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Kauai - Jeep or convertible

sjnoble

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We're going to Kauai for Labor day!
Would like suggestions on whether to rent a Jeep or convertible?
We got a really good deal $130 for a week of convertible! Jeep would cost >$200 but I'm not sure whether it's worth it.
Are most roads easy to drive with passenger cars? Are there must-see places that are only accessible by Jeep?

Thanks for your advice!
sjnoble
 

DeniseM

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You don't need a jeep on Kauai unless you intend to do true off-roading. Also, be aware that you can't really lock them up because of the soft top, and it is time consuming (and eventually tiresome) to take the soft top off and put it back on multiple times, and there is also no luggage storage.
 
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S

Steamboat Bill

Are there must-see places that are only accessible by Jeep?
Yes, there are, but you would probably VOID your contract and if you are not an experienced 4WDer, then you should stick to the roads.

Save money and skip the Jeep (unless it is a Rubicon version)
 

mannering

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Car rental for convertible?

Can you please share where you found the convertible for $130 for the week? Have been looking for same and $160 before taxes/fees is the best I've found so far. Thanks.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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Yes, there are, but you would probably VOID your contract and if you are not an experienced 4WDer, then you should stick to the roads.

Save money and skip the Jeep (unless it is a Rubicon version)
The contract isn't void if you go off-road. It merely means that any coverages you paid for as part of the rental (at the rental company's inflated rates for inferior coverage) are void. Then since any alternate coverage you do have (from your primary policy or through a credit card company) will probably also be void since you would then be operating the vehicle contrary t the rental agreement.

IOW - by operating the vehicle off-road you become personally liable for any damage to the vehicle. That's not at all the same as voiding the agreement.

The reality is that visitors who rent Jeeps routinely drive those vehicles off-road in violation of the agreement. The rental companies know that happens all of the time. They know that people want to drive Jeeps off-road while in Hawaii and they are more than willing to stock their rental fleets with vehicles that people will rent for that purpose.

By prohibiting off-road usage they are merely minimizing their exposure under the CDW coverages they sell. That's all it is.
 

Tiger

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If you want to do some of the excellent hikes that are available only by eroded dirt roads such as the alakai trail and the cliff trail and perhaps polihale beach a 4wd is essential (some do polihale in normal cars)

Even if at home in your own 4wd if you go off official roads and injure the car for instance scraping against a rock or a tree you are not covered and likewise with a rental. off road 4wdriving entails a certain amount of assumption of risk. You're not likely to total the car unless you drive down on a beach and get caught in the tide. For what it's worth I've had a close call in a 4wd on the back roads of Kauai almost getting stuck in slick mud. I had checked before and had an estimated tow charge of $500, but I was willing to take that risk.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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\ (some do polihale in normal cars)
I've never had a problem doing Polihale in a normal car - I've probably been out there six times. Perhaps after some prolonged rain the road might be difficult for an ordinary car, but most of the time it's readily drivable as long as you don't actually drive onto the sand. It might be a bit bumpy and you might have to steer around a few potholes, but no problems with low clearance or slick curves.
 

sjnoble

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Can you please share where you found the convertible for $130 for the week? Have been looking for same and $160 before taxes/fees is the best I've found so far. Thanks.
mannering I got it through Alamo using the Costco codes available on their web page (Go to their Travel page, there's codes to save extra $ for luxury vehicles or SUV's). The price went down $30-$40 when I check a second time a few weeks ago. I normally just cancel the more expensive reservation and make a new one, since you don't have to put a credit card to reserve the car.
 

tombo

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A jeep! I went on the back roads all over the Island in my rental Jeep. The road to the columns that held the gates to Jurrasic Park in the movie are on a rough road. There are many other forks on the way to the coumns where you can drive to see areas few see. I went on many dirt and mud roads in the Grand Canyon of the Pacific area. We went out by jeep to points overlooking the ocean on the Napali coast. I went on so many deer hunting/pig hunting roads towards the ocean on the left heading up to the Grand Canyon that I almost got lost.

The jeep has a mini top that is easy to fold back. The luggage room sucks, but there were only 2 of us and we never had a problem. I put snorkels, masks, fins, cooler (with ice and drinks),towels, extra clothes, etc in the back of the Jeep and covered the Island. We went many places that nothing other than a 4 wd could have gone, and if air fares ever drop and we go back we will rent a Jeep again without question.
 
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