Mint offers New Yorkers cheap hourly car rentals

I really don’t encourage anyone to try driving in New York. Aggressive cabbies, near-constant traffic jams and a variety of video game-worthy obstacles conspire to keep drivers in a near-constant state of anger and anxiety.

But for locals and visitors alike, there are times when nothing but a car will suffice. Conveniently enough, this week marked the launch of a new pay-as-you-go rental car service in New York called Mint. Like competitor Zipcar, the upstart company provides members with on-demand vehicles they can rent for periods as short as one hour up to several days. Mint has also upped the ante by offering to waive their $25 application fee for members of other car-sharing clubs and starting hourly rates as low as $2/hour from now through June 2009. Pretty sweet.

So what’s the real difference between Mint and Zipcar? Not all that much as it turns out. As a rule of thumb, Mint plans are generally cheaper than Zipcar plans in terms of hourly/daily rates, though it ultimately depends on which plan you have and the time of day you’ll be driving. It’s best to take a look at the options and see what works best for your particular needs. In any case, the extra car-sharing competition is sure to be welcomed by price conscious rental car drivers everywhere. Check out Mint the next time you’re in NYC and need some temporary wheels.