Car Rentals for Persons with Disabilities and Equipment for the Disabled

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Car Rentals for Persons with Disabilities and Equipment for the Disabled

Discount Hawaii Car Rental strongly supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This act prohibits discrimination against, and promotes public accessibility for persons with disabilities. The rental car companies all have different options available, so it is important you know what is available and where.

The car rental companies in Hawaii provide a variety of special equipment for persons with disabilities at no charge, and even allow a designated surrogate driver. They may not have every single piece of equipment that mainland outlets have, such as electric mobility scooter rentals, which are available at select locations on the mainland USA.

Free Assistive Devices for Renters With Disabilities

Assistive devices, particularly Hand Controls and Spinner Knobs, for individuals with physical challenges are available at no extra charge by Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, Alamo and Enterprise. Swivel seats and transfer boards allow a disabled person to more easily transfer from their wheelchair to and from a car. The swivel seat also allows the passenger or driver to move easily and turn their body in a car seat.

Avis and Budget offers the most disability equipment choices and options including swivel seats, transfer boards and airport shuttles with wheelchair lifts (at limited locations), which allow easy access to assist customers with disabilities accessing the rental location. They are also known as lift vans or buses with wheelchair ramps.

Alamo and Enterprise, in addition to offering hand controls and spinner knobs, is the only company that supplies left foot accelerators, pedal extensions and seat belt extenders. A spinner knob will allow a driver to use only one hand to turn the wheel in a full radius.

Designated (surrogate) driver for disabled renters

Rental cars are available for renters with specialized needs and who may require a driver for a vehicle. People with disabilities who are unable to drive, can still be the “renter” of a vehicle regardless of whether or not they own a driver’s license.

For those who need to rent a car, but their disabilities inhibit their ability to drive a car, they can assign and bring along a designated driver/surrogate driver. The disabled renter is completely responsible for the rental vehicle and their appointed driver must meet the requirements of the car rental company, including their minimum age requirement.

There is no added surcharge fee for a surrogate driver as the so-called “additional driver.” The designated driver will need to provide a valid driver’s license, be at least 25 years of age, meet all driver qualifications, and be able to accompany the disabled renter to the location at the same time the rental car paperwork is being filled out, and the keys are handed over.

The rental car must be reserved in the name of the disabled person, that person must present a valid credit card in their own name when the car is picked up. The disabled non-driving party is financially responsible for the rental car.

Advance notice

Car rental companies usually require 24 to 48 hour lead time for their maintenance facility to install necessary equipment. Therefore, once you know your flight schedule, please book your vehicle on our website right away, and then let us know what equipment you will need installed so we can assist you in getting this handled.

Customers will need to reserve rental cars according to an appropriate size rather than price. For example, if you book a car that is too small and the car rental company installs the hand control into that car, and you arrive and find, it does not work (possibly too difficult to get in and out of, etc...), you will most likely have to wait at least 24 hours for the car company to install the device into the appropriate sized vehicle.

Car model compatibility

The rental car companies cannot provide assistive devices on all makes or models. Because of the function of the equipment for people with disabilities, it can only be installed on certain car models. We suggest renting a car size that will not only accommodate the equipment, but you will also feel comfortable operating or riding in.

Even though Hand Controls can be installed in Compact Cars and Convertibles, we recommend the following car sizes: (not necessarily in this order) But each car company may be different in which cars they will install devices in, so you will need to check. The last thing you would want is to get to the counter and find out you have an expensive upgrade charge to get a vehicle that will work. It is best to contact Discount Hawaii Car Rental staff for assistance in having your equipment installed in the right size vehicle.

  • SUV
  • Minivan
  • Mid Size
  • Full Size
  • Luxury Car

Vision impaired - Guide Dog quarantine

Guide Dogs and service dogs will no longer be subject to Hawaii Quarantine (with restrictions) – Hawaii agreed to allow pre-certified, vaccinated guide dogs for persons with vision impairments immediate entrance to the State, bypassing a 120-day quarantine. The owner must prove that the dog is free of rabies by providing documents showing rabies vaccinations and serological testing. As well, the owner will need to show proof of a certificate of training from a recognized guide dog school.

Contact Us!

We, at Discount Hawaii Car Rental are happy to assist you with getting specialized equipment installed in your rental vehicle. Once you book your vehicle, or are ready to book your vehicle, get in touch with us by phone or email, and we will assist you in getting the right equipment installed in the right-sized vehicle for your needs.