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need to book ahead for car rental in Oahu?

Sydney, Australia
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663 posts
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need to book ahead for car rental in Oahu?

Hi - we are first timers arriving in May. Do we need to book car rental in advance for Oahu or are there plenty available after we arrive? We are staying in Waikiki.

Thanks!

Omaha, Nebraska
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1. Re: need to book ahead for car rental in Oahu?

I would think so if at least for the best rate. If you are not renting one for the whole time you will be there if you know what day or days you would want one I would also.

Toronto
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2. Re: need to book ahead for car rental in Oahu?

We arrived in Waikiki yesterday and booked an intermediate car (with entertainment book coupon) online through National just now. We will pick it up tomorrow and return it the following Sunday...total cost is $125 US. Here's the key, it's cheaper to book the car for 7 days than 5 days.

Sydney, Australia
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663 posts
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3. Re: need to book ahead for car rental in Oahu?

Thanks for that. We'll book ahead now by the looks of things.

laguna niguel, ca
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4. Re: need to book ahead for car rental in Oahu?

waikiki has limited parking so they often run out of cars, always book in advance.

Sydney, Australia
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663 posts
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5. Re: need to book ahead for car rental in Oahu?

Thanks for that. We'll definitely book ahead and probably go with National. They seem by far to have the best rates for us Aussies. Does anyone have any other suggestions about who to go with? Have tried Thrifty and Budget and they are both a fair bit more.

Kobe, Japan
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6. Re: need to book ahead for car rental in Oahu?

Alamo is often quite cheap. The catch is that they are offsite from the airport a few blocks. You can catch a van where the all the rental car vans stop (near baggage claim) and then it's about a 5-minute ride. Another thing is that Alamo is notorious for long lines waiting to get your car, but that might depend on the time of day. I think that Alamo and National are owned by the same parent company.

All of the rental car companies have some sort of frequent/preferred renter program that you can sign up for without cost. Sometimes membership will give you a better rate and sometimes you can can to the preferred members counter, which might have shorter lines.

This board has good information and sometimes codes for rental discounts for the different rental car companies.

www.flyertalk.com/forum/forumdisplay.php…

I am in the middle of trouble with National right now. They claim that I had some damage to a car that I rented in Hawaii, but I did not do anything to cause such damage. Other people who have rented from National have had the same experience. No damage noted on check in, but a few weeks later contact from a Viking collections agency hired by National to pursue it. Others who have posted about this say it's a scam. They've reported it to their company travel agents, who end of paying because it's easier to pay than fight. I don't know, because I'm in the middle of it right now, but it's made me very wary of National. At least, make sure that there is no damage when you leave the lot, or if there is, fill out the form saying so. When returning the car, check again and have the agent note no damage.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: need to book ahead for car rental in Oahu?

Dear Nishimark

Thank you for all that info. Sorry to hear you had all that hassle. Now I am having second thoughts about National. Car rental is quite expensiive for us Aussies as the US exchange rate does not favour us and also we have to purchase the additional insurances to cover our backs. Maybe we would be better to stick with thrifty or budget after all.

Thanks again!

Kobe, Japan
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2,575 posts
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8. Re: need to book ahead for car rental in Oahu?

Do you have a credit card that will cover the insurance? I never take the insurance, because my card will cover. Also, your personal car insurance may cover rentals. It would be worth it to check it out.

Chicago
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491 posts
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9. Re: need to book ahead for car rental in Oahu?

As you get close to your vacation time, keep an eye on the sites of the major companies (budget, dollar, national, alamo, thrifty). Most of these companies have last minute specials and coupon codes on various links off their main homepage. Those can save a lot of money if you are willing to look around the sites a bit and check back for rate changes (rates change all the time!).

I always book a car with whatever is the best deal as a safety net (worst case, that would be the most I'll pay even if rates go up). Then, I check other sites (and the site I booked on) leading up to the vacation for new deals or price drops. Usually I'll find at least one better deal before I leave. It's a bit time consuming, but can save a lot of money for the budget traveler.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: need to book ahead for car rental in Oahu?

Dear Nishimark

I am pretty excited as I have just got off the 'phone from Visa after reading your reply. The insurance doesn't kick in with our standard Visa card but if we upgrade our card our whole trip - medical and rental car insurance will be covered.

I still have to read the fine print but on the face of it this will save us a great deal of money. The upgrade will only cost us $80 but should save us much more. For the upgrade we also get an American Express card which also gives us double frequent flyer points. I think Visa should pay you a commission! Thanks so much for the advice. You've made my day.