Taxis vs. Car Services in NYC

A group of private limousine drivers wait for arriving passengers at JFK International Airport
Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

Would you like someone to meet you at the airport and bring you directly to your hotel? Perhaps an NYC car service is a good choice for you. While more expensive than taxis, booking a car service in advance ensures that you don't have to wait in a line for a cab. This is a great choice for families traveling with young children, business travelers, and travelers on a tight schedule. It's also a good choice for groups traveling together since car services can often provide stretch limos or even vans that can accommodate 10 or more people. Some car services can provide child safety seats when requested in advance (for an additional charge).

Advantages of NYC Car Services

  • Avoid waiting in line for a taxi when you arrive at the airport. This is particularly great when it's a busy travel time and you could find yourself waiting for 20-30 minutes outdoors in the taxi queue.
  • The trip can be paid for in advance by credit card. Looking for a way to treat someone traveling to NYC? Arrange for (and pay for) a car service to pick them up at the airport and bring them to their hotel.
  • Car services often have vehicles in their fleet that can accommodate more than four people.
  • For a fee, your car service driver/representative will greet you at baggage claim, and can often provide assistance with luggage.
  • Car services can be reserved in advance, so you know someone will be ready to take you where you need to go.
  • Car services can be hired by the hour to provide you with transportation around New York City; this is a great option if you have mobility issues or have a lot of shopping on your agenda.

Disadvantages of NYC Car Services

  • More expensive than comparable taxi service (though on many airport trips the difference is just a few dollars)
  • Often requires a credit card to book
  • Frequently a penalty for cancellation
  • Hourly rates normally have 2-3 hour minimums (does not apply to airport transportation)

Standard New York City Car Service Options

Carmel Car and Limousine Service
Offers sedans, luxury sedans, minivans, stretch limos, passenger vans, and stretch SUVs
Phone: 1-800-9-CARMEL (227635) / 212-666-6666

Dial 7 Car and Limousine Service
Offers sedans, luxury sedans, minivans, stretch limos, and passenger vans
Phone: 1-800-777-8888 / 212-777-7777

GroundLink
Offers sedans, luxury sedans, SUVs, 6 passenger limos, and passenger vans
Phone: 1-855-747-6863

Upscale New York City Car Service Options

Bermuda Limousine International
Offers luxury sedans, minivans, stretch limos, limo buses, and passenger vans
Phone: 212-647-8400 / 800-223-1383 

Legends Limousine
Offers luxury sedans, stretch limos, stretch SUVs and luxury coaches. They also have plenty of car seats available, so this is a great choice if you're traveling with kids and want a car equipped with car seats. Make sure you let them know what kind of car seat you need (infant/toddler/booster).
Phone: 1-888-Legends (534-3637) / 718-788-1234

Paris Limousine Service
Offers Lincoln Town Cars, Bentleys, Mercedes sedans, stretch limousines, stretch SUVs, passenger vans, and luxury vans
Phone: 718-396-1100 / 866-249-7760

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