Car Hire in Honolulu
This information is correct as of June 2015.
The most convenient way to navigate around the city of Honolulu is by driving a car. If you want to be in charge and on schedule, getting a rental vehicle is the best option for you. Plan your trip ahead with Skyscanner for a hassle-free travel experience in Honolulu.
Where to hire a car in Honolulu
Honolulu is served by most of the car rental companies operating in the United States. There are eight car rental providers that have pick-up locations in the city’s major airports and landmarks.
For those coming from the airport, you can be fetched from the Honolulu Airport, Maui Kahului Airport, Kona Airport, Hilo Airport, and Molokai Airport. Other pick-up locations include hotels and resorts such as Aulani Resort and Spa and the Hyatt Poipu. The eight car rental companies in Honolulu are Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Thrifty, Advantage, and Hertz. Their offices can be found at the Honolulu Airport, Honolulu Cruise Passenger Harbor, Aulani Resort, or at downtown Waikiki. When pre-booking, make sure not to miss out the deals and discounts offered by your chosen company. Most of these promos are not granted with direct booking at the airport. In addition, do not forget the listed requirements when renting out a vehicle to avoid the fuss before starting your trip.
What to expect when hiring a car from Honolulu
Honolulu has a strict set of rules on the road, especially to foreigners. These policies include no using or holding of any electronic device while driving, prioritising pedestrians even if they are not in the crosswalk, and proper parking particularly during rush hour. Rush hour in the city is from 5AM to 8AM to those going inbound and 3PM to 6:30PM to those heading outbound. Traffic congestion is normally experienced at Nimitz Highway/Ala Moana Boulevard, Interstates H-1 and H-2, and in downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.
Expect that traffic in Honolulu and in Oahu is bad, as it is one of the worst in the country. Because there are only a few main routes serving the populated city, there is a great possibility of road accidents and mishaps. Make sure to be extra careful when you are navigating around Honolulu.
Honolulu’s street system is composed mainly of the shorelines, valleys, and ridges, which explains why it is not on a straight grid layout. It is, however, not that difficult to tour around.
Some terminologies that you will definitely find useful when navigating around Honolulu are the following: mauka, meaning “toward the mountain”; makai, meaning “toward the sea”; ewa, which roughly translates to “west”; and Diamond Head, which roughly translates to “east”.
Getting to your destination
With car rentals, you can drive to these attractions in Honolulu:
A famous destination in Hawaii, the Waikiki Beach is located on the island of Oahu. It is sandwiched in between the Pacific Ocean, the Ala Wai Canal, and Kapahulu Avenue. You can drive to Waikiki straight from the airport by heading to H-1 freeway east. Go towards H-1 east all the way to Waikiki/Nimitz Highway Exit which is approximately two miles. Along Nimitz, turn into Ala Moana Boulevard which is past Downtown until you finally reach Waikiki.
The other route would be to drive on H1 east then exit at 25A (King Street). From King Street, turn onto the second right in Kapahulu Avenue until you reach Waikiki.
For travellers who are seeking calm and serene scenery, the Makapu’u Point in Eastern Honolulu is the place to go. The beautiful ocean view will give you the peace and quiet you need for your vacation.
To get to the Makapu’u Point State Wayside, you have to get in first in Eastern Honolulu and you will find it along the Kalaniana’ole Highway (Route 72). From the airport, drive straight eastbound of H1 freeway until you pass by the Kahala Mall. When the H1 freeway changes into a surface street, you have finally reached the Kalaniana’ole Highway.
The volcanic tuff cone known as the Diamond Head is one of the sights to behold when in Hawaii. It is in Waikiki, on the island of Oahu.
Getting to the peak of the Diamond Head requires taking the trail. However, if you want a good view of the volcano, you may stay at a distance in Waikiki—preferably at the beach. You can reach the Waikiki Beach by driving all the way there. Directions are the same as mentioned above.