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How far in advance to rent car?


emste

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I would say that it would depend if you need a specific size or type of car. If you do, I would suggest that you do it asap - we needed a minivan & booked them 4-5 months before our cruise. When I went back to check for amend our reservation all the minivans were booked, which was 2 months before the cruise.

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Currently, rental car companies on the islands are running out of cars to rent. From what I hear, they sent many of their cars to the mainland in expectation of fewer tourists. I would make my reservations as soon as your itinerary is known. I made my July reservation a month ago. Be prepared for some sticker shock. Prices are about double what they were a year ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We saw lots of disappointed people last week when they discovered no rental cars were available. I'd rent ASAP - as already stated, as long as you don't have to put a cc down with the rental, you can always cancel with no penalty.

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Rent now. Period.

 

But if you change your mind, do the rental company (and some other traveler) a favor and cancel the reservation. Who knows - the car you rent might be there because another good samaritan did this for the next traveler (you, in this case).

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we were there just last week and on Kauai and at Hilo, many of the types of cars, particularly compacts and jeeps were rented months before. Even 3 months ahead, I had to settle for luxury cars - 300C and Cadillac - as only available cars. So as others advise, do it now it costs nothing to cancel later and a car gives you freedom to go where you want not bound to shopping stops and loading and unloading of shore excursion coaches. Honolulu is the only place I would not rent a car because their bus transportation system is very good - called theBus and is very reasonable $2 and transfers are available. furthermore a rental car in Honolulu can be a problem with parking.

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I just got back from cruising hawaii and rented at 3 different ports. One thing that isn't ever mentioned that is a little annoying is the times for the last shuttles to the ship from the rental agencys. In Hilo and Lahaina it was at 4 and 5pm. You can take a taxi, but it will cost you $25 and up. In honolulu the last shuttle was at midnight, so it wasn't a problem. Something to keep in mind when you are planning your day.

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I just got back from cruising hawaii and rented at 3 different ports. One thing that isn't ever mentioned that is a little annoying is the times for the last shuttles to the ship from the rental agencys. In Hilo and Lahaina it was at 4 and 5pm. You can take a taxi, but it will cost you $25 and up. In honolulu the last shuttle was at midnight, so it wasn't a problem. Something to keep in mind when you are planning your day.

 

What rental car company had the last shuttle at midnight? And if it was Thrifty, is it the one at the airport or Waikiki?

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It was thrifty near the airport. The more I think about it, I may be mistaken. I know that the location closed around midnight so I am thinking the shuttle went until then. It might have been 9pm. Either way, it was much later than the other 2 ports. I would suggest calling to make sure.

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It was thrifty near the airport. The more I think about it, I may be mistaken. I know that the location closed around midnight so I am thinking the shuttle went until then. It might have been 9pm. Either way, it was much later than the other 2 ports. I would suggest calling to make sure.

 

Thanks! I have a rental with them too. We have our all-aboard at 10:30pm so 9pm should be plenty of time anyway.... still a lot later than Waikiki which runs till 7ish.

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