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Car Rental companies not to use? on Maui, Kauai, and OAhu?

new jersey
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Car Rental companies not to use? on Maui, Kauai, and OAhu?

Hi everyone,

I read the top questions on the Maui and Kaui and Hawaii forum and did a search but still didn't get full answer to my rental car company question....so I am posting on each island forum...hope you don't mind me repeating if you see same posts on each island forum..

We are planning to rent a car on both islands in mid-May..I know there are the regular big car rentals like Budget, Avis, Enterprise, etc..but is there one car rental companies that seem to have more issues in rental car. (I know there is discounthawaiirentals.com that work with many car rental companies)..

For example, when were were in St. Thomas, many many people adviced NOT to use Budget at the airpot because they had bad customer svc, they promise car and not have one, too long lines, etc..Also, we want to make sure the cars are relatively new -- a couple or so years and that they are not banged up -- in St. Thomas they called these banged up cars "island cars" which really did not seem safe especially if driving on winding roads on the islands..

Is there any such bad rental company on the islands -- Maui, Kaui, and maybe Honolulu..

Also I read that a regular standard 4 car is fine ( we have two adults and 2 young toddlers)? We would require carseats for the kids..? No SUV is necessary on winding roads ..we don't plan to drive past the unpaved roads in HAna...

Thanks..

Washington
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1. Re: Car Rental companies not to use? on Maui, Kauai, and OAhu?

I rent from Discount Hawaiian Car Rentals on Kauai and have never had a problem with them. This time I'm using Costco Travel since they have a great price and I'm saving over $60 from DHCR.

California
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2. Re: Car Rental companies not to use? on Maui, Kauai, and OAhu?

You are going to get so many responses on BAD service someone experienced, but honestly all the rental companies have good and bad issues. Hertz is the most expensive for sure. The only one I would avoid is Island Rental Cars. They take those cars that people complain about at the other rental counters and keep them running with bandaids and a prayer. I have rented from every single agency over the last 8 years and come 5 times a year. I have had no real issues. I had to return a car one time to Budget and thats about it. Nothing earth shattering has ever happened. I tend to like to rent with Alamo but will take whoever is the cheapest. An SUV is not necessary. Right now mid size has the best prices.

BC
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3. Re: Car Rental companies not to use? on Maui, Kauai, and OAhu?

We like Alamo but rent from the cheapest. I did have one problem with Alamo once and we almost got stuck at kee beach with my dd who was young at the time. Not impressed on how they handle it and it ruined the entire day. Now I will refuse a car that looks in poor shape. Lesson learned.

Moorpark, California
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for Kauai, Catalina Island
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4. Re: Car Rental companies not to use? on Maui, Kauai, and OAhu?

I've had great cars and service from Alamo though I've neber needed to call them mid-trip. My husband had a horrible experience with Dollar/ Thrifty 2 weeks ago but that was because the agent was having a bad day or something. Once he got his car, everything was fine.

Yes, you will need car seats for the kids. Car seat laws in Hawaii are similar to most state laws

Kauai, Hawaii
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5. Re: Car Rental companies not to use? on Maui, Kauai, and OAhu?

thrifty, for me has been the worst but we live here on kauai, and problem was at LAX, and that has been previously documented on this board .

Alamo, on the neighbor islands, one car had a destroyed right front tire ( large buble on the sidewall ) that Erica spotted as I pulled to baggage area to collect her....took it back, immediately upgraded to a convertable without asking.

Alamo, on other time, the engine problem light was on, I checked everything that I could and returned the car and the same thing, up graded to the sebring convertable without asking.

We did not demand or scream, or threaten, we practiced island aloha, and we were out of the agencies in very short order.

This last trip to the mainland, we used Enterprise and they were 100% marvelous, no upselling, no rudeness unlike thrifty, and were out of there and on the road from LAX to Huntington Beach in two shakes of a billy goats tail, Which is mighty quick.

Thrifty is on my NEVER AGAIN list....and will emain so , until they scatter the ashes.

Edited: 07 March 2014, 19:09
pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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6. Re: Car Rental companies not to use? on Maui, Kauai, and OAhu?

The majors are all fine. Sometimes one will give less-than-stellar service, sometimes another will. We really don't hear many complaints, in general. Do use www.discounthawaiicarrental.com for your booking. Many of us here do, and they often have the best price.

Oahu, Hawaii
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for Oahu
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7. Re: Car Rental companies not to use? on Maui, Kauai, and OAhu?

Aloha,

If you run a search for each island forum and read through the results, you may be able to reach a conclusion or at least detect a common theme.

For instance, I seem to recall a few reports of a company charging high fees for "excess sand removal" after a car is returned or even after the tourist has returned home. (IIRC, those threads were about Thrifty on Kauai, but some may have been on Maui. Check the search results to find out for sure.) There have been reports of charges and attempts to charge for pre-existing damage as well.

Are you spending time on Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai? How long will you be on each island?

Most rental cars have automatic, not standard, transmission. You should probably make a special request if you require standard (if those are even available

Do you mean a 4-door car or 4-wheel drive? 4-wheel drive is not necessary.

To avoid high-pressure, "up-sell" attempts from pushy counter staff, be firm but polite as you decline. Even better, avoid the line altogether if possible.

Aloha

new jersey
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8. Re: Car Rental companies not to use? on Maui, Kauai, and OAhu?

Thank you everyone..yes we are renting on Maui and Kuai -- I just booked on discountcarrental for an intermediate car on Maui and

I assume we just need a regular 4 door intermediate car for Kuai as well.

The thing is they didn't have a place for me to request child car seat for my 2 year old...and I am concerned if we don't reserve there may not be on available at that time? Should I call discount or Alamo and give them the confirmation # to reserve carseat?

Thanks..

California
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9. Re: Car Rental companies not to use? on Maui, Kauai, and OAhu?

I remember seeing on the last page, a request for extras. You can call Hawaii Discount and they can add it on. They are super nice to talk to on the phone.

Having a problem with a rental agency in a mainland location like LAX, has no bearing on service on Kauai or Maui. Usually issues are local in nature.

Santa Rosa...
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10. Re: Car Rental companies not to use? on Maui, Kauai, and OAhu?

you're going to hear good and bad about all of them. They all have their bad days. Reality is that opinions posted online about anything tend to slant to the negative. Folks are less inclined to take the time to post glowing reviews as they are with venting about the bad experiences.

I don't normally recommend using middle-men for much but in the case of a rental car on Hawaii I strongly recommend using Discount Hawaii Car Rental. If you have a problem with the rental car company you have their backing. Compared to big boy rental companies whose employees don't give a hoot if you rent from them or not, DHCR is a company that really strives to get your business and keep it.