You do not necessarily need to rent a car on Oahu, at least for the majority of your visit. The Waikiki area is easily accessible on foot, and most island attractions, including the USS Arizona Memorial and the Polynesian Cultural Center can be reached via public bus or a hotel shuttle.
I do recommend renting a car for at least one day of your stay so that you can drive up to the North Shore of Oahu. You really must see this area while you're on the island and the best way to do it is by car. Then, you'll have the freedom to stop when and where you want to and set your own pace.
Rental cars are readily available at the airport. There is also a Hertz rental car desk at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Driving around O'ahu can be quite frustrating if you have to go to Honolulu during rush hours! The state of Hawaii has a Zipper lane which is open on H1between Waipahu to the Airport on weekdays from about 5:30am till 8:30 am ... unfortunately the speed limit is slower in this lane, and you will need to have at LEAST 3 people in your vehicle ... but this is a solution to our traffic problems here ... along with the shoulder lane being open to traffic during the morning rush hour. It will only take you as far as the Honolulu Int'l Airport, but even that far has been a great help coming from the country side of the island.
Rent a Jeep . . . I was worried about being able to rent a jeep because some of the chain rental agencies said that they were sold out. I did pre-book my jeep before I got to the Island but I did find out that there are many Jeep/car rental places around the hotels that have a wide variety of jeeps/cars available.
If you can't rent your own vehicle, this is a great alternative! Very inexpensive, about $1.50 adult fare will get you ALMOST anywhere on the island of O'ahu. You can get bus schedules from any satellite city hall, or many hotel lobbies, as well as online at their website. The buses are airconditioned and a transfer gets you farther for your buck.
Rent a car. The island is easy to navigate and has good roads all around the island. Unless you want to sit on Waikiki the whole time a car is the way to go.
4 Reviews and 751 Opinions Upon arrival to the Halekulani you are greeted at the desk and assigned a staff member to tour you...