Car Rentals on Hawaii’s Big Island

Renting a car or van on the Big Island of Hawaii

Home >> Car Rentals on Hawaii’s Big Island

Renting a Car In Hawaii is crucial. Even though it is possible to make your way around Hawaii’s Big Island with public transport(Heleon), it’s more efficient and convenient to rent a car. More than 80% of visitors who come to the Big Island, rent a car during their stay.

The best way to find a good deal on a Hawaiian car rental is to book early with a local rental Company in Kona or Hilo.

Choosing what kind of car to rent – and from what company – is not always straightforward. If you are traveling with a larger group, you might want to consider renting a minivan. If you want to do some heavy-duty exploring and want to go off the beaten track , a 4WD car can be a good option. Or are you just looking for the best price.

Its good to spend your money with a smaller company. Keep in mind national car rental companies located at international airports (ITO – Hilo and KOA – Kona) on the Big Island are usually very expensive. Airport location fees are expensive.  Often people may book with a national company only to arrive and find that there is a problem. Often times the company will over book or when you arrive there is a problem with your drivers license or credit card or age.

Find the best deals for Big Island rental cars

The price of a rental car depends on many factors, the most important of which are availability and the time left until picking up the car. As for timing, you should keep the “usual suspect” in the back of your head when planning your trip. This means e.g. that you should book (very) early if you are going to be on the Big Island during popular events such as the Ironman triathlon or the Merry Monarch Festival. Christmas is also a notorious period if it comes to renting a car.

We recommend the following strategies to get the best price:

  1. Book at a local car rental discount agency
  2. Book early
  3. Rent your car for an extended period

Go local for low prices

The best way to find a good deal on a Hawaiian car rental if you book beforehand is to look for the local rental agencies. Besides, why not go local? if you are willing to be flexible about the exact details of the make and model, you can find good rates. offers discount rates on car rentals on the Big Island in both Kona and Hilo.

It is important to have an early booking so that you don’t find yourself without a car on Hawaii.

If you are staying for more than 30 days and want to rent a car on the west side (Waikoloa and Kona) of the Big Island, have a look at Big Island rent-a-car. These guys rent out more ‘used’ cars and have great prices on longer term rentals. As an added bonus, your car will look like a local car.

Most rental agencies do not allow you to take your car onto the really rough roads of Hawaii. In the case of a Hawaiian vacation, this is relevant if you want to go stargazing (the road to the summit of Mauna Kea between the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy and the telescopes on the summit is off limits)

If you want to drive up the mountain  join a tour)

Don’t get stranded, plan ahead!

On a final note, because Hawaii is an island state, there is a limited supply of rental vehicles on the Big Island. Special events such as holidays, the ironman marathon or the merry monarch festival frequently take up all available cars. Call ahead or make an early reservation if you don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised upon arrival.

Because Hawaii is an island state, there is a limited supply of rental vehicles on the Big Island. Special events frequently take up all available cars.
Car and van Rentals on the Big Island of Hawaii