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Shocked at how high car rentals in Hawaii are

chellej

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I have the 1st two weeks of 2021 booked for Kauai. When I booked the room, I reserved my car...$500 for 2 weeks. Well since then I booked my plane fare and based on rates we are going a day earlier and leaving a day earlier. I went to rebook car to align with plane tickets and now the rate is $1100 for the 2 weeks. Unless the rates come down, we will be taking a taxi or uber to the hotel and then pick up the car the next day.

Hopefully, the prices will come down before then. Anyone else booking 6-8 months out?
 

slip

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I think the prices will come down but don’t know where they will settle because of all this.
I don’t really know how reliable Uber is on Kauai. I always rent a car, even for work when I am there. I don’t know if I could stay on Kauai without a car.
 

bobpark56

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I've found there are 2 ways to greatly reduce the cost of car rentals on Maui. (1) Rent off airport. Enterprise and Hertz have worked well for us. It's a $10-12 taxi ride. I then come back to pick up my wife & bags. (2) Rent for 28-30 days to get the monthly rates. They are enough lower that it pays for extra days on Maui.
An alternative is to give Autoslash a try. We have also had good results with them.
 

Luanne

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+1 on Autoslash.

Keep the reservation you have. Make a new one with the correct dates and then enter that into Autoslash so they can monitor rates for you.
 

luv_maui

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+1 autoslash. Also, don’t forget to to use autoslash and track your car rental for lower prices
 

Lanswitch

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Rent a car for one day, the day you arrive, and then return it the next day for your less expensive rate.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

chellej

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Rent a car for one day, the day you arrive, and then return it the next day for your less expensive rate.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That was my first thought as well but I think because of the covid the rental counters have reduced hours. When I search on Costco they show all the rentals close at 7 and out flight doesn't get in until 1030 pm. Right now my plan is to take a cab to the hotel then back to the airport to pick up the car the next day. I was hoping the hotel had a shuttle but no such luck. We are at the hilton garden inn for 1 night then 2 weeks up at hanalei Bay.

I will try autoslash
 

TravelTime

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I have booked car rentals in advance though the discount sites. You can google “discount rental cars + island name“ for the sites. I usually book at the best discount price available well in advance so I know I have a car. You do not need to give a credit card to book in advance. Usually I think the advance rental price was in the high $500s to $600 range pre Covid. Then I rebook the day of arrival in Hawaii or a few days before we leave for a much lower price if they still have inventory. I have paid as low as high $300s to $400 for 2 weeks. I believe they add on misc fees and taxes to this rate when we get there. I have done this in Oahu and Maui in 2018 and 2019. I need to try auto slash. I have not heard of that site.
 
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Tamaradarann

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That was my first thought as well but I think because of the covid the rental counters have reduced hours. When I search on Costco they show all the rentals close at 7 and out flight doesn't get in until 1030 pm. Right now my plan is to take a cab to the hotel then back to the airport to pick up the car the next day. I was hoping the hotel had a shuttle but no such luck. We are at the hilton garden inn for 1 night then 2 weeks up at hanalei Bay.

I will try autoslash

So if you get in at 10:30 PM when the rental car places are closed it is a moot point that the rates have gone up for your situation. You MUST take a cab for the first night and get your low rate rent a car the next day. You couldn't rent a car for the 15 nights even if the rate was $100!
 

linsj

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The Marriott resort has a free shuttle, and it's only a few minutes from the airport (might be a factor for you that late at night). You might price it vs. HGI + 2 taxi rides.
 

chellej

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So if you get in at 10:30 PM when the rental car places are closed it is a moot point that the rates have gone up for your situation. You MUST take a cab for the first night and get your low rate rent a car the next day. You couldn't rent a car for the 15 nights even if the rate was $100!

I am hoping that the early close date is because of the covid and by January they will be open later...I have never arrived on the late flight before so I don't know if this is a new thing or if Lihue always has closed at 7 pm
 

chellej

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The Marriott resort has a free shuttle, and it's only a few minutes from the airport (might be a factor for you that late at night). You might price it vs. HGI + 2 taxi rides.


I was surprised when the Hilton did not have a shuttle......that was my original thinking...shuttle back and forth to airport. It is still definitely cheaper to keep the current reservation and taxi versus changing it at this point
 

slip

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I was surprised when the Hilton did not have a shuttle......that was my original thinking...shuttle back and forth to airport. It is still definitely cheaper to keep the current reservation and taxi versus changing it at this point

I stay there for work when I go to Kauai. I would have sworn I have seen shuttle vans. Maybe they don’t have them now because of COVID? Maybe I’m wrong but I will look next time I am there. Should be there in August as long as work lifts their travel restrictions.
 

chellej

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I stay there for work when I go to Kauai. I would have sworn I have seen shuttle vans. Maybe they don’t have them now because of COVID? Maybe I’m wrong but I will look next time I am there. Should be there in August as long as work lifts their travel restrictions.

Thanks Jeff

It's interesting because the website says no shuttle but also says they have no onsite parking. I would appreciate if you let me know
 

slip

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Thanks Jeff

It's interesting because the website says no shuttle but also says they have no onsite parking. I would appreciate if you let me know

There is definitely onsite parking. I always rent a car and have parked in their lot. Just an FYI, making a left out of there is very hard at times. I usually just take a right and turn around by the bridge.
 

TheTimeTraveler

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That was my first thought as well but I think because of the covid the rental counters have reduced hours. When I search on Costco they show all the rentals close at 7 and out flight doesn't get in until 1030 pm. Right now my plan is to take a cab to the hotel then back to the airport to pick up the car the next day. I was hoping the hotel had a shuttle but no such luck. We are at the hilton garden inn for 1 night then 2 weeks up at hanalei Bay.

I will try autoslash


NEVER rent a car from the airport if you can avoid doing so..... Airport rates are always higher due to higher taxes imposed upon all airport vehicle rentals. This is usually true anywhere in the world.

Sometimes it pays to work around it. It definitely may be inconvenient to do so but many times the inconvenience keeps money in your pocket......



.
 

Tamaradarann

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I am hoping that the early close date is because of the covid and by January they will be open later...I have never arrived on the late flight before so I don't know if this is a new thing or if Lihue always has closed at 7 pm

I arrived in Lihue after 7 PM in 2009 on our first visit to Kauai and had no problem with a rent a car. The virus situation has resulted in a number of things closing and others shortening their hours so most probably the early close time is caused by the coronavirus and relatively so few passenger arrivals.

However, the island of Kauai does shutdown early. I know I was in Honolulu in March when Kauai implemented a 11:00 PM-5AM curfew for everyone. I recall thinking that the streets in Kauai normally roll up at 9 PM so what is the big deal about an 11:00 PM curfew start time!
 

luv_maui

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We typically only Rent for 1 week, so a car rental X 4-5 weeks really adds up. We will probably just try Uber/Lyft, if available, starting tomorrow for the weekend before deciding on a car rental For 4+ weeks. I mean $190 to car rental company and another $420 for taxes and fees - and that‘s the poor review no name brand car rental place. Add another 50%+ for a brand name reliable car rental.. Never thought about it that much on 1 week but now it becomes a material amount.
 

Tamaradarann

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We typically only Rent for 1 week, so a car rental X 4-5 weeks really adds up. We will probably just try Uber/Lyft, if available, starting tomorrow for the weekend before deciding on a car rental For 4+ weeks. I mean $190 to car rental company and another $420 for taxes and fees - and that‘s the poor review no name brand car rental place. Add another 50%+ for a brand name reliable car rental.. Never thought about it that much on 1 week but now it becomes a material amount.

I certainly agree with what you are saying. That is the reason that we find that Oahu is our favorite island and that we always stay in Waikiki and NOT rent a car. We usually stay about 4 months so the car rental, parking, and gas could cost close to $10,000. We get a Senior Bus Pass for $6/month each and we get whereever we want to go without worrying about traffic; parking; as well as the cost. However, in view of the Coronavirus we don't know if we want to go back this year. We can usually walk to many of the things we do, however, some things are beyond walking distance particularly at night. That is just one of the reasons we have second thoughts about going this year.
 

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We usually stay about 4 months so the car rental, parking, and gas could cost close to $10,000.
Wow, we certainly would not spend that much on a car and other related expenses. When we’ve gone to oahu , NY, etc we too don’t rent a car due to total costs, especially parking costs. This trip we’re looking as a once in a lifetime trip, so we’ve decided to rent from AVIS, even though rental costs are $200+ more than ACE. And agreed, trying to park in some locations, Waikiki, NY, San Francisco, etc is much easier to take public transportion like uber/lyft/taxi but during this pandemic I would be concerned for safety. I wore my mask the entire time on the plane this trip, except for occasional break drinking my water, even though coach was less than 10% full and not a single person in front of us and closest row to us With people was at least 10 rows behind us.
 

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In March, I booked 3 weeks for 1/23/2021 for $1,129 through DiscountHawaiiCarRental.com. It's an intermediate size through Alamo, and it wasn't the lowest price size or rental company. I checked again and the price was the same. The prices are based on supply and demand, so anything during the holidays is going to be more expensive once people start booking the cars.
 

luv_maui

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In March, I booked 3 weeks for 1/23/2021 for $1,129 through DiscountHawaiiCarRental.com. It's an intermediate size through Alamo, and it wasn't the lowest price size or rental company. I checked again and the price was the same. The prices are based on supply and demand, so anything during the holidays is going to be more expensive once people start booking the cars.
Absolutely. We came once between Xmas through New Year’s Day and I had to book early and pay thru the nose. I think later it showed sold out at many of the Car rental Agencies periodically.
 

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Entire fleets of cars are parked. I don’t know what pricing algorithms they use, but I would think having most of the fleet unavailable could affect pricing. I am getting decent pricing with a discount code for a local organization.
 

Tamaradarann

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Entire fleets of cars are parked. I don’t know what pricing algorithms they use, but I would think having most of the fleet unavailable could affect pricing. I am getting decent pricing with a discount code for a local organization.

You would think that since entire fleets of cars are parked you could rent a car for $100/week. Maybe the cost is so high since they they need to do such a thorough and extensive cleaning and disinfection of the car after rental since it may be contaminated with the virus?
 

luv_maui

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You would think that since entire fleets of cars are parked you could rent a car for $100/week. Maybe the cost is so high since they they need to do such a thorough and extensive cleaning and disinfection of the car after rental since it may be contaminated with the virus?
We rented a car from AVIS (in Kihei) for $200+/wk vs ACE ~$154/wk -just because not good reviews on ACE. We rented off airport (returning to airport; we were told no one way drop off fee). Car may have been disinfected, but certainly dirty. Disappointed at AVIS for cleanliness, but this off airport location with 1 employee not very knowledgeable was surprised to see me - not many rentals obviously. They probably aren’t expecting many rentals and those that do rent they can generally charge whatever they want to some extent. If they don’t have the volume, they need to make it up some way by higher amounts for those fewer rentals. If we come back in September, our 1-week car rental rate (~$300), per week, is significantly higher than our 4 week rental. We might (?) try Turo, but still debating.
 
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