LOW SEASON rates are in effect from April 1 to June 20, September 3 to November 26, and December 1 to December 13.
HIGH SEASON rates are in effect from January 6 to March 31, June 21 to September 2, and November 27 to November 30.
PEAK SEASON (holiday) rates that are much higher are in effect from Dec 14 to January 5
Prices listed below are base rates which do not include rental car tax and facility surcharges.
$28 $143 - Low Season
$55 $275 - High Season
$75 $450 - Peak Season
- Ford Focus or similar
- Seats 4
- Holds 1 large & 2 small suitcases
$31 $157 - Low Season
$58 $290 - High Season
$77 $472 - Peak Season
- Pontiac G6 or similar
- Seats 5
- Holds 1 large & 2 small suitcases
$38 $195 - Low Season
$67 $335 - High Season
$98 $588 - Peak Season
- Chevrolet Impala or similar
- Seats 5
- Holds 2 large & 2 small suitcases
$53 $277 - Low Season
$99 $495 - High Season
$126 $756 - Peak Season
- Chrysler Sebring or similar
- Seats 4
- Holds 1 large & 1 small suitcases
$59 $295 - Low Season
$101 $505 - High Season
$129 $756 - Peak Season
- Cadillac DTS or similar
- Seats 5
- Holds 3 large & 2 small suitcases
$54 $281 - Low Season
$100 $500 - High Season
$139 $834 - Peak Season
- Chevrolet Uplander or similar
- Seats 7
- Holds 5+ large suitcases
Pick Up Locations
They are located at the Lihue Airport (LIH) where all regularly scheduled mainland and inter island flights to Kauai arrive. The Lihue Airport is very close to the cruise ship dock in Nawiliwili and shuttle service is provided (see cruise ship information below).
They are located at the Honolulu International Airport (HNL).
They have two locations on the island. The vast majority of our clients will rent from the Kahului Airport location (OGG) as this is the airport where mainland and 98% of interisland flights arrive. This airport is very close to the Kahului cruise ship dock where the NCL Pride of America arrives, and shuttle service is provided (see cruise ship information below). The other location is at Lahaina/Kaanapali in West Maui, and this location would be chosen by cruise ship clients who are arriving at the Lahaina dock or by the handful of people who fly into the tiny Kapalua Airport (JHM).
They have a location at the Kona Airport (KOA) and the Hilo Airport (ITO). The Hilo Airport is very close to the Hilo cruise ship dock and shuttle service is provided. The Kona Airport is located about 30 minutes away from the Kona cruise ship dock and this is too far to provide shuttle service (see cruise ship information below).
Cruise Ship Passengers
CAB FARE ADDS UP QUICKLY!!! Rental cars open up the possibility for cruise ship passengers to arrange their own tours and activities independently rather than using excursions arranged by the ship. This will often save you a LOT of money as the cruise lines tend to mark up the cost for shore excursions or offer ones that are done in large buses instead of smaller groups. We don’t know of a better way to improve your Hawaii cruise vacation than to gain some independence from the cruise ship during the time that you are in port.
For clients who have already arranged airfare to another island for a day or two or three, this is a quick and easy way to arrange transportation. If you are thinking of flying to another island (say from Kauai to Oahu to see Pearl Harbor) and you don’t have airfare arranged yet, you should check out our Kauai Fly-Drive, Oahu Fly-Drive, Maui Fly-Drive, and Big Island Fly-Drive for packages that include both airfare and rental car.
Please note that the time listed for pickup is the time the vehicle is ready for you at the Avis location; they don’t schedule cruise ship shuttle pickup in advance. When you are walking off the ship, call them on your cell phone. Again, even though shuttle service is available, some clients grab a taxi to the Avis locations to speed things along.
If you are a cruise ship passenger arriving in Nawiliwili, free shuttle service is provided to and from the cruise ship dock. Your email confirmation will contain a phone number for you to call to request a shuttle. Please note that the time listed for pickup is the time the vehicle is ready for you at the airport location of Avis; they don’t schedule cruise ship shuttle pickup in advance. When you are walking off the ship, call them on your cell phone. Even though shuttle service is available, some clients grab a taxi to the Lihue Airport … siteit is a VERY short ride and speeds up the time required to pick up the car, so you might consider doing that.
If you are a cruise ship passenger arriving for the day at Honolulu Harbor, please note that Avis does not provide shuttle service to and from their Honolulu Airport location. Public transportation to the airport is readily available in the form of city bus and taxi. Either bus 19 or 20 will take you to and from the airport and Honolulu Harbor; the bus stop is at the intersection of Alakea and and King Street. Here are links to the Route 19 schedule and the Route 20 schedule. The westbound routes will take you from downtown to the airport. After returning your car at the airport, you want to catch the eastbound bus back to downtown Honolulu and the cruise ship pier.
If you are a cruise ship passenger on the NCL Pride of America, you might want to rent a car before and/or after your cruise, especially if you are spending some extra nights in Honolulu. If you rent before your cruise, you will pick up the rental car when you arrive at the Honolulu International Airport. On your day of boarding the cruise, drop off the other members of your party along with your luggage at the cruise ship dock in downtown Honolulu, then return the rental car at the airport. Catch either bus 19 or bus 20 heading eastbound; in case you missed it in the previous paragraph here are links to the Route 19 schedule and the Route 20 schedule. If you would like a rental car at the conclusion of your cruise, same process in reverse. Take bus 19 or 20 westbound to the airport, pick up the car, then go back to the dock and pick up your party and luggage. You will return the car at the Honolulu Airport just before checking in for your departing flight, which will be one of the longest and saddest flights of your life. It’s always a bummer to leave Hawaii.
If you are a cruise ship passenger arriving at the Kahului dock (the NCL Pride of America arrives here once a week), you will request the rental car from the Kahului Airport location. The airport is very close to the dock. A phone number to request a shuttle will be in your email confirmation. Some clients decide to grab a cab to get to the airport to speed the rental car process along and make the most of their day … it’s literally a 3 minute ride.
Most other cruise ships come to the Lahaina dock which is a tender port … expect the tendering process to take an hour or so. Avis will pick you up at Lahaina Harbor and service your reservation from their Lahaina / Kaanapali location, so select that one when making your reservation. The hours at this location are more limited … they are only open from 7am to 5pm and there is no after hours return at the West Maui location. Please keep this in mind when planning your day in port in Lahaina. If you plan to use the car during the day and then go to a luau that evening, you’ll need to return the car before your luau, and then grab a cab back to the dock.
If you are a cruise ship passenger arriving in Hilo, free shuttle service is provided to and from the cruise ship dock. Your email confirmation will contain a phone number for you to call to request a shuttle. Avis shares a shuttle with Budget Rental Car, and the Budget shuttle is typically the one that services the cruise ship dock and runs automatically when a cruise ship arrives. Please note that the time listed for pickup is the time the vehicle is ready for you at the airport location of Avis; they don’t schedule cruise ship shuttle pickup in advance. When you are walking off the ship, call them on your cell phone. Even though shuttle service is available, some clients grab a taxi to the Hilo Airport … it is a VERY short ride and speeds up the time required to pick up the car, so you might consider doing that.
If you are a cruise ship passenger arriving in Kona, shuttle service is NOT provided to the Kona Airport. The distance makes a rental car impractical for cruise ship clients who are in Kona just for the day. You might consider Atlantis Submarines or UFO parasailing as these events require a short walk from the dock. You also could do a fishing charter or a snorkel trip that would only require a short cab ride.
We recently watched passengers disembarking from an NCL cruise ship and when they arrived at the dock they walked over and climbed on board a shuttle bus that had the following words painted on the side. “WALMART EXPRESS.” Please, for the love of God, don’t spend thousands of dollars coming to Hawaii on a cruise and then end up spending your time in port at WALMART!!! There is so much to see and do, and renting a car will open up options for you that you wouldn’t have if you are dependent on your cruise line to arrange all your tours and excursions.
Throughout our website you’ll find notes about activities that work for cruise ship passengers if they have a rental car. We often give the advice “Enjoy your cruise ship when it is at sea; get as far away from your cruise ship as possible when it is in port.” Renting a car is a great way to add independence and improve your cruise vacation.
Luaus are a good example. If you attend a luau arranged by the ship, you’ll be charged up to $100 or more to be driven by bus to a luau, and you’ll be attending with 600 or more other people from your same cruise ship. You’ll have no control over where you sit, and you could end up so far from the stage that you’ll wish you brought a pair of binoculars. The same luau that the cruise ship sells on Monday night for $100 is available from us on Tuesday night for $69. The difference in the price of a luau for two people will pay for a rental car for 24 hours! If you are driving yourself to the luau and you don’t have reserved up-front seats, you can at least arrive early and get better seats. If you are dependent on the cruise ship’s buses to take you to your luau, you have no idea where you sit and no way to improve your seats.
Kauai & Maui & Big Island
For those spending part of their vacation on Kauai, Maui, & Big Island the answer is “Yes, you need a rental car” as there is very little public transportation on this island. You’ll have a hard time finding rental car rates that are lower than the ones we offer! Once in a while we’ll get a client who flies into Kahului and takes a shuttle to their hotel in Kaanapali. They call us and want a rental car for a few days in the middle of their vacation. Then they return the car to the Kaanapali location, and use the shuttle service to get to the Kahului Airport for their departing flight. We wish these people would have talked to us first … that approach doesn’t make sense. Arrange a rental car for pickup when you arrive at the Kahului Airport and use it as the transportation to your hotel. The money you will save in hotel shuttles will just about pay for a weekly rental of a compact car!
How about overnight parking for Kauai & Maui? Well, in Nawiliwili on Kauai there are several parking lots a block or two from the cruise ship that charge $7-8 per night to park your car. On Maui there is a small lot that is free right across from the security gate. Other parking is nearby; ask your rental car company for more specific parking instructions when you pick up your car. Of course you don’t have to use the rental car for the entire 24 hour period … you can take it back early if you like.
For those spending part of their vacation on the island of Oahu, the answer to the question “Do I need a rental car in Honolulu?” is a resounding, definitive “MAYBE.” Oahu is the one island that has LOTS of public transportation. Taxis are everywhere. The Bus works well, it’s cheap, and it will save you having to pay $$ a day in parking charges at your Waikiki hotel. Parking at all those hotels costs in the range of $20 or so per night. Many tours on Oahu pick up in the Waikiki area, so a rental car is less needed on Oahu.
Unless … unless you aren’t staying in the Waikiki area. If you are in a B&B in Kailua, a north shore surfing hostel, or a west side property like the Marriott in Ko Olina, then we’d suggest a rental car as tour pickups are oriented toward the Waikiki hotels. And if you are the kind of person who just can’t stand the thought of waiting 20 minutes for a public bus, or if you aren’t interested in experiencing the slice of Hawaii civilization that relies on the bus for their day-to-day transportation needs, then by all means a rental car is for you!