Rental Policies

Please read our policies below when renting a vehicle with Empire Rent A Car, then call our office today at (516) 977-2000 with any additional questions.

A maximum of one additional driver can be added to a rental contract for a surcharge of $10.00 per day. The additional driver must be at least 23 years of age.

Additional drivers are treated the same as the principal driver. The additional driver fee will be applied to each additional person printed on the contract, whether or not that person will be driving the vehicle. The person responsible for payment of the rental must be named on the rental contract, even if that person will be driving. No additional drivers will be removed from the contract after the vehicle leaves our office. All additional drivers are responsible for the vehicle until the vehicle is returned.

Vehicles must be returned to the same location they were picked up from, unless written approval is given ahead of time.

If a customer drops off a vehicle while we are closed, he is fully responsible for any and all potential damage. The customer will be charged until he returns the key to the rental office.

You must be at least 18 years old to rent a vehicle from us. We do have a young driver’s fee (see below for details).

Remotes for the audio/visual system requires batteries in order for it to work properly. Installing new batteries with each rental would be environmentally and financially unsound. As a result, we do not supply new batteries on every rental, but we do our very best to make sure the batteries have sufficient power to control the A/V equipment.

Many of our vehicles are equipped with audio/visual systems, namely, either a TV/DVD or a DVD standalone. We do everything in our power to make sure the A/V system is in working order before you leave on your rental. If for some reason, something does not work properly during your rental period, we ask for you to contact the rental office and let us know, so we can do whatever we can to rectify the issue.

It is important to keep in mind, that this equipment is very delicate and can break easily. Road vibrations, going off-road, and sometimes even car washes can damage the equipment. Renters are responsible for all remotes associated with the built-in audio/visual equipment.

Many people don’t have enough room for their bikes after they load their luggage. For a small charge, you can rent a bike rack at our Bayside location.

We offer a refund on your reservation if it is made more than 1 week from the time of your pick up. If you need to cancel your reservation, please contact our office at (800) 750-8782.

New York has strict laws about child restraint car and booster seats, which you must follow while in our rentals. For your convenience, we carry a large selection of child and infant car seats for rent.

Cargo vans are typically equipped with two front passenger seats. Any van rental that is furnished with additional seating is a passenger van, and will be charged as such. However, if you get a cargo van equipped with a rear jump seat, a third person may use that seat without incurring any additional charges.

Under no circumstances may anybody sit in the cargo area of a cargo van.

If you want to leave a cash deposit, you must present a valid driver's license, a local utility bill, and a job ID or a paycheck stub that we can verify.

Collision Damage Waiver is not insurance, but it does help keep costs down if the rented vehicle is damaged. By accepting it, the renter agrees to pay the sum specified per day for the term of the rental. The renter is responsible for the deductible applicable to the collision damage, provided the vehicle is operated in compliance with the rental agreement. The renter shall be liable for collision damage to the vehicle in the amount of said damage, and the renter shall be liable for full replacement value.

Collision damage waivers have a deductible. This is due to the high value of our vehicles, and also to make the collision damage waiver affordable to the customer.

The collision damage waiver does not cover the interior of the van or it's contents, including video screens, remote controls, etc. Please make sure when you park the vehicle, if it is equipped with audio/video equipment, that the doors are locked, the screens are in the upright (closed) position, and no electronic devices are visible from the outside to prevent theft or vandalism.

The collision damage waiver does not cover damages due to insufficient height or width clearances. If you think the vehicle will not fit in a parking garage, a drive through, or other questionable low-lying areas, don't venture to try and fit.

We are not responsible for any costs that the renter claims during the rental period. We do not reimburse the cost of other car rentals, restaurants, hotels, or any other travel costs during the rental period of our vehicle.

We are not responsible for any costs that the renter claims during the rental period. We do not reimburse the cost of other car rentals, restaurants, hotels, or any other travel costs during the rental period of our vehicle.

Most major credit cards companies, such as American Express, MasterCard, and Visa, provide car rental insurance at no charge. It is your responsibility to contact your credit card carrier and ask them if your card covers rental insurance. If they do, then you may decline our insurance, and the rental(s) will still be covered for collision damages or theft with no deductible.

Some credit cards have an improved insurance coverage program. We highly recommend the Premium Car Rental Insurance from American Express.

Take note that, in most instances, credit card carriers do not cover a box truck rental. Since most box trucks are considered commercial, they are not covered in rental policies.

Additionally, keep in mind that a debit or a bank card does not cover car rental insurance.

Most credit card collision in secondary, which means they will only pay what your own auto policy insurance carrier will not cover.

Many credit card companies have specific exclusions when it comes to business use. Check with your credit card before assuming they will cover the rental.

Some cards don't afford you coverage at all. Before you think that your card will cover you, call and check. You don't want to think you have coverage, and if something happens, you call and you find out you don't, and it's too late. If you decline our coverage, thinking you have coverage elsewhere, but you really don't, you will be fully responsible for all damages incurred during the rental period.

The renter is fully responsible for all tire, wheel, and hubcap damage during the rental period. The renter will be held responsible and charged for any expenses needed to repair the vehicle or replace the tire or related components, regardless of whether the tire and wheel damage occurred because of a road hazard, driver error, or tire blowout. If towing is necessary, the renter is also responsible for all towing expenses.

Any work done to the tires or rims must first be authorized by our manager. If our manager approves a repair, the renter must return all claimed original parts, including the tire, rim, and repair receipt, upon return of the rental vehicle.

Cash deposits are accepted. The following forms of payment are also accepted for the deposit:

  • Debit Card
  • Company Account
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Direct Bill (with special approval)

Deposits must be left when making the reservation or at the time of pick up of your vehicle. The amount of the deposit is based on the length of the rental and the destination. It is also dependent on the CDW deductible that the customer chooses. If he/she selects a higher deductible on the vehicle, a higher deposit will be taken, in addition to the amount of the rental.

We reserve the right to electronically check the driver’s license of a first-time renter to view the driver’s status and history. The only information we access is the public DMV information. There is a small fee for this procedure. License abstracts are conducted once every six months.

We allow most of our vehicles to travel outside of New York State, but you must inform us of your traveling plans and your furthest destination. For an out-of-state trip, you will need to get written approval from the manager. Depending upon the type of vehicle, you may be eligible for an unlimited miles program. We may also create a personalized mileage program just for you.

Depending on your driving history record, we reserve the right to rent or not to rent you any specific vehicle. We may also determine our decision based on your age and whether or not you are able to supply your own collision insurance. This policy also applies to any additional drivers that may be on the rental agreement.

Wrapping your furniture in pads helps prevent against scratches, chips, or other moving damages - $2.00/day.

For your convenience, we now offer portable GPS navigation units for rent. The daily rental rate for the unit is $6.95, with a $250.00 refundable deposit. You will receive the refund as soon as you return the navigation device in its original condition. If the GPS is broken, damaged, lost, stolen, or has missing parts, the $250.00 deposit will not be refunded.

Make your move easier by renting a hand truck to wheel out your belongings - $10.00/day.

Our Internet website prices are often discounted from normal pricing. The discounted rates are guaranteed to you, subject to our rental policies. Should you cause an exception, the rate charged might be different than the one displayed on this website. Please print out and bring in your online reservation, if possible. Internet rates are not guaranteed unless confirmed with a paid deposit.

All rental vehicles are calculated by a 24-hour clock. We have a one-hour grace period, but if you exceed the 24-hour period by more than one hour, then an hourly late charge will apply, starting from the first late hour, and accumulating until you reach the daily rate. When the total late fee reaches the additional day rate, you will be charged an additional day.

In order to rent a vehicle from our company, you must possess a valid driver's license. We accept out-of-state licenses, but we do need a proof of address of where you're staying locally. We do not accept learner's permits or state IDs.

In addition to having a valid driver's license, you must have at least 18 months of driving experience in order to rent a vehicle from us.

If you will be traveling more than 350 miles away from our office, you must notify us when you make the reservation. Our daily rental fees and mileage rates for a long distance rental may be different than those quoted to you on the Internet or by our agents. In this instance, we can arrange for an all-inclusive mileage plan.

Additionally, if you change your travel plans and decide to go outside the 350-mile radius after you have your rental, you will still be expected to notify our office so that we can review your rental contract and change the rental and mileage rates, if applicable.

Should a mechanical repair be necessary during your rental period, please be assured that we will pay or reimburse for all repairs, provided the repair is not due to misuse of the vehicle, collision with a foreign object, or any other customer-related incident. Before you make any repairs, you are required to contact our office to let us know about it and so we can approve the necessary repair.

  • If your mechanical issue occurs after hours and we are closed, we have a 24 hour nationwide service provider and tow service to get you back on your trip safely.
  • You must follow our instructions regarding repairs, regardless of the effect it may have on your schedule. Safety comes first. Failure to follow our guidelines, voids your terms and conditions of the rental contract, and reimbursement of any repair bill will not be refunded. We will do as much in our power to get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.
  • If a major repair is necessary, providing the repair was not customer negligence, we will make arrangement to either put you up in a hotel or other means of transportation. Should a replacement vehicle be necessary, you will not be charged for any additional time that you may incur until you return from your trip. Again, all expenses will be covered, as long as the reason for the breakdown was not customer related.

Rent a moving dolly to move large appliances or furniture - $5.00/day.

At Empire Rent a Car, we gladly accept cash, credit cards, or debit cards (providing they have a Visa or MasterCard logo) as a deposit or payment. If you choose to use a credit card, we accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

No one wants to sit in a car covered in pet hair or filled with a pet smell, so we ask that you do not carry dogs or cats in the vehicle. If you must, then cover the area where your pet is going to be. If the vehicle comes back dirty or odorous due to pets, you will be charged an additional cleaning and deodorizing fee. The charge will be a minimum of $70, and may be more, depending on the amount of work necessary to clean the interior. This is a strict policy that will be enforced so that we can continue to provide high-quality vehicles to our customers.

We do driver's license abstracts every six months to see our customers’ driving records. Based on this public information, we have the right to refuse to rent to any customer based on their driving history. Additionally, if you have any points on your license, we charge $1 per point per day.

The Price Match guarantee applies to pre-paid rental prices offered by our competitors. Vehicles must be comparable and in the same rental category. The competitor price must be available during the time of your rental. The Price Match only applies to multi-day rentals. Proof of competitor pricing must be submitted in order to use the Price Match. Submit the competitor's website, ad, or a screenshot of the deal through this form. Empire Rent A Car will need to verify the terms and conditions of the alternative offer. Upon review, we will contact you.

You are responsible for returning your rental with the same amount of fuel it had when you took it. The fuel level amount will be printed on your rental contract so you can reference it. If you return it with less fuel, we will charge you $6.95/gallon used, so please check your fuel level before returning the vehicle. Additionally, we do not refund if you add extra fuel to the vehicle.

If you take the vehicle into the middle of nowhere, deep into a national park, on a camping trip, or into other countries, should a problem arise, and you are far from a mechanical shop and parts supplier, this could have an impact on getting you back on the road in a reasonable period of time. You assume this risk when traveling in remote and isolated areas or when traveling into foreign countries. We will do everything in our power to help you and get you back going as soon as we possibly can, but we are not responsible for expenses incurred as a result of your travel into such areas (gas, miles, lodging).

We always do our best to have the vehicle that you reserved available at your pickup time. If, due to conditions beyond our control, the vehicle you reserved is not available, we might upgrade you to a similar vehicle at no additional charge.

Each one of our vehicles is equipped with a spare tire and a jack and lug wrench. It is the sole responsibility of the renter to replace the tire with the spare provided in case of a flat tire. We do not give flat tire replacement service. The renter is also responsible for the cost of the replacement tire. Unfortunately, there is sometimes road hazards, but we cannot assume responsibility for the damage caused to the tires and rims. Before you purchase a new tire, we require you to contact the rental office for approval. Please drive carefully and be aware of the road ahead of you.

  • Ford Vans: Spare tire is located underneath the van towards the rear of the vehicle. There is a compartment in the rear wall of the van on the right hand side that contains a jack and a screw lever to lower the wheel. The hole to insert the screw lever is located just above the rear bumper near the intersection of the two rear doors. There is usually a black rubber/plastic flap covering the hole that will need to be opened to access the wheel lowering mechanism.
  • Sprinter Vans: Spare tire is located underneath the van towards the rear of the vehicle. The tolls for the spare tire are underneath the floorboard in front of the passenger seat. Please note, the spare tire for Sprinters often uses a different size of wheel bolt than for the conventional tire. These bolts, if required, are also found in the spare tire tool compartment. Make sure that whoever is changing the tire, uses these special size bolts, because if not, you could wind up stripping the wheel hub, and this will cause a delay in your trip, as the vehicle will not be drivable, and you will be responsible for repair costs.

Many of our van rentals and truck rentals are equipped with trailer hitches. If you would like to tow something with your rental, you need to provide our rental agent with the following details:

  1. What you are towing
  2. The distance you will be towing
  3. The gross weight of what you are towing

When we have this information, we can help you find the perfect rental to safely tow your load.

  • 18-21 years old: $57/day fee
  • 22-24 years old: $20/day fee

Weekend Rental Period: A weekend rental lasts from either Friday until Monday, or from Saturday until Monday.

Windshield Damage Waiver: This fee is to protect the renter from having to repair any damage to the windshield of the rental vehicle. Whatever the damage may be, you are not liable for the replacement cost.

Your own automobile policy from home or business might also cover car rentals. Call your insurance company and ask if they do. Often insurance companies will insure a "like" vehicle, meaning that if you have a car or a minivan, they will insure a rental car or a minivan rental.

From our prior experience, we have learned that most insurance companies and/or credit card companies do not offer coverage when renting a 12 passenger van, a 15 passenger van, box trucks, Sprinter vans, and Transit vans. You are more than welcome to contact your carrier, and if they do provide coverage, you may use your carrier to cover our rental vehicle, but it must be provided to our rental agent prior to or at the time of your rental.

If you rent any of the vehicles from our fleet and do not supply your own insurance, you will be required to purchase CDW insurance in order to help cover any potential losses.

Additionally, we reserve the right to not rent a specific vehicle to someone unless the renter supplies us with proof of insurance.

If you have any questions or need further explanation, please contact us today and we will be happy to help you.

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