all while providing essential tips and guidance to ensure a smooth journey.

Location of the JFK Airport and Manhattan
Northleg / Copyright
Situated roughly 15 miles (24 km) southeast of Manhattan, JFK Airport sets the stage for your New York adventure. Travel times can vary from as quick as 10 minutes to over an hour or even two depending on your choice of transportation

When assessing the array of transportation choices, keep in mind factors like your budget, luggage size, the company you’re traveling with, and your individual preferences. Each method has its unique benefits and limitations, so carefully weigh your options to find the perfect fit for your needs.

Snapshot View of Different Transport Options

Before diving into the details of each transportation option, we’ve prepared a comparison table to give you a quick overview of the various choices at your disposal.

This table outlines factors such as travel time, cost, and convenience to help you get a better understanding of each method. Use this summary as a starting point to identify the options that best align with your needs and preferences as you embark on your journey from JFK to Manhattan.

Travel Time
Overall Cost
Comfort Rating
More Details
Option AirTrain + Subway AirTrain + LIRR Private Transfers Taxi Ride-Sharing Services Helicopter Rental Car
Travel Time 60 - 90 minutes 35 - 45 minutes 45 - 120 minutes 45 - 120 minutes 45 - 120 minutes 5 minutes Varies
Overall Cost $12.15 $16.50 - $19.50 $87 - $220 $99 - $110 $74 - $160 $195+ $150+
Comfort Rating ★★ ★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★★★★ ★★
More Details View details View details View details View details View details View details View details

Please note that travel time may vary depending on traffic and other factors. The comfort rating is subjective and may not reflect everyone’s preferences.

Our Recommendation

After carefully evaluating all the transportation options, we believe that the AirTrain and subway combination is the best choice for travelers looking for affordability.

However, if you’re looking for a more personalized and comfortable experience, private transfers are a better alternative. This option provides a hassle-free and seamless journey from JFK to your Manhattan destination.

For those who are willing to splurge and want an unforgettable experience, consider the helicopter transfers. This option not only gets you to Manhattan quickly but also offers a unique perspective of New York City from the air.

Ultimately, the choice depends on your budget, priorities, and travel style. Consider each option’s pros and cons, and select the one that best fits your requirements.

AirTrain + Subway: A Cost-effective and Efficient Option

One of the most popular and budget-friendly options for reaching Manhattan from JFK Airport is the combination of the AirTrain and subway. The AirTrain, a 24-hour train service, connects JFK to the subway system.

Travel times vary depending on your final destination, butyou can typically reach Midtown Manhattan in about 60 to 90 minutes using the AirTrain and subway.

Howard Beach subway station
Platform view of Howard Beach Station, the ideal transit point for those aiming for destinations along the A subway line. This route provides convenient access to Lower Manhattan and western parts of Midtown, including stops at Penn Station and Fulton Street, and is particularly beneficial during the off-peak hours.

Getting to the AirTrain from JFK Airport is straightforward. Once you have claimed your luggage, follow the signs for AirTrain.

It’s important to note that the AirTrain terminals are located outside of the airport terminals. You will likely need to take a short walk to reach the AirTrain station.

There are three AirTrain routes:

  • JFK Terminal 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8: Connects all passenger terminals in a counterclockwise loop.
  • Jamaica Station: For transferring the subway lines E, J, and Z.
  • Howard Beach Station: For transferring to the A subway line.

Once you reach the subway station, transfer to the appropriate subway line toward Manhattan. Keep in mind that the subway may be crowded during peak hours, and navigating stairs with luggage can be challenging. To avoid these issues, consider a private transfer instead.

Choosing the Right Station: Jamaica or Howard Beach?

Getting from JFK to Manhattan via the AirTrain involves choosing between two routes: Howard Beach or Jamaica Station. Both routes provide access to different subway lines that can take you to various destinations in Manhattan, so your choice will largely depend on your final destination in the city.

Howard Beach Route

The Howard Beach Route initially stops at the Federal Circle AirTrain station after leaving JFK, where you’ll find car rental companies.

The subsequent stop is at Lefferts Boulevard for JFK parking, and finally, Howard Beach Station. This is where you’ll transfer to the blue subway line A, which travels via Lower Manhattan, stopping at key points such as Fulton Street, Penn Station, and Times Square.

Once you disembark from the AirTrain at Howard Beach, you’ll encounter a ticket machine just before the exit gates. If you haven’t already secured an AirTrain ticket, you can conveniently purchase it at this point.

Jamaica Station Route

The Jamaica Station Route makes its first stop also at Federal Circle. From there, it travels directly to Jamaica Station metro station.

At Jamaica Station, you have several subway lines at your disposal:

  • E-train: Runs via Long Island City and Midtown Manhattan to the World Trade Center.
  • J-train: This line is best suited for those heading to the Lower East Side of Manhattan. After leaving Jamaica station, the J train travels over the Williamsburg Bridge and then makes stops in the Lower East Side at Bowery, Canal St, and Fulton St.
  • Z-train: This line runs concurrently with the J-train along most of its length, and primarily serves as an express line during rush hours, reducing travel time if your travel coincides with peak hours.

As with Howard Beach, Jamaica Station provides a ticket machine before the exit points, allowing for last-minute AirTrain ticket purchases if necessary.

Fare Breakdown

The fare for the AirTrain is $8.25. An additional fare of $2.90 must be paid to continue the journey on the subway.

The total fare is $12.15 (including an extra $1 for the MetroCard).

How to Pay the Fare

You don’t need a ticket to board the AirTrain at the airport, but you will need to purchase a MetroCard at your transfer station to exit the AirTrain and continue on the subway.

MetroCard vending machines are available at all AirTrain terminals, and they accept cash, credit, and debit cards.


  • Cost-effective
  • Operates 24/7
  • Covers multiple destinations in Manhattan


  • Can be crowded during peak hours
  • Involves carrying luggage up and down stairs
  • Requires transfers between AirTrain and subway

AirTrain + Long Island Rail Road (LIRR): A Fast and Affordable Choice

The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike. This commuter train service, combined with the AirTrain, provides a reliable and efficient transfer to your destination in the heart of Manhattan.

The average travel time from JFK to Manhattan via the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is approximately 35-40 minutes to Penn Station****and around 40-45 minutes to Grand Central (including the 10 minutes AirTrain ride to Jamaica Station).

Entrance to a LIRR station in New York City
Entrance to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station. Choose the AirTrain + LIRR for efficient travel to Manhattan if you’re headed to areas near Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal.

Getting to the AirTrain from JFK Airport is uncomplicated and relatively quick. Once you have retrieved your luggage, just follow the signs for AirTrain to guide you.

Note that the AirTrain stations are located outside of the airport terminals. You might need to undertake a short walk to reach the AirTrain station.

For LIRR transfers, you’ll be concerned with two AirTrain routes:

  • JFK Terminal 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8: This route connects all passenger terminals in a counterclockwise loop.
  • Jamaica Station: This is where you’ll be transferring to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).

Upon arriving at Jamaica Station via AirTrain, you’ll locate and board the appropriate LIRR train to your destination in Manhattan.

The LIRR takes you directly to Grand Central and Penn Station, located in Midtown Manhattan. From there, it’s easy to get to a wide range of destinations.

Both Grand Central and Penn Station are well-connected to multiple subway lines, allowing you to conveniently travel to other parts of the city.

Fare Breakdown

The total cost for a trip from JFK to Penn Station via the LIRR consists of two parts:

  • AirTrain ticket: from JFK to Jamaica Station ($8.25)
  • CityTicket for the LIRR: from Jamaica Station to Penn Station or Grand Central ($5.00 off-peak, $7.00 peak)

The CityTicket is specifically for trips on the LIRR or Metro-North Railroad that start and end within NYC such as in this case. For other trips on the LIRR different tickets and fares apply.

This pricing structure results in a total trip cost ranging from $16.50 to $19.50.

How to Pay the Fare

You can purchase AirTrain tickets and MetroCards for the subway at vending machines in every terminal at JFK.

For the LIRR part of the journey, the CityTicket or normal LIRR one-way tickets can be purchased at the Jamaica Station ticket machines or through the MTA TrainTime app on your smartphone. Be sure to buy your LIRR ticket before boarding to avoid a higher onboard fare.


  • Quick and reliable, usually takes around 35-40 minutes
  • Economical compared to taxis or private car services
  • Regular service with trains every 15-30 minutes, 24/7
  • Direct connection to Penn Station, with easy subway access to other parts of Manhattan
  • Provides an authentic New York commuting experience


  • May be crowded during peak hours
  • Requires a transfer from the AirTrain to the LIRR at Jamaica Station
  • Limited luggage space during busy hours

Private Transfers: Hassle-free and Personalized

Private transfers offer a personalized and stress-free travel experience from JFK Airport to Manhattan. With this option, you can choose from a range of vehicles - from sedans and SUVs to minivans, stretch limos, and even minibuses, depending on your group size and preference. Travel times can be similar to taxis, typically ranging from 45 minutes to over an hour, depending on traffic.

Choosing a private transfer service is an excellent idea for those who prefer the convenience and comfort of a private vehicle. You won’t have to worry about carrying your luggage in public transportation, standing in long queues, or haggling with taxi drivers over fares.

Everything is prepaid, which means you can sit back and relax the moment you land, knowing that your transportation is sorted. Furthermore, traveling by private transfer can provide a sightseeing experience of sorts - unlike the subway, you can enjoy the city’s sights right from your vehicle.

A black SUV in New York City
Private transfers offer a hassle-free option to get from JFK Airport to Manhattan. From sedans and SUVs to minivans and minibuses, this option allows you to relax in the comfort of your reserved vehicle while enjoying the sights of New York City, all without the worry of queues or luggage handling.

Fare Details

The fare for private transfers varies depending on the chosen vehicle and the number of passengers.

Please be aware that the prices listed here may become outdated. To find the most current prices, please refer to the provided links or check the gray boxes below for updates.

Type of vehicle
Total cost
Cost per person (at full capacity)
Extra costs
Booking link
Type of vehicle Sedan (option 1) Minivan SUV Premium SUV Stretch limo Minibus*
Capacity 3 5 5 5 7 14
Total cost $87 $104 $130 $180 $245 $499
Cost per person (at full capacity) $29 $20.80 $26 $36 $35 $35.64
Extra costs Tolls and tips not included Tolls and tips not included Tolls and tips not included Parking fee ($15) not included All costs included All costs included
Booking link Book here Book here Book here Book here Book here Book here

*On the details page click on “Check Availability” to view the minibus options


For one sedan service accommodating up to 3 passengers, the cost is approximately $87 (tolls and tips not included). This translates to a cost per person of as low as $29 if the vehicle is at full capacity.


If you require more space, a minivan for up to 5 passengers can be booked for around $104 (without tolls and tips). The price per person for this option ranges from $21 to $105.


For those needing a bit more space, perhaps due to additional passengers or more luggage, an SUV is an optimal choice. For a standard SUV option which can accommodate up to 5 passengers, the fare begins at around $120 (without tolls and tips), which means if you’re utilizing full capacity, the cost per person can be as low as $24.

Alternatively, if you’re seeking a higher-end travel experience, the premium SUV service is a great fit. Offering a meet-and-greet service and accommodating up to 5 passengers, the premium SUV transfer costs approximately $180 (plus $15 parking fee).

When filled to capacity, the cost per person equates to around $36, providing a comfortable and luxurious ride without breaking the bank.

Stretch limos

For larger groups or a more luxurious experience, a stretch limo is an exciting option! For $245 (all costs included), it can accommodate 1-7 people, meaning the price per person can be as low as $35.

Here are some other options you might find more fitting to your needs:


Finally, for large groups or special events, buses can be booked for approximately $499 for up to 14 people - that’s less than $36 per person.

All Available Options

There’s an array of options to cater to your specific needs. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, a family, or a large group, there’s an option for you.

The available vehicles, their capacity, and prices are displayed on the service details page. You can explore these options, review the details, and choose what best fits your requirements.

Keep in mind that the pick-up process varies. Sometimes a call upon arrival may be necessary, while other times a predetermined pick-up location within the airport is arranged. All these details will be clearly communicated on the booking page and forwarded to you after your booking and payment is completed.


  • Personalized and hassle-free transportation
  • Range of vehicle options to suit varying needs
  • Prepayment avoids potential issues with drivers
  • Can offer a sightseeing experience of the city


  • More expensive than public transport options
  • Traffic can result in longer travel times

Taxis: Convenient and Direct

Taxis offer a convenient and direct way to reach your destination in Manhattan, with the added benefit of avoiding the need to navigate public transportation with luggage. Taxi stands are located outside each terminal at JFK, and a dispatcher will help you find a taxi.

Travel times to Manhattan can range from 45 minutes to over two hours during peak traffic conditions.

Taxis in New York City
Hail a taxi directly outside any JFK terminal for a direct route to Manhattan. With taxis readily available, you can avoid the complexities of public transit and the strain of carrying luggage.

Fare Breakdown

The total fare from JFK to Manhattan will be the sum of the fixed fare, tolls, congestion surcharge, rush hour surcharge (if applicable), and your tip. The overall cost can vary depending on the route taken, time of day, and the tip you choose to give.

For a typical ride, you should expect to pay between $99 and $110. Please note that these figures are estimates, and the actual fare may vary depending on the specific route taken, traffic conditions, and the tip you choose to give. Here’s the breakdown:

Fixed Fare: $70

The fixed fare of $70 covers the cost of the taxi ride from JFK Airport to any location within Manhattan, regardless of distance.

Tolls: Variable (up to $6.94)

Depending on the route taken by the taxi driver, you may need to pay for tolls during the trip. The taxi driver will add the toll amount to the final fare.

If you cross the Robert F. Kennedy bridge, the tolls would amount to $6.94, for example.

Note that toll fees can increase depending on the specific route.

Airport Access Fee: $1.75

An additional $1.75 airport access fee is added to the fare for taxi rides originating at JFK Airport.

MTA and Improvement Surcharges: $1.50

There are MTA and improvement surcharges totaling $1.50, which contribute to the maintenance and development of transportation infrastructure.

New York State Congestion Surcharge: $2.50

There is a $2.50 congestion surcharge for all taxi trips that end in Manhattan, south of 96th Street.

Rush Hour Surcharge: $5

If your taxi trip takes place on weekdays between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM, excluding holidays, there is a rush hour surcharge of $5.

It is customary to tip the taxi driver for their service. The usual tipping rate is between 15-20% of the fare, depending on your satisfaction with the service. Typically, this would be between $13 and $18.


  • Convenient and comfortable transportation
  • Door-to-door service
  • Fixed fare to Manhattan
  • No need to navigate public transportation with luggage


  • Expensive compared to some other options
  • Travel time can be lengthy due to traffic
  • Limited space for large groups or excessive luggage (for groups of 4 or more, book your transfer here instead)

Ride-sharing Services (Uber, Lyft, and others): Flexible and Comfortable

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are another popular option for getting to Manhattan from JFK Airport. These services provide a flexible, comfortable, and often more affordable alternative to traditional taxis.

To book a ride, you’ll need to connect to the airport's Wi-Fi and use Uber, Lyft, or any other ride-sharing app on your smartphone. Once you’ve requested a ride, move towards the designated pick-up spots located outside each terminal.

Travel times to Manhattan can vary widely, much like taxis. Depending on traffic conditions and the exact location of your destination, it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to over two hours.

Uber app on a phone
Ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft can be a flexible option from JFK to Manhattan, with fares typically ranging from $74 to $160, but keep in mind that a yellow cab might be less expensive with a fixed fare of $70.

Typical Fares for Uber and Lyft:

Whether you’re choosing Uber or Lyft for your journey from JFK to Manhattan, ride-share options typically range between a minimum fare of $74 to a maximum of $160. These fares are variable and can fluctuate depending on the time of day, route, and level of demand.

Fares for ride-sharing services can vary depending on factors such as demand, time of day, and your destination in Manhattan. Input your destination address in the app to get an estimate. However, remember that during peak hours, surge pricing may apply, making the trip more expensive than a taxi. Surge pricing is when ride-sharing services increase their normal fares due to high demand.

It’s important to note that for trips from JFK Airport to Manhattan, a yellow cab is often cheaper due to its fixed fare of $70 (plus tolls, surcharges, and tip).

Once you’re in the city, ride-sharing services can be a more cost-effective option for getting around. In most cases, Uber and Lyft fares within Manhattan and surrounding boroughs are competitive with, or even lower than, traditional taxi fares. Furthermore, ride-sharing services offer a range of options from economy to premium rides, allowing you to choose what best fits your needs and budget.


For those favoring Uber, you can anticipate an average fare from JFK to popular destinations in Manhattan like Times Square to be around $75 to $123. These figures, while providing a general guide, are subject to dynamic pricing influenced by factors such as surge demand and chosen route.

To get the most accurate estimate possible, use Uber’s in-app price estimator tool which provides a real-time cost assessment.


As for Lyft, its various services cater to a wide spectrum of needs and budgets:

  • Personal Ride: $74 - $86
  • XL (For larger groups or extra luggage): $90 - $105
  • Lux Black (Premium service with professional drivers): $105 - $120
  • Lux Black XL (Spacious and luxurious for up to 6 people): $140 - $160

As with Uber, these are estimated fares and actual costs can vary depending on factors like demand, chosen route, and traffic conditions.


  • Flexible and comfortable
  • Offers a range of options to fit varying needs and budgets
  • Convenient pick-up and drop-off locations


  • Fares can be higher during surge pricing
  • Travel time can be lengthy due to traffic
  • Requires a smartphone and internet access to book

Helicopter Transfers: An Exclusive but Affordable Option

Offering an unparalleled blend of luxury, convenience, and stunning views, helicopter transfers are an exceptional choice for travel from JFK Airport to Manhattan.

This service transforms the usually time-consuming journey into an approximately 5-minute flight, whisking you over the congested streets and offering a unique aerial perspective of the city’s iconic skyline.

Helicopter transfers offer not just a means of transportation, but a memorable experience. For those who want to start their New York City trip on a high note, there’s no better way to do so than soaring above the city in a helicopter.

Helicopter flying over New York City
Take a helicopter transfer from JFK to Manhattan and swap a long drive for a 5-minute flight, with breathtaking views of the city skyline. It’s not just a trip—it’s an unforgettable experience starting your NYC visit on a spectacular note.

Upon Arrival

As you disembark from your flight, clear customs (if necessary), and step into the arrival hall, a luxury car is ready to whisk you away to the nearby heliport, just 5 minutes away.

Once there, you’re welcomed by a personal host who escorts you to the helicopter or the lounge, should you have time to relax. From the moment you lift-off, the magnificent Manhattan skyline awaits, marking an unforgettable start to your New York City adventure.

Flight Details

The helicopter route from JFK Airport offers a unique perspective that can’t be replicated by any other helicopter tour in the city.

You’ll fly over areas such as Brooklyn or Coney Island and landmarks like the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. The exact route is determined by the air traffic controllers at JFK Airport.

Arrival Heliports

Two convenient landing points in Manhattan are available:

  • East 34th St.: near landmarks such as the United Nations Headquarters and the Empire State Building.
  • West 30th St.: in proximity to the High Line and Hudson Yards. From these points, it’s a short walk or cab ride to your final destination in Manhattan.

Traveling With Furry Friends

Furry Friends (dogs & cats) are welcome onboard!Pets weighing up to 25 lbs (11 kg) can accompany you on your helicopter journey for a nominal fee of $50. For larger pets exceeding this weight limit, the purchase of an additional seat will be required.

Fare Breakdown

Helicopter transfers present a luxurious and efficient travel solution, featuring an exhilarating flight from JFK to Manhattan. This journey affords passengers a bird’s-eye view of the iconic New York City skyline, making for an unforgettable travel experience.

The final cost can fluctuate based on the destination heliport chosen, as well as any additional services or upgrades you select. Here’s the full breakdown:

Base Fares

  • JFK to East 34th St: around $245 per passenger
  • JFK to West 30th St: around $225 per passenger

Flexibility Options

  • Airport Flex: $275 (Allows flight itinerary changes or cancellations up to 1 hour prior to departure)
  • Airport Max: $325 (Provides maximum flexibility to cancel or change up to the time of departure. Offers preferred seating options, depending on availability. Weather cancellations are fully refunded in credits or cash)

Luggage Options

Helicopter transfers are particularly appealing for those traveling with carry-on luggage. One small suitcase and one bag are allowed per person. If you have a larger suitcase you have the following options:

  • Extra Luggage Allowance: $145 (Additional luggage allowance up to 65lbs across two commercial-sized carry-on bags)
  • Excess Luggage Pickup and Delivery: $135 (Pickup and transfer of oversized or excess luggage to your final destination)

Additional Services

  • Free Reserve SUV to the City: $0 (Guaranteed ground transportation from the airport to your final destination in case of flight cancellation due to weather)
  • Meet and Greet at JFK: $150 (Personal greeter meets you in arrivals and escorts you to a private SUV for transfer to the helicopter)
  • Staged Black Car to Your Final Destination: $45 staging fee plus the cost of an Uber Black (A car and driver waiting for you outside your arrival lounge)

Keep in mind that while these costs may seem higher than a regular taxi fare of around $100, the unparalleled convenience, speed, and experience offered by a helicopter transfer provide excellent value.

Other helicopter experiences

While airport transfers present a functional aspect of helicopter travel, NYC’s skyline truly comes alive when viewed from the skies, and numerous helicopter experiences cater to this very spectacle.

From the modestly-priced sightseeing tours to the extravagant luxury experiences, there is a helicopter ride for every budget and occasion. These aerial tours provide an unmatchable perspective of iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, and more.

Shorter tours provide a quick overview of the city, making them a great choice for those on a budget or with limited time. Longer rides, on the other hand, offer a more comprehensive view of the city and its surrounding areas.

For those looking to splurge on a truly memorable experience, luxury helicopter tours often include perks like champagne, private transfers, and the opportunity to customize the route. These flights can turn special occasions into extraordinary memories, and some companies even offer proposal packages, ensuring an engagement story to last a lifetime.

All of these experiences can be conveniently booked online, allowing you to plan your aerial adventure in advance. For more details on various helicopter experiences available in NYC, please refer to our dedicated section on helicopter tours.

View all available helicopter experiences ➡️


  • An incredibly swift and efficient mode of transportation.
  • Offers breathtaking views of New York City.
  • Luxury service from start to finish.
  • Convenient landing spots near popular Manhattan attractions.
  • Perfect for light travelers with carry-on luggage.


  • Higher cost compared to other modes of transportation.
  • Larger luggage incurs additional fees and will be transported separately.
  • Subject to availability, weather conditions, and Air Traffic Control restrictions.

Rental Cars: Freedom on the Road

Rental cars provide the freedom and flexibility to move at your own pace, explore off-the-beaten-path locations, and escape the city to see the broader New York state and surrounding areas. However, they may not be the most convenient or cost-effective mode of transport within the city, given the heavy traffic, expensive and scarce parking, and the excellent public transportation options.

Hertz car rental counter
For visits beyond Manhattan, such as upstate New York, Long Island, or New Jersey, renting a car from JFK can be a practical choice.

Typical Costs

Renting a car can vary significantly in cost depending on the type of car you choose, how long you rent it for, and whether you choose any additional insurance or features.

As an example, a compact car might cost around $60 to $100 per day. Remember to consider additional costs such as fuel, parking, and tolls when considering a rental car.

When Does It Make Sense?

If your trip includes visiting other regions like upstate New York, Long Island, or New Jersey, a rental car can be a convenient choice.

Whether it’s the picturesque landscapes of Hudson Valley or the charming villages in the Hamptons, a rental car offers the freedom to explore these sights at your leisure.

Rental Requirements

Typically, to rent a car, you must have a valid driver’s license, be at least 21 years old, and provide a major credit card for deposit purposes.

Some rental companies may also require you to have an international driving permit if you’re visiting from another country. Keep in mind that drivers under 25 may face additional fees or restrictions.

How to rent a car

Renting a car is a relatively straightforward process, especially when you book online. Online booking allows you to compare various options, including car models, rental companies, and prices, helping you find a deal that best suits your needs and budget.

To make a reservation, you typically need to provide details like the rental period, type of car desired, and any additional services or equipment you may need, such as a GPS or child safety seat.

Once your booking is confirmed, you can pick up your car at the airport.When collecting your vehicle, ensure you have your booking confirmation, driver’s license, and credit card on hand. The rental company may also require additional identification.

Our rental car section provides a comprehensive guide on all your options, so you can make an informed decision. So why wait? Explore car rental options now and gear up for an exciting journey!

Compare Rental Car Options ➡️


  • Freedom to explore surrounding areas at your own pace, such as Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, The Hamptons, Catskills, and New Jersey Shore.
  • Convenient for visiting areas outside the city that are not easily accessible by public transportation.
  • Useful for large groups or families traveling together where the per-person cost could be less than other options.


  • Traffic in New York City can be congested, and driving can be stressful for those unfamiliar with the city.
  • Difficult and expensive parking in New York City, particularly in Manhattan.
  • Public transportation in New York City is excellent and often a more cost-effective and convenient way to navigate the city.
  • There are often additional costs such as fuel, parking, and tolls.
  • Navigating through New York City’s complex street grid and one-way streets can be challenging for first-time visitors.

Tips and Tricks for a Smooth Journey

Navigating through New York’s vibrant but busy roads requires a little extra planning. Here are a few tips to ensure your journey is as smooth as possible:

  • Expect the Unexpected: New York City is known for its unpredictable traffic and weather. It’s always wise to allow a buffer time in your schedule to accommodate any unexpected delays that might occur.
  • Group Travel: If you’re traveling as part of a group, private transfers can often provide a more cost-effective solution. The cost, when split among several passengers, may turn out to be less per person than public transportation.
  • Off-Peak Travel: If possible, try to travel during off-peak hours. Traffic in New York can be considerably lighter early in the morning or late in the evening, which can reduce your travel time significantly.
  • Carry Small Change: If you’re planning to use public transport or taxis, it’s helpful to have some small change on hand. Not all services have card machines, and having exact change can make your journey smoother.
  • Navigation Apps: Utilize navigation apps like Google Maps to get real-time updates on traffic, public transportation schedules, and routes.
  • Explore On Foot: Once you’re in Manhattan, many of the city’s top attractions are within walking distance of each other. Not only does this save on transportation costs, but it also gives you a chance to soak in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

How to Get to Other Destinations From JFK

If your final destination is not Manhattan, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of articles detailing how to get to various locations from JFK Airport:

  • How to Get from JFK to New Jersey
  • How to Get from JFK to Queens
  • How to Get from JFK to Brooklyn
  • How to Get from JFK to Staten Island
  • How to Get from JFK to The Bronx
  • How to Get from JFK to Long Island City

These guides will provide you with all the information you need to reach your destination quickly and easily. Just click on the links to access the detailed instructions for each location.

Transferring to Other Airports from JFK

If your travel plans require you to transfer from JFK to another airport in the New York City area, we have comprehensive guides to help you navigate these transfers with ease:

  • How to get to La Guardia Airport from JFK
  • How to get to Newark Airport from JFK

These articles provide all the necessary information on various transportation options and valuable tips to make your airport transfer as seamless as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

The cheapest option is to take the AirTrain and then transfer to the subway, which costs a total of $10.75.

The approximate cost of a taxi from JFK to Manhattan is between $70 and $85, including all fees and surcharges.

Yes, Uber and Lyft are available at JFK, but they are usually more expensive than taking a yellow cab from the airport.

Yes, you can take the LIRR from JFK to Manhattan. You will need to take the AirTrain to Jamaica Station and then transfer to the LIRR. The total cost is around $18.25.

Renting a car is generally not recommended for visitors to NYC due to traffic and parking difficulties. However, it could be a good option if you plan to visit locations outside of the city that are not easily accessible by public transportation.

Helicopter transfers from JFK to Manhattan provided by BLADE start at $195 per person.

The fastest way to get from JFK to Manhattan is by taking a helicopter transfer, which takes only about 5 minutes.

We have detailed guides on how to get to these destinations from JFK. Please refer to the “How to Get to Other Destinations” section for the list of articles with links.

Ride-sharing services are usually more affordable and convenient than yellow cabs once you are in the city.

A private car service or a taxi would be the most convenient options for travelers with a lot of luggage, as they provide door-to-door service and can accommodate your belongings.

Helicopter transfers from JFK to Manhattan provided by BLADE have two landing points: East 34th Street and West 30th Street.

The helicopter transfer is best suited for travelers with carry-on luggage. If you have larger luggage, they can transport it to your final destination for an additional fee.

There are no additional fees for using the AirTrain and LIRR, aside from the regular fares. The AirTrain fare is $8.25, and the LIRR fare is approximately $10.

You can use a Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard to pay for the AirTrain, but you will need to purchase a separate LIRR ticket from a ticket vending machine or the MTA app.

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Explore Our Comprehensive Travel Guide

On this page

  1. Introduction
  2. Snapshot View of Different Transport Options
  3. AirTrain + Subway: A Cost-effective and Efficient Option
  4. AirTrain + Long Island Rail Road (LIRR): A Fast and Affordable Choice
  5. Private Transfers: Hassle-free and Personalized
  6. Taxis: Convenient and Direct
  7. Ride-sharing Services (Uber, Lyft, and others): Flexible and Comfortable
  8. Helicopter Transfers: An Exclusive but Affordable Option
  9. Rental Cars: Freedom on the Road
  10. Tips and Tricks for a Smooth Journey
  11. How to Get to Other Destinations From JFK
  12. Transferring to Other Airports from JFK
  13. Frequently Asked Questions