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Experience seamless car rental service in Ithaca with our dedicated customer care, ready to assist you 24/7. Explore beautiful Finger Lakes region at your leisure without the hassles. We take pride in our prompt service, understanding your unique travel needs. Making your journey memorable is our commitment.

Car Rental in Ithaca

A Driving Tour of Stunning Scenic Attractions

City car amidst Ithaca's fall foliage, waterfalls, and lake

Known for its picturesque landscapes and vibrant cultural scene, Ithaca is a haven for nature lovers and culture enthusiasts alike. Located in the heart of New York State, Ithaca is home to two acclaimed educational institutions, Cornell University and Ithaca College, both of which contribute to the city's dynamic and diverse community. Famous for its gorges, waterfalls, and vineyards, this vibrant city is a must-visit for anyone exploring the region in a car.

Start your car journey with a visit to Buttermilk Falls State Park, a highlight of Ithaca and an outdoor lover's dream with numerous hiking trails, waterfalls, and camping spots. Just a short car ride from the city center, venture into Taughannock Falls State Park, home to one of the highest waterfalls east of the Rockies. Continue your scenic car ride to Cayuga Lake, the longest of the Finger Lakes, renowned for its wine trails and stunning views.

For the culture enthusiasts, there's plenty to explore in downtown Ithaca. A car ride away, the Downtown Ithaca has rich history and architecture. Experience the Ithaca Farmers Market, an iconic institution that brings together farmers, artisans, and cooks from around the region. Lastly, don't forget to drive to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art which offers an impressive collection ranging from African sculptures to central Asian textiles, and panoramic views of Cayuga Lake.

Ithaca Car Rental

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the cost of renting a car in Ithaca?

Car rental prices in Ithaca can vary depending on the type of car and duration of rental. On average, you can expect to pay between $40 to $80 per day for a standard car. For luxury or specialized vehicles, the daily rate may be higher. For a detailed quote, click here.

2. What car model is most frequently rented in Ithaca?

The most frequently rented car model in Ithaca is often a compact or economy car, such as a Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla. With Ithaca's hilly terrain and narrow city streets, these smaller vehicles are easy to maneuver and offer good fuel efficiency.

3. Where are the most popular locations to rent a car in Ithaca?

The most popular places to rent a car in Ithaca are at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport and in the city center. Some car rental companies also offer pick-up and drop-off services at local hotels.

4. Is there a 24-hour pick-up and drop-off service?

Most car rental companies in Ithaca offer 24-hour pick-up and drop-off services. Make sure to check with your rental company for exact details and any potential additional costs.

5. Is there a minimum rental period?

In most cases, car rental companies in Ithaca require a minimum rental period of one day. However, some companies may offer hourly rentals.

6. What is the minimum age to rent a car in Ithaca?

The minimum age to rent a car in Ithaca is typically 21, although this may vary between rental companies. Drivers under 25 may be subject to additional fees or special restrictions.

7. What documents do I need to rent or drive a car in Ithaca?

To rent a car in Ithaca, you will need a valid driver's license and a credit or debit card in the driver's name. Non-U.S. residents may also need an International Driving Permit.

8. When is the best time of year to visit Ithaca by car?

The best time to visit Ithaca is generally in the late spring to early fall when the weather is warm and you can fully enjoy the area's outdoor activities. Please remember that winter in Ithaca can be severe, with snowfall making driving conditions potentially challenging.

9. What are the major airports in Ithaca?

The primary airport in Ithaca is the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport. Other nearby airports include the Syracuse Hancock International Airport and the Greater Binghamton Airport.

10. Can I collect the car in Ithaca and drop it off in another city?

Yes, many car rental companies in Ithaca offer the option of one-way rentals. This allows you to pick up the car in Ithaca and drop it off in another city. However, this option may include additional fees.

Car Rental Reviews


Ithaca – 23-11-2023. I rented a car from this firm last month and had a lovely, smooth ride through the charming gorges of Ithaca. The rental process was quick and straightforward, and the prices were reasonable for the quality of the fleet on offer. Happy to have chosen them for my trip!


Ithaca – 15-08-2023. Being a senior citizen, I appreciated how attentive the staff were. The car I rented was in perfect condition – clean, comfortable, and handled well during my sight-seeing trips around the beautiful Finger Lakes region. All this at an affordable price, too!


Ithaca – 12-07-2023. I've been using their services for business trips for the past year. The requirements from me are pretty high, since I need different types of cars, but they always meet my needs. Managed to explore Ithaca's downtown area thanks to their nice compact car.


Ithaca – 05-06-2023. Booked a car for our family vacation to Ithaca, and couldn’t have been happier with the service. The car was ready for pick-up when we arrived, and it was the best price we found around too. Enjoyed the Ithaca Farmers Market without any hitches!


Ithaca – 11-04-2023. I've been renting cars from this company whenever I visit my son studying at Cornell University. The cars are well-maintained, sleek and serve me reliably each time. I also love their customer support. They make sure I am always contented.


Ithaca – 23-02-2023. I am always satisfied with the courtesy and professionalism of the staff. This rental firm is always my choice when in Ithaca. Their amazing range of vehicles and flexible payment options always have me coming back.

Ithaca Road Connections

Essential Information for Self-drive Tourists

  1. Ithaca - Syracuse: Covering 85 kilometers via NY-13 N in about 1.5 hours, expect a smooth ride along this well-maintained highway.
  2. Ithaca - Rochester: A 156 kilometer trip that will take around 2 hours via I-390 N. Roads are fairly busy but move quickly.
  3. Ithaca - Binghamton: The journey of 78 kilometers is possible via I-86 E, usually taking about 1 hour. The road is quite scenic and in good condition.
  4. Ithaca - Albany: A longer 263 kilometer drive taking roughly 3-4 hours via I-88 E. Plan stopovers as this route is quite busy.
  5. Ithaca - New York City: A journey of 373 kilometers that should take between 4-5 hours via I-81 S and I-80 E routes. The roads are well-maintained throughout.
  6. Ithaca - Buffalo: Around 217 kilometers and approximately 3 hours of drive time via NY-96 N. Roads are broad and traffic is relatively lighter.
  7. Ithaca - Niagara Falls: Covering a distance of 259 kilometers in roughly 3.5 hours via I-90 W. Plan for busy highways and keep a map handy.

Ithaca Driving

Common Questions

1. What is the speed limit in Ithaca city?

The standard speed limit in Ithaca city is 30 mph to 40 mph, depending on the area and type of roads. Always look for posted signs to confirm the speed limit in the area you're driving.

2. What kind of driving license do I need to drive in Ithaca?

Drivers in Ithaca, NY must possess a valid U.S. driver's license. International visitors may use their valid non-U.S. driver's license for up to one year. An International Driving Permit alongside your original license is recommended.

3. Are there many speed cameras in Ithaca?

While there are some speed cameras in Ithaca, they are not as prevalent as in bigger cities. Always obey the speed limits to ensure safety.

4. How do the toll roads work in Ithaca?

Ithaca does not have local toll roads. However, when driving on expressways across the state of New York, some roads may require tolls. Payments can be done with cash or electronically via E-ZPass.

5. How familiar should I be with the driving rules and regulations in Ithaca?

All drivers are expected to familiarize themselves with the local traffic laws. This includes things like respecting speed limits, understanding road signs and knowing the rights of way.

6. Is road safety a major concern in Ithaca?

Ithaca has a safety-conscious community with regular law enforcement presence. However, like all places, it's important to always abide by traffic laws to ensure your safety and that of others on the road.

7. How heavy is the traffic in Ithaca?

Traffic in Ithaca varies depending on the time of the day and the season, with peak times typically being mornings and late afternoons. During the school year, traffic may increase.

8. Which side of the road should I drive on in Ithaca?

In Ithaca, and the rest of the United States, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road.

9. What is the freeway speed limit in the surrounding areas of Ithaca?

The freeway speed limit outside Ithaca often ranges between 55 mph and 70 mph, depending on the specific highway. Always pay attention to posted signages.

10. Can I drive in Ithaca with a learner's permit?

Yes, but the learner's permit must be valid, and you should always be accompanied by a person, 21 years or older, with a valid driver's license.

11. Are there pedestrian rules drivers in Ithaca should be aware of?

Yes. In Ithaca, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks.

12. Are there any unique driving laws in Ithaca?

Like every U.S. city, there may be local ordinances that could vary slightly. It's always best to familiarize yourself with local laws when driving in a new city or state.

13. How important is it to respect school buses in Ithaca?

In Ithaca, it is legally required to stop for school buses when they are picking up or dropping off children. It's not only a law, it's a vital safety measure.

14. Are there any exceptions to the speed limit in Ithaca?

No, the speed limit is the maximum legal driving speed and you must adhere to it. Exceptions could be made during emergency situations for vehicles such as ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks.

15. Can I drive with an expired license in Ithaca?

No, driving with an expired license in Ithaca is illegal and you can be arrested or fined if caught. Always make sure your license is valid before getting behind the wheel.

Ithaca Must-See Attractions

Top Tourist Spots Accessible via Car

  1. Cornell University: Known for its stunning nature views and collegiate atmosphere.
  2. Ithaca Falls: This waterfall is considered Ithaca's natural wonder, a great spot for picnics and pictures.
  3. Buttermilk Falls State Park: Beautiful park featuring a large natural pool, hiking trails and waterfall views.
  4. Cayuga Lake: A sprawling, gorgeous, finger lake offering boating, fishing, and scenic parks along its shores.
  5. Rose Hill Mansion: This historic mansion offers guided tours showcasing 19th-century life.
  6. The Museum of Earth: An engaging museum for nature lovers, explores Earth's history and natural wonders.
  7. Taughannock Falls State Park: Home to a breathtaking waterfall that cascades over 200 feet.
  8. Ithaca Farmers Market: Here you can find locally made food, crafts and fresh produce.

Ithaca Roadtrip Destinations

Explore these mesmerizing routes by car

  1. Finger Lakes Wine Trail: Starting in Ithaca and covers about 160 kilometers. Discover breathtaking vineyards, boutique wineries, and taste some of the finest wines in the region.
  2. Ithaca to New York City: A 350-kilometer route leading you from the charm of Ithaca to the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. Have an experience of contrasting lifestyles.
  3. Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway: A shorter 138-kilometer route around Cayuga Lake. Stops include several wineries, local eateries, historic sites, and splendid lake views.
  4. The Adirondack Trail: Start in Ithaca and head north for about 300 kilometers through the rustic charm of the Adirondack Mountains with numerous hiking and camping opportunities.
  5. Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway: This 42-kilometer route from the Hudson Valley to the Erie Canal offers picturesque views and significant historic sites.
  6. Seneca Lake Wine Trail: A 171-kilometer route which circles Seneca Lake, offering plenty of wine tasting, artisanal eateries, small boutiques and stunning lake views.
  7. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail: This 805-kilometer route along the shores of Lake Erie, Ontario, Niagara River, and St. Lawrence River, boasts national parks, historic landmarks and beautiful coastal towns.