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Car rentals on the big Island.

victoria, b.c.
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Car rentals on the big Island.

We are going to be on Hawaii in November for a few weeks and are having a lot of trouble finding a reasonable car rental. So far it looks as though we need to pay 50 bucks a day, which is much more than we expected. Is this the norm? Thanks.

ON, Canada
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1. Re: Car rentals on the big Island.

Usually the rates come down closer to when you'll be there ... 4 weeks or so out. However, if your trip is over Thanksgiving w/e the prices might stay high. If you are there over Thanksgiving, check the rental rates for the week before/after to see if there is a difference. Sometimes doing two bookings works out cheaper if you're there over a holiday, but that means returning to the car rental to do the exchange.

I did find rental rates to be high on the BI (in March/April); more than we're used to paying on Maui.

I would book a cancellable reservation now and keep checking. Discount Hawaii Car Rental is a good site to use.

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2. Re: Car rentals on the big Island.

As Susan mentions , if your trip is anywhere near the time of American Thanksgiving (Nov 28)......the rates can be high.

What type of vehicle class are you seeing for $50/ day?

Have you tried various discount codes to perhaps bring down the rate?......Costco, Aeroplan, any professional affiliations you may have...

Check out Flyertalk.

Portland, Tennessee
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for Waikoloa
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3. Re: Car rentals on the big Island.

Try this website:


My in-laws had good luck with them.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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4. Re: Car rentals on the big Island.

I generally always use the site listed above for discount Hawaiian or this one:


They are affiliates and both usually offer the best rates for Hawaiian car rentals. You reserve a car with them and if you find a better deal, just cancel theirs - no penalty or charges. I always compare with hotwire or priceline as well. Good luck! :)

Denver, Colorado
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5. Re: Car rentals on the big Island.

Dito, start w/ Discount Hawaii as your starting reservation (typically much lower than standard reservation).

Then start shopping places like Hotwire and Kayak. Hotwire will require a prepayment w/ no refundable where as Kayak I understand has an easier way to back out. Yes, look at Costco and other discount rental services too.

Can't say what kind of car you want but last time out May of 2013 I got an economy car for around $20 per day (including taxes) thru Hotwire. You probably won't get much lower than that rate. So start shopping around and you might have to do that daily to get best rate.

Also, if using a credit card for your insurance coverage check what time period that covers other wise check w/ your personal insurance agent so you can avoid the expensive rental offered insurance.

Also, if you rent in full day increments w/o going over you won't be charged for an extra day at the end.

For example if you land in Kona at say 5pm then return the car days later at 5pm you can avoid that tack on charge as well..

On the morning of your return make sure you fill up the tank (last time out I forgot and had to pay the extra per gallon to have them do it). There's a good fill up station just about a mile south of KOA on your right if heading north.

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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6. Re: Car rentals on the big Island.

The closest gas station to KOA is the Chevron near the harbor, a little over four miles away south. Make sure and keep your receipt, there have been reported incidents of rental car employees challenging those returning cars as to whether they had filled up within ten miles as specified by the contract, and when unable to produce the receipt, people have been charged.

One such incident resulted in an ugly confrontation between a rental car employee and a visitor, name calling ensued, and police were called and actually boarded and delayed the plane where the visitor was to take a report. Not how one wants to end a vacation!

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7. Re: Car rentals on the big Island.

There are two gas stations in the "new" industrial area (mauka on Hina Lani St.), which are quite a bit closer to the airport than the Chevron near the harbor - one is Costco, and the other is the Tesoro on Kanalani St. . . . and YES! keeping your receipt to show to any car check-in agent who might challenge you is essential.

Orlando, Florida
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8. Re: Car rentals on the big Island.

this site: www.rentalcodes.com/hawaii.html , will usually equal or beat discount hawaii car rental site & you actually see which company you are renting from instead of just "company A", "company B", etc,

9. Re: Car rentals on the big Island.

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