Oahu cars rentals have always been expensive. Today car rentals in Hawaii are more expensive than ever because of the shortage of rental cars. Prior to the time that Covid-19 changed the landscape of the travel industry, we recommended booking your rental car a couple of weeks in advance. This will allow you to obtain a reasonable price while avoiding a scramble after an exhausting flight.
Today, many travelers are discovering that Oahu car rentals are scarce. If you can even find an available rental car, it could cost you hundreds of dollars a day to rent. This is particularly true in peak travel times like the holiday season and of course the summer months. Booking a rental car well before your vacation to Hawaii is no longer an idea it is crucial if you intend to travel the island.
My family and I traveled to Oahu for a well-deserved family vacation. We found out firsthand how badly the car rental business has been impacted due to covid. We rented a Jeep Wrangler for the week we were there. The cost was just under $200.00 per day. What was even more disturbing was the rental agency at the airport was charging almost $300.00 per day.
Oahu’s Car Rental Fleets Have Shrunk
Today car rentals companies in Oahu are expensive, and that’s because the demand has exceeded the supply. As more travelers return to the islands, fewer cars are going to be available. In 2020 the disease overtook the island. The Hawaii Tourism Authority says that car
rentals on the islands fell by more than 40%.
The recent rise in the number of tourists has only increased the problem. Hawaii is currently only open to the mainland so we can only imagine how bad it will get when the entire world comes back to Hawaii.
Although public transportation is readily available in many parts of Hawaii, visitors still prefer renting cars out of convenience. This is especially true in the north shore where public transportation and ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft are not available.
How Long Will Oahu Rentals Be Expensive?
It’s hard to know the length of time Oahu will be experiencing rents that are sky high and when the current supply of cars will increase. At present, it’s best to presume that you’ll pay a premium cost for a Hawaii car rental. This is assuming you’re fortunate enough to be able to secure a reservation at all.
Plan your trip at the earliest feasible time to increase the chances of finding a vehicle at an affordable cost. Before you purchase your airline tickets, look up the estimated cost for rental cars and their availability.
Today most people are now aware that they will have to factor in the cost of renting a vehicle since it’s no longer an optional expense. That cost could make up the largest portion of your travel expenses. Those travelers who book last-minute will most likely be paying the highest price per day on their rental car.
How to handle the Oahu rental car crisis?
Travel Weekly spoke with several travel advisors who are acquainted with Oahu and asked for suggestions for managing the problem. Their answer was directly related to covid. Their response was, as more and more vacationers are vaccinated, the problem with fix itself”. Not sure most vacationers will be satisfied with that comment. That does not resolve the immediate issue of renting a car and ensuring that a customer’s experience doesn’t get slowed by a huge transportation cost.
If you are planning on renting a car in Hawaii then you will need to book your vacation weeks out. Don’t wait until the last moment and expect to get the best pricing on rental cars. Today, Hawaii is one of the most expensive places to rent a car. My suggestion is to book your car rental a couple of months out. If you are booking with a good company they won’t even charge your credit card until you arrive. The other advantage is, good reputable companies also do not charge you a cancelation fee. This is helpful if the price drops. Be smart, plan ahead, and save some money.
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