Driving on the Big Island of Hawaii can be both exciting and exotic. Visitors to the island will likely want to consider a tough four-wheel drive for exploring the volcano national park or Mauna Kea Forest Reserve. Or perhaps a convertible might seem like a good idea for cruising the streets of Hilo or Kailua-Kona. What rental drivers might not realize, however, is that gasoline is priced quite differently in Hawaii than it is on the mainland. Therefore, when choosing your rental vehicle for the Big Island, be sure to consider gas mileage along with utility.
The maximum speed limit on interstate highways and rural freeways in Hawaii is 60 mph; however, the limit is only 25 mph in residential areas. Therefore, it is always important to watch for posted speed limits as these may change depending on road type. While drivers may use their mobile phones in hands-free mode, it is against the law to text while driving on any roadway in Hawaii. Children under one year of age or weighing less than 20 pounds must be secured in rear-facing car seats. Between the ages of one and four years, children may ride in forward-facing car seats, after which time they may transition to booster seats.
Your Big Island adventure will only be made more fun and exciting with a vehicle rental. However, there are some things to keep in mind about driving in Hawaii, which may be a little different from other states. For example, when driving in the parks or reserves, it’s important to use caution before going off-road. The reserves on the Big Island contain beautiful forest and jungle landscapes, which will often include protected or poisonous species of flowers or other plants and should be avoided. Likewise, driving off-road in the volcano national park carries obvious risks as well. Have fun in Hawaii, but always stay safe.
FAQs about renting a car in The Big Island
Renting a car on the Big Island means having the freedom to go anywhere and explore all that this incredible paradise has to offer. When you rent a car, you bypass the need to rely on public transportation, which isn’t always available, or even taxis or private rideshares, which can be very expensive in Hawaii. With your rental vehicle, you can attend a meeting in downtown Hilo, then cruise over to the beach in Captain Cook and watch the sun slip into the Pacific, all on your schedule.
Driving on the Big Island can be generally summed up in one word: beautiful. There are many roads on the island with breathtaking views of both the land and the sea. For the most part, the roads on this island are well-maintained and convenient, whether you’re in downtown Hawaii or uptown Hilo, or just circling the coastline in your fancy rented convertible. Signage may be a little sparse at times, and traffic can sometimes form in the cities, but wherever your Hawaiian adventure takes you on the Big Island, you’re sure to enjoy every moment and every mile.
In the state of Hawaii, including on the Big Island, you must be at least seventeen years old to hold an unrestricted driver’s license. After that, you may rent a car beginning at age eighteen. Generally, car rental agencies will apply a surcharge to your rental agreement if you are under the age of twenty five. This additional fee may be applied on a daily basis or can be assessed as part of the overall rental price. All drivers, regardless of age, will need to present a valid driver’s license, in addition to certain other documents, at the time of rental agreement signing.
On average a rental car in The Big Island costs $61 per day.
Compact (Nissan Versa Note or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in The Big Island.
In the past 72 hours, the cheapest rental cars were found at Hertz ($54/day), Avis ($72/day) and Dollar ($74/day).
Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental companies in The Big Island are National (9.0, 89 reviews), Alamo (8.9, 449 reviews), and Enterprise (8.7, 296 reviews).
Based on car searches on KAYAK, the most popular cities to rent a car in The Big Island are Kailua-Kona (88% of total searches of users looking to rent a car in The Big Island), Hilo (12%) and Waikoloa Village (1%).
On average a rental car in The Big Island costs $615 per week ($88 per day).
On average a rental car in The Big Island costs $2,636 per month ($88 per day).