Rental Cars, Kauai
DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT use HERTZ when you come here.
I am a 14 year GOLD CLUB member and have never been trated so badly anywhere as here.
Shuttle Bus was inoperative when we arrived at 1730 hrs,reservation was not put up and the desk people were so rude I wanted to slap them.
NOT a good image to portray!!!!
Van Rentals: Kauai Center for Independent Living (KCIL): 808-245-4034 Lift Equipped Van Rentals with (must take driver): 50/hour per person or $100 per person up to 4 hours or $180 per person full day up to 8 hours.
Public Transportation: It costs $1.00 to ride The Kauai Bus from point to point. All buses are lift equipped on Kauai. Paratransit is available within 24 hours of notice M-F, call The Kauai Bus Transportation Agency to make bus arrangements and for bus schedule information.
Parking Placards: Visitors who have accessible parking placards from their respective states should bring them to Kauai. It can be difficult to get a temporary accessible parking placards once you are here. Bring your placard!
Portable Ramps: On Kauai there are no car rental agencies who have lift equipped vehicles. Gammie Home Care (8098-632-2333) (gammie.com)
rents portable ramps. Some people rent a van and use a portable ramp to access the back seat, in some vans the entire middle seat can be removed to accommodate people who use motorized wheelchairs. Ask if an entire seat can be removed when you are talking with the car rental agencies.
If you need to gas up your rental vehicle in Kaua'i, the Shell gas station on the right side of Highway 56 traveling north from Lihue in Wailua almost always has the best prices. As of August, 2006, prices were holding steady at $3.50/gallon. Yikes!!! Refer to the website below for a great daily chart of best gas prices on the island.
If you want to get the most out of your trip, you should rent transportation to get around the island. Depending on what you want to see, depends on what kind of transportation you should get. We have rented sedans, convertables, and 4wd's. Converatbles are wonderful for riding around the island, but if you would like to get off the beaten path, I would suggest a 4wd. And if you want the best of both worlds, rent a jeep :-)! If you book in advance before you arrive on the island you can usually catch a special rate. Check around before you commit. National is our favorite place to rent from.
Unless you’re visiting the island on a cruise or an organized tour you are going to need to rent a car to get around. Kauai easy to navigate and small enough that with a car you will be able to easily see the entire island. I would recommend making a reservation for a car prior to arriving. If you make a reservation directly through one of the major rental car companies you can cancel, even the day of, without incurring a penalty. The rental car agencies are all directly across the street from baggage claim in the Lihue airport, making it easy if you want to try and “shop around” to get a better rate or finagle a free or discounted upgrade to a Jeep or convertible.
Renting a car is an absolute must when visiting Kauai. There are taxis, but rumor is the prices are out of the roof, like many other things in Kauai. The ultimate tourist car is a Jeep -- when you are coming from a cold climate like Chicago, it was liberating to drive around with the top down, the wind blowing in your hair. The 4WD came in handy too, on the dirt roads. The alamo guy who convinced us to upgrade said it would make our trip, and it definitely did. We were much happier than we would have been had we gone with our original Chevy Aveo.
There is a bus system on the Island of Kauai, but it wasn't until probably the second day before I even saw one on the road. These bus' are not the usual, more like a cube van than your regular transit bus. If you really want to explore the hidden area's on your own time, I'd go with the car rental rather than transit. I never did see one of these bus' up in the Waimea Canyon, and that area is a must see, or should be tops on anyones list.
For two full weeks of rental on my Chrysler from: Dollar Rent a Car, out of Lahue airport, it cost me - $890.00. All the other lower priced rental companies where fresh out.
The best way to get around the island is to rent a car. I dont think I even saw a bus or a taxi ever so rent a car so you have the freedom to do what you want.
Renting a car though is not cheap. It is pretty expensive just like everything else on this island.
We rented a jeep for four days and it was $362. This also included a car seat. Gas is pricey also but it was around the same price we pay in Los Angeles.
If you come to Kauai with a plan of just staying at a resort by the beach and not planning on going around the island at all, you don't need to rent a car. Most resorts have a free shuttle service to and from the airport.
But if you plan to see the whole island which I highly recommend, you need to rent a car. If you can and it fits your budget, try to get an SUV. If you do rent, make sure to reserve it as far in advance as you can especially during the holidays. It can get really expensive. When we were there we were lucky enough to reserve an SUV a month in advance for $68/day because when we got there, the daily rate went up to $199. Also, I suggest, you get the full coverage insurance. Apparently break-ins are very common in the island. As far as gasoline, there are a lot of gasoline stations around the island and the prices are not far from what we pay in the mainland.
Renting a car is an absolute necessity!! You'll definitely want the freedom to be able to go explore the island. It's small, but there is quite a lot to see.
We rented a Jeep, and swear it's the only way to go. We were able to see a lot of beautiful places off the main roads that other cars just couldn't have made it out to (plus its convertible!). You're technically not supposed to take them off-roading, but I think that they kind of expect it....
Although there is limited bus service available on Kauai, you will need a rental car to take best advantage of the multitude of sightseeing opportunities. We put almost 500 miles on our car in six days, and still didn't have time to explore every road that beckoned us.
Kauai has a population of less than 60,000 people, and draws an average of about 80,000 visitors per month, so a very large percentage of automobiles you see on the road will be rentals. Several international rental companies have outlets at the Lihue airport. Expect prices for car rentals and for gasoline to be about 40% higher than those you will find on the U.S. mainland.
If you are trying to decide on renting a car and can swing it within your budget..I say yes, do it!
We rented a convertible Mustang and drove all around the island, to different restaurants and many, many water falls. It gives you the convienance to travel as you please and check out the island from end to end. You can also stop and see the many water falls and discover your own 'off the beaten path' locales.
Tip #1: Bring a picnic lunch and stop under a shady tree to enjoy a few stolen moments.
Tip #2: Take this opportunity to stop at a supermarket and pick up sundrys, snacks, water etc. It will be much cheaper than your hotel sundry shop.
Nearly every visitor to Kauai drives around in a rental car. The roads are good shape and it is easy to find your way around.
The best way to make sure that there is a car available when you arrive is to book ahead.
There are not enough autos to go around, especially at high season.
You really need to rent a car on Kauai. Any kind of car will do - the cheapest little subcompact will handle almost all of the roads. There is very little public transportation, and there is so much to see and do on Kauai that you are cheating yourself if you do not get a car.
Our Kauai package included a rental car, the cheapest available, what in US is called a "compact car". Before we left a friend advised us to upgrade to a convertible if possible, because in his words "Hawai has the perfect weather for a convertible". The upgrade was $10/day and since Cris had just got his Christmas bonus we went for it. It was really fun driving in a convertible (I've never done it before). It wasn't so fun for our friends who were riding in the back; at least not until we realized we have to keep the windows up. Kauai truly had the perfect weather.