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Type of vehicle rental

South Dakota
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44 posts
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Type of vehicle rental

I am thinking of renting a soft top Jeep during our stay in March. It will be from the 7th - 16th. Is it worth it to have this type of vehicle. Also looking at renting from, discount hawaii car rentals as they seem to be letting you pick the exact vehicle you want instead of type/similiar car. Hoping that someone has experience with them so I can feel comfortable that I will get a newer type vehicle that runs well. It looks as if Budget has the best price for what I want.

Northern California...
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1. Re: Type of vehicle rental

4 wheel drive is not needed on Kauai so it comes down to whether you want it or not. I personally try to get small SUV's (ex: Ford Escapes) simply because its what I drive at home - and not all the relatives have nicely paved driveways.

I've never used Discount Hawaii Car Rentals but they seem to be just an aggregator web site. You'll book through them but all they do is pass the info on to the rental agency. You may find a cheaper rate by booking directly through the rental company if they happen to be running a special that Discount Hawaii didn't catch.

Moorpark, California
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for Kauai, Catalina Island
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14,389 posts
56 reviews
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2. Re: Type of vehicle rental

In 2003, my best friend rented a Jeep. We rented a small SUV for my family. We took a few side trips in the Jeep and it was very uncomfortable, in my opinion. Very loud, no storage space and not very secure. You really do not need a 4WD vehicle in Kauai. We have traveled all over Kauai in a mini-van including Polihale State Park, the Arboretum area and Maha`ulepu beach. We love renting convertibles but with a family of 4, we have opted for the smaller SUV.

Wailua
Destination Expert
for Kauai
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3. Re: Type of vehicle rental

If you want to go exploring on the dirt roads of Kokee and the Arboratum in Wailua, you definitely need 4WD, especially in the rainy season. On these roads, you can access some remote hiking, Blue Hole or Na Pali views, and get away from the crowds. The Mahaulepu and Polihale dirt roads are flat and you can probably do them in any car, except 4WD will get you through the sandy part at Polihale.

Just yesterday, I went from the Spalding Monument to Kapaa on Hauaala Rd, which is a downhill dirt road and it was slippery with the rain. So I put in the 4WD, even low gear, on my Suzuki just to get control. Not a regular tourist road, but it's there if you like to get off the pavement.

If you just want an soft-top to cruise the open road, there are more comfortable options, as others have pointed out--maybe the Sebring convertible.

I have had one great experience with discounthawaiicarrental.com (to give their URL): when all the other rental company websites wanted to charge me an arm and a leg for Thanksgiving weekend on Oahu, they got me a great price, even made sure I got 4-dr like I wanted. I haven't tried them for Kauai, but there's no obligation just to get a quote from them (and no, I'm in no way affiliated).

Moorpark, California
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for Kauai, Catalina Island
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14,389 posts
56 reviews
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4. Re: Type of vehicle rental

The main roads at the Arboretum are accessible without a 4WD. There were a few that we ventured on that needed the 4WD so I was glad we had the SUV. But for just driving around the island and site seeing, most people get along fine with a regular rental.

Palm Springs...
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11,440 posts
104 reviews
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5. Re: Type of vehicle rental

4x4 is a waste...not needed on any island and all rental companies forbid them from being taken off a paved road. ..add the lack of storage, comfort, noise above 45 is huge, 12-14 mpg with Gas at 3.60... you will fing yourself spending $40 a day in gas... totaly a waste

Get a rental similiar to the size and type you drive at home... or an economy car that gets 30+ mpg

South Dakota
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44 posts
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6. Re: Type of vehicle rental

Ended up reserving a convertible through the main travel agency that is handling our companies trip. They used "thrifty" so I hope that it works out.

Moorpark, California
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Catalina Island
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14,389 posts
56 reviews
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7. Re: Type of vehicle rental

You'll be happy with a convertible. We also rent from Thrifty from time to time and they are fine. Just one suggestion: Make sure you are familar with how the top opens and closes before you leave the lot. On our very first trip to Kauai in 1990, we were driving to Poipu from the airport with the top down. We were so excited to be there! It started to pour with no warning whatsoever and we did not know how the top closed. It was dark and we got soaked trying to get it closed. A funny moment, actually!

covington,la
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778 posts
39 reviews
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8. Re: Type of vehicle rental

A Wrangler with 12-14 MPG? That seems low? Are you talking about Hummers? I loved loved loved the Jeep we had in Oahu, and we never had any plans to off road. We will definitely get a Jeep or at least a Vert in Kauai, we have one at home and adore it.

Moorpark, California
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Catalina Island
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14,389 posts
56 reviews
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9. Re: Type of vehicle rental

The Jeep that my friend rented was a bare bones Wrangler and it was extremely loud on the highway. It was also very cold. We only drove it from our rental house on Ho'ona Road to the Kiahuna Golf course. It was extremely uncomfortable, in my opinion.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
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23,370 posts
57 reviews
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10. Re: Type of vehicle rental

I tend to doubt that Hummers get even 12-14 mpg, but that's just me.