Five Major Tips for a Hassle-Free Hawaii Car Rental Experience 

The state of Hawaii is a group of islands with no real bus service. Oahu, the third biggest Hawaiian island, is perhaps an exception, but then you would not be exploring just Oaha during your enntire Hawaii trip. Not to mention, taxi fares seem to go through the roof, particularly when there’s a naïve tourist in sight. Bikes and mopeds could be a practical form of transportation for excursions along the south coastlines during the day. But they don’t come very handy at all times and at every location in the archipelago. Hawaii rental car, thus, is the only reliable and practical mode of transport in the state.

Before you go ahead and rent a car for your Hawaii trip, keep the following in mind.

Choose Your Car Sensibly

A Hawaii rental car service would usually offer you vehicle options, letting you pick a car type that is either a hatchback, sedan, or SUV. The vehicle you end up choosing for your sightseeing and general exploration should be based on the number of people in your group and the specific places on your itinerary. If you are three to four or lesser, a hatchback would be fine. If there is one more, you’ll probably find the sedan a lot more accommodating and comfortable. However, if you are more than five people, you’ll definitely need an SUV or something similar.

Hawaii has fairly drivable roads and, therefore, don’t burn extra cash on an SUV rental assuming the roads ahead would be bumpy. A regular car should be fine most of the time. Go for an SUV only if there are too many people in your group and you are planning to hit summits, such as Mauna Kea. If you have the budget for luxury cars, you may very well go ahead.

No Off-Roading, Please

Even if you end up renting an SUV, you are not allowed to do off-roading. Car rental agencies have it in their policies and regulations to not permit renters take the less-trodden path, citing safety issues pertaining both the tourists and the vehicle. Even if you come across a rental company letting you off-road, they may impose limitations on what roads you could tread, how long the off-roading should be, etc. The details are, in fact, so muddy that you are better off driving on regular roads. In most cases, however, off-roading is basically violating the rental agreement.

Book Your Car Online

If you have a smartphone connected to the Internet, then there’s no excuse for not booking your rental car online and well in advance. Arriving in Hawaii and then booking your car is very archaic and also a waste of time and energy. When you book your car online a few weeks or months before your trip, you have plenty of time to research your options. Several car rental companies also have online specials, which would help you save money on your rental costs. Most importantly, when you book online, you are not wasting invaluable holiday time looking for a rental company and taking care of the formalities.

Book for Multiple Days

Book the rental car for multiple days or the number of days you are going to stay in a particular Hawaii island. You would save money, as a result, and you’ll also save yourself a lot of hassle by not having to switch cars too often or juggle between rental companies.

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Keep Your Credit Cards Handy

Whether you are making the payment online or offline, do so with your credit card. It’s not just safe but it may be the only accepted payment method at times. Some rental companies could accept cheques, but then almost no one accepts cash. Also, do not assume booking online and beforehand would mean having paid for everything there is to the car rental process. At times, additional fees could be levied right before you take your rental car for a spin. Therefore, keep some money set aside for miscellaneous expenses in your account at all times.


If you do your research and go through experienced and reliable Hawaii car rental service providers, such as NKT Travel, you shouldn’t have to deal with all the hassles usually associated with renting a car in Hawaii. Car Rental Hawaii by NKT Travel offers you a car to rent on every Hawaiian Island, doesn’t require prepayment, will not charge you for cancellations, and also doesn’t request only credit card payments.

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John Shallo
John Shallo
John Shallo is the founder and editor of Cruise Addicts. Since 1999 it has been a leading destination for cruise travelers and self professed Cruise Addicts looking for the latest news, ship reviews and travel tips.

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