Do I Need To Rent a Car in Honolulu

As the capital of Hawaii a lot of people visit Honolulu each year. Some of them stay in the island or move to the other island after staying a few days. If that is the case then you might be asking do I need to rent a car in Honolulu.

Do I Need To Rent a Car in Honolulu?

Honolulu located in Oahu which known to be one of the largest island in Hawaii. Honolulu itself is the capital where a lot of activities happen. Furthermore the city itself is not that big but very populous.

This means you will see various public transportation as well as taxi or Uber. So you can use those public transportation to move around this city. That means you do not actually need to rent a car if you want to explore the city.

Besides the bus that you can use some of the hotels in the island also offered shuttle that you can use for free. This shuttle will take you from the hotel or resort where you stay to the main shopping area in Honolulu.

This means you do not need to get a car if you just want to reach the city from nearby area. And if you want to go to other area, you can just ride the bush or catch Uber or taxi that you can easily find on Honolulu.

You can also try to book a group tour so you can reach further to the other side of Oahu Island without renting a car. However renting a car does come with advantage especially in flexibility in the way you plan your schedule. You also do not need to spend too long waiting for the buses to arrive.

The Cost of Renting a Car in Honolulu

As a popular travel destination, renting a car in Honolulu is quite expensive. Even if you only rent economic car then you are still need to pay the average for around $80 per day. The exact cost itself will be varied and depends on your age, pickup location, duration, season and insurance.

Luckily you can find car rental place everywhere in Honolulu as well as the surrounding areas. Furthermore, you can also rent a car online from major car renting company, P2P car renting platform or local renting company.

If you know when or where you want to take the car then it is better to get the car by booking it beforehand so you can get cheaper price. Try to choose pick up location that is outside airport so the renting cost will be lower.

What You Need to Consider Before Renting

Do I Need To Rent a Car in Honolulu What You Need to Consider Before Renting

Actually asking the question do I need to rent a car in Honolulu is only the start. The reason is there are still a lot of things you need to consider before renting, such as:


Gas in Hawaii especially in Honolulu area is very expensive. In fact it is even more expensive than the average price in mainland. Because of this, if you want to save some of your budget then it is better to rent economic car. Find one that have good rate of gas mileage. That way, you can actually save some money.


Most of the time, people go to Hawaii to visit the beaches or other natural areas which often filled with sand and soil. You need to make sure all of those dirt does not make the car too dirty.

While it is not mandatory for you to drop the car off in pristine condition but you still need to make sure that it is at least acceptable. If it is not then you will need to pay for the cleaning fee.

Parking fee

As we mention before Honolulu area is very packed, there are a lot of activities in the city thus most of the time the parking area is packed. It is hard for you to get available parking space. And the nearest parking space usually available on the edge of the city. This means you might need to walk a long way until you reach your hotel or condo.

The parking fee itself also quite expensive. For an overnight park they will chance you around $35 per night when using valet service.

If you use their premium park space then they will charge you around $50 per night. If you see this fee, then your overall parking fee can actually be higher than the cost that you spend to rent the car itself.

So if it is possible, it is better for you to stay in condo or hotel with free parking option. That way you do not need to pay for any parking fee when staying in the accommodation.

If you do not want to leave the car waiting overnight then it is advised for you to only rent the car when you need it. For example when you have plan to go outside Honolulu city. That way, you do not need to pay for parking free even if your hotel do not offer free parking.

Other Means of Transport That You can take in Honolulu

Do I Need To Rent a Car in Honolulu Other Means of Transport

Taxi or Uber

You can easily find Taxi or Uber operates all over the Honolulu city. However, if you plan to go out from the city and go to the North Shore then you will not be able to find any. Thus you need to rent a car when you go there.

Public Transport

You can find various public transports around the city such as bus, trolley and shuttle. These public transportations will bring you around the city and every friendly to tourist.

Bus Tour

If you want to go out from Honolulu or when your visit is very short then it is better to join bus tour. This tour will take you to various famous tourist attraction around the island. Each tour can be as long as 7 hours and you can go to cultural sites, surfing sports, natural wonders and shopping areas.

After seeing these you can decide the answer to question do I need to rent a car in Honolulu which most of the time you do not need.