CAR RENTAL HAWAII - DISCOUNT CARS FROM ALAMO, AVIS, BUDGET, THRIFTY, DOLLAR, NATIONAL
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Carrental-Hawaii
1-866-300-7116 / (808) 572-2316

Frequently Asked Questions

Read about common problems & solutions

Questions per Category

During the last two decades we have been asked many special questions. Here they are, with their answers:

  • Reservation and Booking
  • Our Service
  • The Rental Car
  • Pick-up the Rental Car
  • Drop-off the Rental Car
  • Car Rental for Cruise Ship Passengers
  • Parking Your Rental Car
  • Driver

Reservation and Booking

Once the car is confirmed, we’ll send you a confirmation email which contains the confirmation number as well as the final price. This price is not going to change unless you purchase additional services or upgrades.

Please note: Taxes are subject to change without notice. The government can add or raise taxes — however, we cannot take responsibility for any tax changes.

Some of the prices we have negotiated with the Big Rental Car Companies are so low that they will not allow us to show you any corporate details. Therefore, in these instances, "Brand A" or "Brand B" stand for the Brand Names of some of the biggest Rental Car Companies.

You will receive a personal confirmation number after we have placed the reservation for you. This number guarantees you the specified rental car. You can always call the rental car company directly to verify this information — but note: they can’t change or cancel your reservation over the phone. Since you booked on our site, their website doesn’t show the reservation. Nonetheless, it is present in the systems which the agencies and their call center access for various logistical purposes.

Once the car is confirmed (with a confirmation number), the reservation is guaranteed. So make sure that you have your reservation number ready when you approach the rental car agency for pick-up.

No, you simply can go to our cancellation page, enter your Confirmation Number and your Last Name, and cancel or change the reservation without any fee.

This is something you have to determine by talking to your car insurance company and your credit card company (some credit cards provide insurance when paying the charges with it).

Check our “package deals” which provide extended insurance options.

Our Service

At our site you find cars in all sizes and from all rental agencies all over Hawaii. So, you don’t have to bother about which agency to choose — you simply select your dates and the car of your choice. We show you the cars available and their prices. You select the option you like best.

When you book the car on our site, we will need your email address. The following happens in the background:

  1. We make a binding reservation in the system of the rental agency for the car and the time that you chose.
  2. You get a confirmation via email — and the confirmation number entitles you to pick up the car at the rental agency at the selected pick-up location.
  3. You pay — at the rental car agency — the price we confirmed in the email (only taxes are "subject to change").
  4. If you want to change or cancel your reservation, you contact us.

So, you have the broadest selection of cars, the greatest flexibility of times and pick-up locations and drop-off locations, and you profit from our good prices. And you pay only when you actually pick up the car. And if you have any questions, you can always contact us.

More information about booking with us

Through a high booking volume each year, we can negotiate great deals with the rental car companies and we can pass the discount on to our clients.

Absolutely not. Once you receive a personal confirmation number you will get the information from the rental agency directly as well. The agency cannot see how and where you placed the order. Think about a customer flying next to you in an airplane going from and to the same airports but they paid 40% more than you — you both get the same quality service from, and the same quality treatment on, that plane.

The Rental Car

This means that the effective car size is not specified during reservation, but only when you pick it up. The rental companies reward this flexibility with a lower price. So, effectively, the car choice that the agency can provide is up to the company at the point and moment when you pick up your car. This “extra discounted car size” is cheaper than the smaller cars available or the same car without that specific extra.

Mostly, people are happy if they receive a free upgrade. However, note that this option can also mean that you receive a Minivan after booking the “Compact or Larger” or “Wild Card”. If you want a Midsize or Full-Size car, an “upgrade fee” will be charged. This means, you’d pay effectively as if you had a Minivan booked for the low rate. If you never ever want to drive a Minivan or if you mess up when driving a very large car — please don’t choose that specific option and instead select the specific car size you are comfortable with.

Yes, child car seats are available for $12-to-$15 per day at Alamo. Budget and Avis charge $13 per day. Dollar charges $13 per day. They come in three sizes: baby, toddler, and child. Ask the rental agent for a child car seat during pick-up.

Unfortunately we cannot reserve a specific car brand or model — only a car category. But we can guarantee that you will get, for example, a convertible. Alamo provides Ford Mustangs as well as Chevy Camaros, and Avis and Budget both provide Ford Mustangs. Thrifty and Dollar do so as well.

At pick-up, once you’ve done the paperwork with the agent, Alamo lets YOU choose your car in the parking lot by yourself.

Most rental car companies in Hawaii have both soft top and hardtop Jeep Wranglers in their fleet — and let you choose from what is in the lot when you get there.  We can only book a Jeep Wrangler as a 2-Door or a 4-Door — but at the time of booking, we cannot obtain actual fleet data per status of availability, nor let you choose something we cannot ensure.

Some people don’t want a soft top because of security reasons. Alamo decided to provide mostly hardtop Wranglers and they do replace the soft top ones with hardtops. With the hardtop though, you still can take out a big part of the roof.

Yes, the Full-Size SUV can hold 7 passengers.

No. All major rental car companies changed their fleet and at this point SUVs do NOT come with 4WD. Only Jeep Wranglers are 4WD.

Pick-up the Rental Car

After arriving at the airport, please ask for the designated area outside the baggage claim where the car rental agency shuttle buses pick up clients. Then take the bus for 2 minutes to get to the far side of the parking lot where the car agencies are located. The Alamo Agency in Honolulu is a 3-minute bus drive. Though one block further than the others, waiting for one minute longer sitting in a shuttle bus saves you 15% airport fees and taxes.

NKT Travel arranges rental cars from the following Hawaiian airports:

  • Oahu: Honolulu International (HNL) & Honolulu Waikiki (HNL2)
  • Maui: Kahului (OGG) & Kapalua (JHM)
  • Kauai: Lihue (LIH)
  • Big Island: Kona (KOA) & Hilo (ITO)

More information about picking up you car at an airport

    No. Have a look on your reservation confirmation and use the shuttle bus of the Car Rental Agency where you will pick up your car.

    No problem. You can easily play with plus-or-minus one hour.

    Drop-off the Rental Car

    Yes, the Rental Agencies will generally charge a drop-off fee in this case. Sometimes they “forget” it, but don’t rely on it.The drop-off fee is different for each location.

    • Honolulu Airport — Downtown (or vice versa): $35.00
    • Kaanapali/West Maui — Kahului Airport (or vice versa): $45.00
    • Hilo — Kona (or vice versa): $65.00

    If you consider having a different drop-off location than is stated in your reservation confirmation, please ask the agent at the counter if they will accept this — and if they do, understand that there may be specific drop-off charges that apply for that.

    When you book with a different drop-off location than your pick-up location, the resulting price on our website includes those drop-off charges. Therefore, you do NOT have to pay more than what is on the confirmation page from us.

    If you pick up a car for a 2-week rental and then return it after 12 days you’ll pay for 12 days only. (Rentals are on a 24-hour basis calculated from the pick-up time). If you are considering changing your drop-off date, please ask the agent during pick-up about it.

    But please note: Some companies charge "early return" fees or "late return" fees.

    If your return time deviates by more than 24 hours from the date and time specified in the Rental Agreement with Thrifty and Dollar, then Early/Late Return fees may apply:

    • Early Return (24+ hours earlier): $25.00 (one-time fee), in addition to rental charges.
    • Late Return (24+ hours later): $15.99/day for a maximum of five (5) rental days ($79.95), in addition to rental charges.

    Car Rental for Cruise Ship Passengers

    Often there are free shuttle buses shuttling between the Cruise Ship at the pier and the Car Rental agency pick-up point. Most of the pick-up agencies are at the airport near the respective pier you would dock at.

    The Lihue and Hilo agencies are located at the respective nearby airport to the pier where you dock.

    Our Tip for Honolulu: Book your pick-up and drop-off to happen at the airport agency location and pay for a taxi to transport you between the pier and the airport (and vice versa). Though car rental agencies in Waikiki arrange a free shuttle bus pick-up for Honolulu, all the car rental agencies in Waikiki are much more expensive than the airport ones — so we suggest you pick up the rental car at the airport when you return from your cruise (and vice versa). This will cost you taxi money (about $20) — but you get a cheaper car rental rate at the airport and won’t have to pay the costly “drop-off charges” of $35 on top of the already higher resort rate for a rental car. And you will not have to wait in a crowd in the small Waikiki office with all the clients who are trying to save $20 by riding on the free pick-up shuttle.

    Alamo and Enterprise sometimes do, and sometimes do not, serve the pier with free shuttle buses at the Kahului Harbor. Same goes for the Lahaina Harbor. Therefore, either use a taxi to get to the airport (on Maui it’s about a 5-minute ride), or please consider booking the rental cars with our other partners, Thrifty or Dollar.

    No. They will not come to the ship until you are on shore. With 3000 people on the ship it will not be possible for you or the rental car company to specify exactly when you will leave the ship or when the bus will arrive. The ship is like a beehive — and shuttle buses are coming and going.

    Please Note: You will get a list with the phone numbers for all the local agencies once you’ve booked the cars. Please print this list — and make sure you have it with you on your cruise, together with the confirmation email for each car.

    There is only one place to pick up cars in Kauai — and that is at the Lihue Airport (about a 5-minute ride). To do the booking, please use the Lihue/Kauai location.

    Yes. You can pick up a car with Dollar Rent a Car in Kona Town — but, sorry, we can't book this specific location. You can, however, book directly with Dollar. The Dollar car rental agency in the hotel next to the harbor is within walking distance. Dollar rental rates in Kona Town are a little higher — and they only rent Midsize cars and larger. The downside is that this location closes at 4:30 p.m. and, therefore, the last drop-off has to be before 4 p.m.

    However, we suggest to not rent a car in Kona — and simply enjoy the charming Kona Town by walking. This is the only stop on your cruise where you stay within walking distance of a nice little town. It is the perfect place to rest and enjoy one of Hawaii's sweetest little towns. To visit the crater and other parts of the island, we suggest you do so when the Cruise Ship docks at the pier at Hilo — this will make for less driving to the crater.

    There are two Alamo Agencies in Waikiki. One is at 151 Kaiulani Avenue and it does NOT provide a Shuttle Service. The other one is at 1778 Ala Moana Blvd. Only the Ala Moana Blvd. Agency offers a free Shuttle Bus. For Cruise Ship customers who decide to use the free Shuttle Bus from Alamo, you have to book the car from the Ala Moana Blvd. Agency (at Discovery Bay).

    To ride the free Shuttle Bus pick-up at Pier 2, exit the pier terminal and walk to the far right corner to the shuttle bus pick-up area. The Alamo rental car location is approximately 4 miles away from the Honolulu Harbor. It will take approximately 20–30 minutes to travel to there, depending on traffic (and likewise from there to the harbor). From 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., the Alamo shuttle bus will depart from the Alamo car rental location every hour. (For specific details, ask the rental agent at the pick-up location.)

    However, we suggest that you book cars – for pick-up and drop-off – from the Honolulu airport and NOT from the Waikiki Agency. You may have to pay for a taxi yourself (it is about 4 to 5 miles to the airport), but you get lower rates for the rental cars from the airport and you can better control your time.

    Yes it is possible at the Honolulu Airport, but NOT in Honolulu City/Waikiki! If you reserve it for pick-up and drop-off to occur at the Airport, you can drop it off until Midnight. However, you will need a Taxi to get back to the pier.

    If you reserve the car for drop-off in Honolulu City/Waikiki, please know that most Agencies close at 7 PM. However, in order to get a free shuttle bus from your Agency to the pier, you may have to drop off the car earlier than that. Ask the agent at pick-up about the specific timing.

    WE suggest that you pick up and drop off the car at the Airport, regardless of the "free shuttle bus options" — and spend a little extra money to pay for a taxi.  This way you will have the freedom to control your timing as you wish and you can get lower rates for rental cars from the airport.

     

    Yes, you can pick-up at the Waikiki location and drop-off at the Airport location. A drop-off fee may be charged (and whether or not the fee applies, and how much it would be, varies among the different Rental Agencies).

    It may simply be cheaper to rent the car from the Honolulu Airport (and pay for your own taxi to get there) and get a lower rate for the Airport rental car — and further, you would then NOT have to pay a drop-off fee! From the pier to the Airport it is about 4 to 5 miles — so, the taxi would not be so expensive.

    The pick-up station for Lahaina is in “Maui – Kaanapali”. It is about a 10-minute drive from the harbor to the pick-up location. Most Agencies no longer offer free shuttle service to and from the Agencies. You have to use a taxi to get to your Car Rental company. The Agencies in Lahaina / Kaanapali close early — mostly around 5:30 PM. However, ASK the agent at the pick-up location what their office hours are.

     

    According to feedback of other cruise ship customers we suggest you rent one car for 2 days. There is a designated parking area where you can park the car at the pier or nearby. Ask the steward or the security agent when you leave the ship where to park the car overnight. Some of our customers have reported that someone tried to steal gas out of the car overnight — so if you have a choice to have it parked in a secured parking area for a fee, we recommend doing so.

    If you reserve the car for 2 days and you return the car after 1 day, you only pay for the time you had the car.

    This is possible, but a bit costly and burdensome. You would have to pay a $45 drop-off fee because the pick-up and drop-off location vary. Also, if you park the car in Lahaina and on the following day, you are in Kahului, you would have to get back to Lahaina to pick up the car (which is over an hour round trip).

    No. And, if your car gets towed, the fees are about $100 to $160. The only parking is several blocks away in the underground parking of a shopping mall.

    No problem. You can easily play with plus-or-minus one hour.

    Parking Your Rental Car

    Yes, unfortunately it is true. They started charging at certain Hotels on Maui as well (even though there is no room shortage like there is in Waikiki).

    The rental car agencies changed the rates for Waikiki (they call them “resort rates” now) and instead of paying the parking fee to the Hotel, you are now paying the same amount to the rental car company. In addition, you have to wait 45 minutes in line every morning to get your rental car.

    Our advice: Book the car at the airport for all days. You save the transfer fee and get a lower rental car rate. Then pay the hotel parking fee. It is less effort and you are going to spend the same amount of money. But you will not end up wasting your valuable time waiting in the crowd every morning getting your car!

    No. And, if your car gets towed, the fees are about $100 to $160. The only parking is several blocks away in the underground parking of a shopping mall.

    No. You are only allowed to park in areas designated for rental cars. You have to pay parking fees, like every other car, where they apply.

    Driver

    Yes, but there is an additional "Young Driver Charge" — on a "per day" basis — of $25 + tax, in addition to the full price. However, we have a great discounted “Young Driver Rate" with Thrifty and Dollar. The price is only $10 per day + tax (on selected deals). After choosing a deal with Thrifty or Dollar, send us an email and ask us to confirm that you have indeed chosen the applicable deal for the discounted $10 per day (+ tax) "Young Driver Rate" deal.

    No. Book the car with our discounted Thrifty or Dollar rate (only $10 per day). However, you have to book the deals with 2 additional drivers included in order to qualify for the $10 per day “young drivers fee”. Otherwise you are going to pay $25 per day.

    It is $25 per day on top of the regular rate with Alamo, Budget, and Avis. With Thrifty and Dollar we have on special Rates (with 2 additional drivers included) of $10 per day. Thrifty and Dollar also show rates with primary driver included only, and on those rates the “young drivers fee” is $25.

    Book the car and call us at 1-866-300-7116 and we can estimate to you how much your total charges will be, including the “young drivers fee”.

    Just book (if possible, the Thrifty or Dollar rate with 2 additional free drivers) — and once it is booked, call us and we will check for you how much it will end up with the “young drivers fee” included.

    Charges for an additional driver (over 25 years old) with the Basic Insurance Deal:

    • If you book the car with Alamo, one additional driver is free and every other one thereafter costs $12 per day (plus tax), in addition to the regular rental charge.
    • If you book with Thrifty or Dollar, you get up to two additional drivers included for free.
    • If you book the car with A-Brand (Avis) or B-Brand (Budget), spouse as first additional driver is free. For any other drivers, the costs are $13 per day, with a maximum of $65 per week per extra driver.  

    Our “package deals” include up to three additional drivers per day.

    NO. None of the major rental car companies offer this

    Special

    If you want to explore the winding coastal roads, an SUV is a good choice. For driving within the city of Honolulu itself, Compact, Economy and Midsize cars are ideal. Or consider renting a Convertible if you want to drive from beautiful beach to beautiful beach.

    All Hawaiian Islands have a speed limit of 55 to 60 mph on freeways, as these roads are often winding and difficult to navigate. On the freeways that run through central Honolulu, 45 mph is the limit.

    Once you are outside of tourist hot spots like Waikiki, there are several opportunities for free unlimited streetside parking. Or, choose a parking garage with daily fees in order to avoid overtly expensive hourly costs. 

    City

    This depends on what you have planned for your trip. If you want to go on road trips and have a larger group of people, an SUV or a Jeep Wrangler might be perfect for you. For regular sightseeing tours, an Economy or Midsize SUV is always a good choice.

    The minimum age for renting a car in Hawaii is 21 years old. However, there is a "young drivers fee" for drivers that are 21-24 years of age, which is going to be added to the booking.

    On Maui, the maximum speed limit is 55 mph, which mostly applies to freeways. The rest of the roads have much lower maximum speed limits between 25 mph and 45 mph.

    Generally, parking cars on public roads overnight is not allowed. However, in Lahaina, there are some private parking lots where you CAN park.

    In the Kaanapali area, if you are staying at a hotel, they may have parking available.

    The narrow streets in Kahului are very picturesque, but they are more difficult to navigate than wider roads. If you plan to explore many towns and villages, a Compact car is always a great choice. For longer road trips and with larger travel groups, SUVs are a good option.

    In the Kahului area there are many street parking options, but generally only for a limited amount of time as — for the most part — parking cars overnight on public roads is not allowed. So, for longer durations or overnight parking, if you are staying at a hotel, they may have parking available.

    Always drive at a moderate speed as streets are generally narrow. On freeways you can drive a maximum of 55 mph. In residential areas, or in areas where children are in the vicinity, such as near schools and leisure centers, 25 mph is the maximum speed limit.

    Wailea is the perfect spot to rent your car as you can easily explore all of Maui’s treasures from there.

    And if you stay in a hotel and don't want to drive a car every day nor pay high parking fees at the hotel, then this is the perfect solution as you can rent a car just for the day that you want to use it. 

    In general, many people prefer Jeeps or Convertibles for their Hawaiian adventures. However, cars from the Economy and Standard classes are also a viable option for shorter road trips and discovering the surroundings of Wailea.

    The maximum speed limits can vary between 25 mph and 35 mph.

    Depending on your plans and the number of people you are travelling with, we offer you a wide range of options. From small cars to SUVs, we have the perfect rental car for everyone. Picking a reliable option from our Economy class offers you space for four people and is perfect for day trips where you will not need extra space for luggage.

    The minimum age for renting a car is 21 years old. However, there is a "young drivers fee" for drivers that are 21-24 years of age, which is going to be added to the booking. 

    The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and Education Center is located in Kihei. Kula Botanical Garden is only 25 miles from Kihei. For a longer road trip, on the other side of the island, travel the famous Road to Hana — a real sightseeing adventure with many amazing attractions and wondrous landscapes all along the way.

    Generally, Lihue drivers — like on all Hawaiian Islands — are very relaxed drivers. So, driving there will not be stressful. The maximum allowed speed in Lihue is 50 mph, with various residential areas allowing maximums between only 25 mph and 35 mph.

    Though gas prices in Hawaii are generally higher than on the mainland, and do vary from island to island, in Lihue gas prices are generally lower than in other parts of the Hawaiian Islands.


    Lihue offers a wide range of parking options from parking lots and parking garages to free street-side parking for shorter periods of time.

    On Molokai there are many remote locations to discover. If you want to visit one of the nature preserves, your best choice is a 4-wheel drive like a Jeep Wrangler.

    Molokai’s maximum speed limit is lower than on the other islands, with a top speed of 45 mph.

    On all of Molokai you have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car.

    Outside of Hilo you will find many beautiful attractions like the Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, which is home to one of Hawaii’s most sacred places and where you can soak up Hawaiian culture.

    Generally, all Hawaiian freeways have a 55 mph speed limit, unless otherwise stated. Nonetheless, in general, traffic is rather slow — so always make sure to drive considerately and politely.

    Similar to most other Hawaiian locations, there are many parking options such as parking garages, parking lots and street-side parking. Especially with street-side parking you can find some spots that are free of charge. However, there simply is NO overnight street parking — doing so will result in being towed, and it is expensive and inconvenient to get your car back.

    Depending on what you have planned for your stay at Kona and on the Big Island, you can pick the perfect car to suit your needs. Smaller cars are ideal if you want to discover Kona and other cities like Hilo — and you will notice how practical it is to always find a parking spot for your small car. If you are travelling with a larger group, an SUV is the perfect choice that accommodates everything.

    In Kona and the surrounding areas you will find many parking options. There are parking lots and parking garages as well as many street-side parking opportunities. Regarding prices, with a little bit of research you will quickly find the best options.

    The average gas price per gallon in Kona is around $4.00, which is slightly higher than most mainland cities. But the expense is worth the freedom that having a rental car brings you. Nonetheless, we recommend that you "Google" for current prices and corresponding gas station locations.

    Discover

    All coasts of Big Island have plenty to offer and which is the best side to stay depends on which activities you have planned. Landing at either Kona International Airport (KOA) on the west coast or Hilo International Airport (ITO) on the east coast, you can pick up a rental car as soon as you arrive. This will give you the freedom to explore the island at your own pace and discover its hidden gems.

    The only red sand beach of all the Hawaiian Islands is Kaihalulu Beach on Maui. It is also simply called "Red Sand Beach".

    There is a wide range of hotels that offer all-inclusive stays for their guests. If you travel with small children and plan to get back to your hotels in the afternoons, this might be a great option for you. 

    In order to fully take advantage of what the Hawaiian Islands have to offer, you should plan to stay for a minimum of 10 days. This will give you the opportunity to get fully acclimated first before you plan any bigger day trips.

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