On the last podcast, I talked about driving the Ka iwi coast, which prompted a couple of responses from you. Jason, who is a long-time listener, was curious about the hike I take, and I sent him the route; he’s gonna plug it into his iFit. I also heard from Trish, who asked me about car rental in Hawaii and if I have any advice, so we talked about that on today’s podcast.
The best part of being in Hawaii is exploration. Whether on a guided tour or on your own with a Hawaii car rental, your Hawaiian experience is enhanced by the ability to get out and see the islands’ beauty. I am surprised at how many people never leave their hotel when they come to the islands. Your vacation to Hawaii should never revolve solely around staying in a hotel.
Having a Hawaii car rental is pretty much synonymous with a Hawaii trip, so it’s recommended on all islands. However, on Oahu, you can probably get away with having a rental car for just a couple of days. But if you plan on staying outside Waikiki, having a car is a must.
A Car Rental in Hawaii saves you money!
Having a car grants you an abundance of flexibility when crafting your itinerary, given the vast array of sights and activities to explore on the islands. While it’s true that a rental car can’t entirely replace the experience of guided tours to certain attractions, it can often translate into cost savings, particularly in the wake of the pandemic. Many Hawaii tour companies have raised their pickup fees significantly in recent years, especially for popular events like luaus. For a family of four, the transportation cost alone could easily reach $200.00.
Conversely, another compelling reason to have a car at your disposal pertains to the changes also brought about by the pandemic. Many attractions that once provided transportation as part of their packages have discontinued this service. This shift is particularly notable on Oahu, where numerous visitors seek out adventures like ziplining on the picturesque North Shore or embarking on horseback riding adventures in Mokuleia. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, many vendors can no longer afford to include transportation, leaving travelers to their own devices when it comes to reaching these sought-after destinations.
Car Rental in Hawaii – Pro Tips
Hawaii car rental prices vary from island to island and depend on the time of year. Most car rental companies are here, including Turo, which is becoming very popular in the islands. The average price of a car can range from $49.00 for an economy car to $175 for a luxury or Jeep vehicle. This does not include taxes and fees, which can be substantial. If you use a company like ours, these fees are included, and you can save money if you bundle a car into your Hawaii vacation package. Gas is another factor to consider, so rent the smallest car if possible. Also, on Oahu, there are ride-sharing and electric car alternatives. Parking is very expensive in Hawaii. In some cases, the cost of parking is more than renting the car itself. Make sure you factor that in when budgeting for your Hawaii vacation. Be care to to take out toomuch insurance! Many guests are so exhausted when they arrive they just sign up for all the extras incuding emergency towing and not realize they added hundres of dollars to the car rental cost.
Fun Scenic Drives
Oahu – Circle Island Scenic Drive: A trip to Oahu is incomplete unless you have visited the North Shore. It’s likely you’ll be staying in Waikiki, so this is a fun Hawaii car rental all-day adventure. It’s best to get an early start and take the 45-minute dive directly to the North Shore and circle the entire island.
- Dole Plantation
- Wailea Coffee Plantation
- Rum Faculty
- Haleiwa and Alii Beach (Turtles)
- Waimea, Sunset, and Pipeline Beaches (Huge winter waves)
- Sharks Cove
- Kualoa Ranch
- Mac nut Factory
Maui – Scenic Drive Upcountry: A scenic drive upcountry Maui is an enchanting journey through lush landscapes and serene beauty. Along the way, you’ll encounter charming towns like Makawao and Kula, each with its unique character and artisanal offerings.
- Visit Paia Town/ Makawao
- Tour Lavender Farm
- Visit The Surfing Goat Dairy
- Wine Tasting at Maui Wine
- Pineapple Plantation
Big Island – Drive Hamakua Coast: As you navigate this winding coastal road, you’ll be treated to a captivating panorama of lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and the stunning Pacific Ocean stretching endlessly to the horizon.
- Four mile scenic route – Waipio Vally Lookout
- Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens
- Akkaka Falls
- Rainbow falls
- Hilo Town
- Volcano National Park
Kauai – South Coast Scenic Drive: Embarking on a scenic drive along Kauai’s South Shore is a mesmerizing odyssey through paradise. The journey unfolds with panoramic vistas of the sparkling turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean stretching as far as the eye can see.
- Poipu Beaches (Shipwreck, Mahaulepu)
- Heritage Trail
- Kauai Coffee Plantation
- Grove Garm Museum
- Waimea Town
- Waimea Canyon