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do I need to rent a car in Oahu?

Calgary, Canada
3 posts
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do I need to rent a car in Oahu?

Plan to go to Hawaii and stay in Waikiki for 5 - 7 nights. Please advice me if I need to rent a car or city buses can take to most sights around the island. Thank you.


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64 reviews
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1. Re: do I need to rent a car in Oahu?

No need to rent a car the buses have got us to everything on the island on my last 3 trips.

Buy a 4 day pass at the ABC stores if you plan to go to lots of places as it will be cheaper.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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2. Re: do I need to rent a car in Oahu?

We always recommend getting a car for at least part of your stay. The public transportation is great, but can be very time consuming. For getting around town it's fine but if you want to do any real sightseeing, like the north shore, it's best to rent a car.

Arroyo Grande...
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3. Re: do I need to rent a car in Oahu?

If you want to really see the island - breathtaking North, East, South shores - you will need a car. As much as I love Honolulu, it would be a shame to travel to Oahu and not see the other parts of the Island. Amazing.

Saint Louis...
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4. Re: do I need to rent a car in Oahu?

I agree with the others that renting a car helps you to best utilize your time. For a 5-7 night stay, you would be spending a lot of time waiting for the bus or walking to/from the bus stop for the various sites. Also, if you plan on seeing other parts of the island besides Waikiki, definitely rent a car. You can get to other parts of Oahu on public transportation, but it is easier if you have a car.

Perth, Australia
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5. Re: do I need to rent a car in Oahu?

The Bus is fantastic for tripping here and there ... the 4-day pass is a good idea. Although the fare is $2.50 each way, so it may work out chepaer just to pay as you go. I did walk a lot, which meant the 4-day pass wasn't viable for me. I did it once and worked it all out.

I even got it to downtown and walked back to Waikiki ... it was a long walk, but I saw lots.

I'd rent a car for a day to go to the north shore... pick it up early and head out to Pearl Harbor; you've got Dole Pineapple; Haleiwa and the northern surf beaches. Come back down to Waikiki via the windward coast .. its very winding and scenic.

If you hire it for longer than a day, check the parking rates at your hotel .. they can be expensive.

NW Arkansas
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85 posts
10 reviews
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6. Re: do I need to rent a car in Oahu?

If your going to be there for a Fri- Mon you might consider looking here to rent a car..

Enterprise @ this select location(

Pick Up Location 677 ALA MOANA BLVD. #101

HONOLULU, HI 96813-5415

Tel.: (808) 536-1555

We'll Pick You Up. ™

has a weekend deal that is so cheap its worth renting for 3 days

I have reservations from 9am on a Fri - 9am on Mon for $19.99 a day plus taxes and fees =$85.30

Burr Ridge, Illinois
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3,900 posts
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7. Re: do I need to rent a car in Oahu?

As you can see it really depends on you and your desired travel style.

in my younger years I use to travel without getting a car rental. Now, I always get a car.

Determine your plans for travel and determine what is right for you.


Long Island City...
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8. Re: do I need to rent a car in Oahu?

It depends what kind of traveler you are. Do you like to stick to the typical touristy stuff or do you like to venture out on your own and explore? Unless we are cruising we always rent a car. I don't want to waste time waiting for a bus or being on someone elses schedule. I agree with AliasMK do it at least a couple of days because you really are missing out on the rest of the island. We went everywhere with our rental North, South, East, West, etc. The downside is depending on your hotel location parking can be expensive. On our last stay our Waikiki hotel gave us a $75 coupon towards their $25 daily rate. We wizened up for this coming trip and booked a hotel that includes a parking spot. We will be renting a car the entire trip. Can't wait to spend more time on the North Shore.

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9. Re: do I need to rent a car in Oahu?

you don't have to get a car but it sure is nice having one!

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10. Re: do I need to rent a car in Oahu?

I'm all for skipping the car your third, fourth, fifth, etc., time to Oahu. But your first time there having a car really is the best way to experience the island.

If you're in a situation where money is much more valuable to you than your time, skip the car. But if you can fit a car in the budget (plus the outrageous hotel parking costs), it's definitely worth it. Definitely.