Maui Hawaii Car Rentals
Maui Hawaii Car Rental Deals
1. Compare several companies
How Can I Get the Best Price
The price of a Maui car rental or Hawaii car rental varies widely from
one car rental company to another, from one month to another, and from
one car size to another. No one car rental company consistently gives
you the best deals, but you can save a lot of money by following the
tips on this page.
on a Maui or Hawaii Car Rental?
Just like hotels and airlines, car rental companies are constantly
offering various discounts and changing their prices. That's why you
need to do a little shopping to get the best deal. You do need a rental
car for your entire time on Maui, because public transportation is
minimal and there are many sights to see and things to do all over the
island. So read the fourteen suggestions below, and start saving.
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Go to the web sites (or telephone) each of
the major car rental companies, tell them your travel dates and desired
car size, and see who offers you the best price for Maui car rentals. The companies with the
most choices and the most locations are Hertz, Avis, National, Budget,
Alamo, Dollar and Thrifty. You have to check several of them, because
the company that gave your friend the best price last month may not be
the company offering you the best price today.
2. Check travel websites
Go to discount travel websites and see whether
they can beat the best price you found in step #1. Use this box to
easily search multiple discount travel websites at once (the airport
code for Maui is OGG):
3. Use AAA or AARP
Ask for discounts if you belong to AAA or AARP. They can provide
you with discount code numbers good at the major auto rental companies.
You can fill in those codes on their websites or you can call each of
the car rental companies and ask for discounts based on your AAA or AARP
4. Recheck, recheck, recheck
There is generally no penalty for canceling a rental car reservation, so
reserve a car at the best price you find on your first day of shopping
on the web. Then go back to those websites again a couple weeks
later, a month later and again a month before your trip. If one of
the car rental companies has cut their price, make a new reservation at
the lower price and cancel your previous reservation. (It doesn’t
matter whether your new reservation is with the same or a different
company than your original reservation.) This way, if prices drop
you get the new low price, but if prices increase you just keep your
previous reservation at the old low price. (Avoid reservations
that lock you into a set price and prevent you from shopping for a
5. Try Costco or Sam's
If you belong to Costco or Sam’s Club, go to their website and click on
Travel and then on Car Rental. Check the price from each of the
car rental companies offered directly through Costco or Sam’s.
6. Check the Entertainment Book
Entertainment Coupon Book for most cities and states has coupons for
discount car rentals. If you don't already own the Entertainment
Book for your home area, you can buy the Hawaii Entertainment book.
Click here to buy it on the web. (On that site, enter Hawaii
where it asks for city or state.) It has discounts on restaurants
on the major Hawaiian islands (though most are for Honolulu on the
island of Oahu), in addition to car rentals, and other
discounts. When you reserve your rental car, be sure to verify
that they will accept the Entertainment Book discount coupon.
7. Avoid spouse charges
If both you and your husband or wife are planning to drive the rental
car, call the rental car company you are considering using and ask them
whether there is an extra daily charge for your spouse to be authorized
to drive. Often the amount of that charge is high enough to turn
the best deal into the worst deal! If so, either change your
reservation to a different company, or ask how you can get that daily
charge eliminated. Some rental car companies (such as National)
don’t charge for your spouse to drive if you are a member of their
frequent-renters club (see item #10 below). Others (such as Alamo)
may not charge for your spouse if you rent through Costco. Some
(such as Hertz) may not charge for your spouse if you are a member of
AAA and use your AAA discount code at the time of reservation.
8. Avoid airport fees
Rent your car in town or in the resort area instead of at the airport,
to avoid airport concession fee taxes. For example, on Maui, if
you rent from any of the major companies at their Kaanapali-Kapalua
location, you won’t have to pay the 8% to 11.1% added fee they all have to charge
when you rent from their Kahului Airport location. Of course
you’ll have to take a shuttle from the airport to your hotel, but if you
pick up your rental car the next day you will often save enough on one
day’s less rental to cover the cost of the shuttle. Either return
the car to the same place you rented it, or check that there is no drop
charge if you are renting at the resort and returning to the airport.
9. Check package deals
If you are using a travel agent to help plan your trip, ask about
package plans that include a rental car and hotel or condo (or air fare)
in one package price.
10. Join the club
If you travel and rent cars at least once a year, join the frequent
renters club (like frequent flyers for the airlines) for at least a
couple of the major car rental companies. I have found the best
discounts for members of National’s Emerald Club, but you should also
check out Hertz #1, Avis Preferred, Budget RapidRez (Fastbreak), Alamo
and Dollar Express. Membership in these clubs is usually free, but
if any of them ask you to pay a fee to join, they will usually waive
that fee if you just request a free membership. Even if the
company you rent from is not offering discounts to members at the time
you are going, there are other advantages to belonging to their frequent
renters club. Most let club members skip the waiting line when you
pick up your car. They have your paperwork all completed in
advance and hand it to you with no waiting. National even lets you
go directly to the car lot and choose the car you want, without first
having to speak to any agent or wait in any line. And some of the
clubs waive the fee for your spouse to drive if you are a club member.
11. Avoid off-brands
There are small independent car rental companies on each of the Hawaiian
islands. But I find that they rent older and less reliable cars.
If you use the above tips, you can get a good price on a newer car from
one of the major companies. You don’t have time for car problems
on your vacation.
12. Don't pay for extra insurance
Don’t buy unnecessary insurance. Call your home automobile
insurance company to verify that they will cover your rental car.
Check with your credit card company too, since many credit cards provide
free collision coverage on car rentals. If your home insurance or
credit card is covering you, then turn down the expensive added
insurance offered by the car rental company when you pick up the car.
13. Don't pay extra for "pre-paid fuel"
With pre-paid fuel, they charge you for a whole tank of gas, even if you
return the car with the tank half full. Instead, refill the tank
just before you return the car, so you won't have to buy any gas from
the car rental company.
14. Always have an advance reservation
The very highest prices are usually paid by people who show up at the
car rental counter with no reservation. You will save money by
reserving your Maui rental car in advance.
If you prefer not to rent a car while on Maui, see
Maui Without a Rental Car for info on
shuttles, buses, taxis, and van tours. But my advice is still to rent a car for your entire time on Maui.
If you haven't already reserved a place to stay on Maui, see the section
of this website about Maui Hotels
and Maui Condos.
Copyright © 1998-2014 Jon Blum. All rights reserved.