Big Island Rental Cars
Our agency offers excellent rates on Big Island vehicle rentals with Avis Rental Car; they have a location at the Kona Airport (KOA) and the Hilo Airport (ITO). The Hilo Airport is very close to the Hilo cruise ship dock and shuttle service is provided. The Kona Airport is located about 30 minutes away from the Kona cruise ship dock and this is too far to provide shuttle service (see cruise ship information below). While this page is intended to provide information on Big Island rental cars, you may also use the form to the right to reserve a rental car on Oahu, Maui, or Kauai as well.
4/1-6/20, 9/3-11/26, 12/1-12/13
1/6-3/31, 6/21-9/2, 11/27-11/30
LOW SEASON rates are in effect from April 1 to June 20, September 3 to November 26, and December 1 to December 13.
HIGH SEASON rates are in effect from January 6 to March 31, June 21 to September 2, and November 27 to November 30.
PEAK SEASON (holiday) rates that are much higher are in effect from Dec 14 to January 5
Prices listed above are base rates which do not include rental car tax and facility surcharges. These are the 2013 rates ... dates in 2014 are slightly higher.
- Ford Focus or similar
- Seats 4; holds 1 large & 2 small suitcases
- Pontiac G6 or similar
- Seats 5; holds 1 large & 2 small suitcases
- Chevrolet Impala or similar
- Seats 5; holds 2 large & 2 small suitcases
- Chrysler Sebring or similar
- Seats 4; holds 1 large & 1 small suitcases
- Cadillac DTS or similar
- Seats 5; holds 3 large & 2 small suitcases
- Chevrolet Uplander or similar
- Seats 7; holds 5+ large suitcases
Our recommendations on car sizes; parties of 2 adults and 2
children can comfortably be accommodated in one of the
compacts. Midsized is fine for 4 adults.
Parties of 5 should request a full-sized car. Minivans will
hold a maximum of 7. Convertibles will only hold 4 people.
Some fine print ... which we
will leave regular size type so you can really read it
- While the cost of the rental is paid directly to Avis, our office requires a credit card on file to guarantee the reservation.
- The driver must be 25
years old or older with a major credit card in his/her
name. Drivers 21-25 may also rent, but will need to pay an
underage driver charge of $27 per day.
- Daily rates are for a 24
hour rental period and includes unlimited mileage.
- You are responsible for
whatever liability and vehicle damage insurance you decide
to take out on the vehicle, as well as the gasoline
consumption, and any GPS units or car seats that you rent from Avis.
- 48 hours notice required for changes / cancellations of existing reservation
If you are a cruise ship
passenger arriving in Hilo, free shuttle service is provided to and from
the cruise ship dock. Your email confirmation will contain a phone number for you to call to request a shuttle. Avis shares a shuttle with Budget Rental Car, and the Budget shuttle is typically the one that services the cruise ship dock and runs automatically when a cruise ship arrives. Please note that the time listed for pickup is the time the vehicle is ready for you at the airport location of Avis; they don't schedule cruise ship shuttle pickup in advance. When you are walking off the ship, call them on your cell phone. Even though shuttle service is available, some clients grab a taxi to the Hilo Airport ... it is a VERY short ride and speeds up the time required to pick up the car, so you might consider doing that.
If you are a cruise ship
passenger arriving in Kona, shuttle service is NOT provided to the Kona Airport. The distance makes a rental car impractical for cruise ship clients who are in Kona just for the day. You might consider Atlantis Submarines or UFO parasailing as these events require a short walk from the dock. You also could do a fishing charter or a snorkel trip that would only require a short cab ride.
For the record, shuttle pickup is also available on Maui at the Kahului dock where the NCL Pride of America arrives (request Maui-Kahului) as well as the Lahaina dock where most other ships arrive (request Maui-Lahaina). Shuttle service is also available Kauai at the Nawiliwili dock. In Honolulu, public transportation (taxi or city bus) is readily available to the Honolulu Airport, but shuttle service is not provided by Avis in Honolulu.
CAB FARE ADDS UP QUICKLY!!!
Rental cars open up the possibility for cruise ship passengers
to arrange their own tours and activities independently rather
than using excursions arranged by the ship. This will often save
you a LOT of money as the cruise lines tend to mark up the
cost for shore excursions or offer ones that are done in large
buses instead of smaller groups. We don't know of a better way
to improve your Hawaii cruise vacation than to gain some
independence from the cruise ship during the time that you are
For clients who have already
arranged airfare to another island for a day or two or three,
this is a quick and easy way to arrange transportation. If you
are thinking of flying to another island (say from
the Big Island to Oahu to see Pearl Harbor) and you don't have airfare
arranged yet, you should check out our fly-drive page for packages
that include both airfare and rental car.
For those spending part of their vacation on the Big Island, the answer is "Yes, you need a rental car" as there is very little public transportation on this island. You'll have a hard time finding rental car rates that are lower than the ones we offer!
recently watched passengers disembarking from an NCL cruise
ship and when they arrived at the dock they walked over and
climbed on board a shuttle bus that had the following words
painted on the side. "WALMART EXPRESS."
Please, for the love of God, don't spend thousands of dollars
coming to Hawaii on a cruise and then end up spending your
time in port at WALMART!!! There is so much to see and
do, and renting a car will open up options for you that you
wouldn't have if you are dependent on your cruise line to
arrange all your tours and excursions.
our website you'll find notes about activities that work for
cruise ship passengers if they have a rental car. This is true
of the tours featured here on Adventureinhawaii.com,
as well as our sister website http://adventuremaui.com
(the latter is a very extensive site that focuses just on the
island of Maui). We often give the advice "Enjoy your cruise
ship when it is at sea; get as far away from your cruise ship
as possible when it is in port." Renting a car is a great
way to add independence and improve your cruise vacation.
are a good example. If you attend a luau arranged by the ship,
you'll be charged up to $100 or more to be driven by bus to a
luau, and you'll be attending with 600 or more other people
from your same cruise ship. You'll have no control over where
you sit, and you could end up so far from the stage that
you'll wish you brought a pair of binoculars. The same luau
that the cruise ship sells on Monday night for $100 is
available from us on Tuesday night for $69. The difference in
the price of a luau for two people will pay for a rental car
for 24 hours! If you are driving yourself to the luau and you
don't have reserved up-front seats, you can at least arrive
early and get better seats. If you are dependent on the cruise
ship's buses to take you to your luau, you have no idea where
you sit and no way to improve your seats.
about overnight parking for Maui and Kauai? Well, in
Nawiliwili on Kauai there are several parking lots a block or
two from the cruise ship that charge $7-8 per night to park
your car. On Maui there is a small lot that is free right
across from the security gate. Other parking is nearby; ask
your rental car company for more specific parking instructions
when you pick up your car. Of course you don't have to use the
rental car for the entire 24 hour period ... you can take it
back early if you like.