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Save Money on Hawaii Car Rentals | Red Sand Beach Maui
  • Bottom line is to check multiple sources and compare rates. It’s even worth checking both airport and city locations for pickup and drop off. To get a feel for prices, you can try checking online travel agencies and other sites. Always check the actual car rental company sites as well as those below.
  • (our advertiser who we learned of from readers) is one excellent resource. At peak times we’ve found their rates to be up to $20 per day less than competitors. We also just found holiday availability there that we didn’t find on some other sites. Also check discount offers and coupons from . If you need a car during peak times when desperate and availability is limited, try Craigslist (by island) for non-traditional, buyer-beware rental opportunities.
  • Consider . Reader Lee from MI wrote: “I’ve been going to Kauai yearly for 12 years now and never spent more than $600 for 2 weeks on a convertible. Today all the sites were over $1400, more then double then what i spent last year. Then WOW!! I never heard of AutoSlash before reading this blog…AutoSlash beat them by $600 with Avis.”
  • Don’t forget to look at discounts available through AAA, AARP and Costco.
  • For periods when there are no car rentals available, some visitors have tried Craigslist. We cannot recommend that route as we have heard a plethora of problems. We would however suggest checking multiple sources frequently for sold out dates that could become available later. Another albeit obscure alternative is to try a with a car included.

2. Protect yourself against damage and dirt fees.

  • Damage Protection Tip: Consider using your cell phone to photograph the car before driving it off the lot. Our friend and Beat of Hawaii reader, Colleen, takes the photos with her husband standing next to the car holding that day’s paper. It’s also a good idea to do the same thing on return, such as when you drop the car before or after office hours. We were recently accused by Dollar of not returning their car due to inefficiency in processing the car when it was dropped before hours.
  • Hawaii Dirt Tip: Hawaii car rental agencies can charge a fee of $50-$100 or more for excess dirt. It is very easy in our environment to end up with mud inside or outside of the car. If this happens to you, get to a car wash before returning it to the agency. Consider having newspapers or other floor protection if you’re going to be hiking or when it is muddy.

3. Airline frequent flyer points may increase your rate.

  • It’s always good to ask about having them included in your rental. But first, find out if there’s a daily charge for the accrual, what you’ll get and how much it will cost.

4. Check to see if better deals arise at regular intervals before your trip.

  • Once you make a reservation we suggest you re-check rates at intervals to see if a better deal becomes available. The price is a moving target. This has saved hundreds of dollars in car rental charges. Sometimes prepaid can become the best deal (but not always). Set a reminder to check car rental prices a day or two before you travel for any offers last minute.


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