Renting a Car in Honolulu

Every year almost 5 million people visit Oahu and they generally arrive on a flight that lands at Honolulu International Airport. For most visitors arriving in Oahu, getting a car rental at the Honolulu Airport is one of the best ways to get around and explore at their own pace. With popular tourist destinations like Waikiki and Hawaii Kai within driving distance, travelers often rent a car directly from the airport for their transportation.

Although the island of Oahu runs a reliable public bus system, getting a car rental in Honolulu and driving yourself around will get you to your destination much faster than riding a bus route. There are many drivers offering ridesharing services in Oahu, but you will usually find them concentrated in the city areas and tend to cost more overall. If you want to explore all that the city and other neighboring areas have offer, then you are encouraged to learn more about renting a car in Honolulu before your visit.

Benefits of Getting a Car Rental in Honolulu

As a tourist in Oahu, there are a lot of advantages to obtaining a car rental from the Honolulu Airport during your stay. The most significant benefit is that you will have the independence to go wherever you want on your own schedule. When you use public transportation, you are limited to traveling according to the schedule of the Honolulu bus system. If you are traveling with a guided tour group, you will have to explore Honolulu based on the tour schedule.

Having a spacious rental car also gives you the benefit of bringing along more items while you are traveling. For example, you can bring along things like food, cameras, beach chairs or umbrellas, coolers and more. While most travelers can use the extra space, this option can be even more convenient for families that are traveling with children or elderly members.

Honolulu Airport Car Rental Companies

Getting a car rental at the Honolulu Airport is the best option for tourists visiting the island. Most of the major car rental providers have a convenient site for travelers located at the airport. This includes companies such as:

  • Avis.
  • Alamo.
  • Budget.
  • Enterprise.
  • Dollar.
  • National.
  • Thrifty.
  • Hertz in Honolulu.

Renting a car is the easiest way to navigate the islands, especially for travelers who want to venture out further than Waikiki.

Tips for Getting a Car Rental in Honolulu

Traveling can get very expensive if you don’t budget yourself properly, but there are some tips and tricks for tourists to get a cheap car rental in Honolulu. Although the price of a car rental in Honolulu is relatively affordable compared to other popular vacation destinations in the country, there are still ways to save money on the total cost. Here are some of the most helpful methods for saving money on your car rental during your trip to Oahu.

1.      Reconsider Purchasing Extra Insurance Coverage

One way to cut the cost of a car rental in Waikiki or Honolulu, is to refuse the additional insurance coverage that is offered by the rental car provider. In many cases, if you own a car then your personal automobile insurance will usually be enough coverage for your rental car in Hawaii. Speak with your insurance provider before your trip to check and make sure to carry your insurance ID card when you pick up your rental car.

Note: Some credit card companies offer auto insurance on vehicle rentals for customers who are on vacation. Call your credit card provider to check if you are covered by their policy before your trip.

2.      Pick the Best Type of Car for Your Trip

Although it can be tempting to select an SUV or a 4×4 for your Hawaiian island getaway, in many cases a car will be a more reasonable choice for a cheap car rental in Honolulu. Some rental car companies will try to convince you that a 4×4 is the best option for exploring the island, but a regular car will be able to get you anywhere you to most travel destinations in Oahu.  In fact, one of the only spots that requires a 4×4 to reach is Mauna Kea’s summit on the Big Island of Hawaii.

3.      Choose Affordable Options for Refueling Your Rental

When it comes to refueling your car rental in Honolulu, you will typically be given three options. The most expensive option is to return the vehicle at the end of your trip and ask the rental agency to refuel it themselves. Typically, the will charge you a refueling rate that is significantly more expensive than standard gas prices in the area.

Another option you will have is to prepay for a full tank of gas at a special affordable rate. With this option, you can return the rental vehicle at the end of your trip with any amount of fuel remaining in the tank and the car rental agency will fill it themselves at no additional cost. Finally, you will have the option to refuel the vehicle at a gas station for their standard price before you return the vehicle to the rental car agency.

4.      Pre-purchase Your Rental Car and Book Package Deals

When booking your flight, check to see if they have any special deals for booking your car rental in Honolulu at the same time. You can generally expect to save some money by booking different travel accommodations together. Try to book your accommodations in advance and check to see if there are any special deals for renting a car.

5.      Be Aware of the Underage Charge

Drivers who are 25 years of age or younger will have to pay an additional fee for being “underage” in Hawaii. This additional charge is around $25 to $75 per day and can come as a surprise to younger travelers. Unfortunately, this fee is unavoidable for drivers who are not 25 years of age or older, so tourists must make sure to factor the charge into their travel budget.