Honolulu, Hawaii

4 Things to Consider When Renting a Car in Honolulu for Your Hawaiian Road Trip

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Hawaii is a top travel destination for both local and international tourists. It has several islands you can explore and a host of activities for you to try, ranging from surfing and hiking to scuba diving. One of the best Hawaiian islands to visit is Oahu—the third largest in the archipelago. It’s famous for having some of the state’s top beaches, with hotspots like Lanikai beach famous for its white sand and turquoise waters. Another popular spot is the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, a historic attraction commemorating past sailors and marines.

Since these destinations are spread across the island, fully exploring Oahu is best done by renting a car and kickstarting a road trip bonanza. For a safe, enjoyable, and unforgettable adventure, you’ll want to consider these four things before booking your car rental:

What car to rent

Vehicle with surf board on top

The first thing to consider is the type of car you want to use. Your decision will depend on the number of people you’re traveling with and the places you want to visit. If you’re going with family, rent a van so everyone will be seated comfortably. Conversely, get a 4WD to better navigate the rough terrain near spots like the Poamoho Ridge Trail—one of the best places to hike in Oahu. If you finalize your trip itinerary before leaving for Hawaii, this decision will be easier to make.

Renting a car at the airport

Man holding car keys

This is something to consider doing if you want to immediately kickstart your road trip and make the most out of your time in Hawaii. You can choose from several companies that offer car rental services at the airport in Honolulu, including Avis, Payless, and Thrifty. Their rates may vary, so scope out your options before booking. Finally, have your driver’s license, International Driving Permit (if you’re not American), and car rental confirmation number (if you booked your car online) on hand. That way, you can head to the CONRAC Consolidated Car Rental Facility at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and pick up your rental right after you land.

Getting rental car insurance

Man holding pen and contract

Safety should always be a top priority, especially since you’ll spend most of your trip on the road. That’s why getting rental car insurance is essential. Your personal car insurance may already include rental car insurance, so talk with your company or agent to inquire about that before your trip. From here, you can look into booking with a rental company that offers insurance options. By reviewing your personal car insurance plans first, you can avoid paying twice the price.

Hawaii’s fuel prices

Gas pump nozzle fueling up a car

Fuel prices can be significantly higher in Hawaii because it has to be transported from the mainland. So even if gas prices in Hawaii finally reached below $5 per gallon last January after the spike in July 2022, they’re still higher than the national average of $3.36. By familiarizing yourself with these prices, you can better budget for the constant refueling your car rental will need during your trip. Conversely, you can consider renting an electric vehicle if you’re unhappy with how expensive gas is in the state. However, you’ll still need to pay to charge such cars, so compare the two to see which option best suits your finances.

Going on a road trip in Oahu can be one of the best Hawaiian experiences out there. By considering the 4 things listed above, you can easily, efficiently, and safely rent a car for your adventures. Read our other Travel Tips here for more travel insights.

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