Car Rental Hilo Airport

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Hilo International Airport (ITO), formerly known as General Lyman Field, is located about 2 miles east of Hilo on the eastern side of the island, and is mostly an interisland airport with general aviation operations. Many flights to Hilo are connector flights from the International Airport on Oahu, although Hilo is also able to handle overseas flights.

The passenger terminal complex consists of three interconnected buildings, with a total of about 220,000 square feet, and services two runways. Hilo Airport is the smallest of the 5 major airports in Hawaii, in terms of passenger arrivals and departures.

The Hilo Car Rental facilities are located right outside the terminal on ground level, and quick walk across the street for passengers. Most flights to Hilo originate from Honolulu International Airport. With the airport encompassing over 1,000 acres, this is the smaller of the two airports on the Big Island of Hawaii.

What's available at Hilo International Airport (ITO)?

Hilo International Airport handles passengers traveling in East Hawaii, including Hilo and Puna. Like most airports in the United States, a variety of shopping and dining options are available with hours based on flight schedules. After leaving the baggage claim, you can even pick up a lei right at the airport from the local Lai Stand! There is free WiFi Service available, as well at the airport, and you can enjoy a meal or snack at the restaurant, pick up a gift to take home from the gift shop, and maybe a snack and a good book for the fight home from the Newstand.

Like other Hawaiian airport locations, persons with disabilities are well-considered here, with accessibility to help with wheelchairs, washrooms, and porter services. Besides the men’s and women’s washrooms, Hilo Airport also has two accessible family restrooms. For the deaf and hard of hearing, there are a few Text Telephones.

Car Rentals in Hilo are an easy option with the rental locations situated across the street from the main terminal – a quick walk. Renting a car on the Big Island is pretty much a necessity to be able travel around the island and explore its many sights.

Tips for Renting a Car at Hilo Airport

Before you drive away in your car rental from Hilo Airport, there are some rules and procedures you should be aware of. Keeping these guidelines in mind will ensure you have the best rental experience when you visit the Big Island:

  • Upon arrival to pick up your Hilo Airport car rental, ensure your driver’s license is at hand to confirm your reservation. Travelers from abroad, including neighboring countries like Canada, must also present a passport. Additionally, if your license is issued in a language other than English, an international driver’s license is required alongside your standard license.
  • Always verify which rental company you booked your car through. No matter which agency handles your car rental, Hilo Airport does not offer shuttle services to transport you directly to your designated rental company, as the car rental locations at Hilo Airport are all within walking distance. You will receive a confirmation number and an email detailing your rental agreement, including all associated costs. Have your booking and pricing information accessible to confirm that all charges are accurate and to avoid incorrect or unwarranted fees. Always check the final total on the screen to make sure it matches what you expected to pay.
  • Everyone in your party who will be driving the rental will need to bring their driver’s license and present it at the rental counter.
  • Drivers aged 20 to 24 can make car rental reservations; however, they are classified as underage drivers and are subject to additional daily charges. Their choice of rental vehicles will be restricted, and renting cars using a debit card may not be permitted. Conversely, renters aged 25 and above can rent cars without any age-related fees or restrictions.
  • Adhere to the guidelines set by your rental agency concerning permitted and restricted driving areas. For instance, many rental companies prohibit driving to the top of Mauna Kea. You can drive as far as the Visitor’s Center.

Hilo International Airport Information

2450 Kekuanaoa Street, Suite 215 Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 961-9300

Hilo Airport (ITO) Rental Car Providers

Alamo Rent A Car
Avis Rent A Car
Budget Rent A Car
Dollar Rent A Car
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Payless Car Rental
Thrifty Car Rental

Driving in Hilo

Hilo is home to breathtakingly beautiful sights. While the car rentals Hilo Airport offers can take you to some incredible areas, you’ll need to keep a few safety rules in mind before taking your rental off the lot.

  • Vehicle theft and break-ins are prevalent worldwide, with Hawaii being no exception, especially for convertible rentals, which are particularly prone to such incidents. Always lock your doors when the car is unattended. If you must leave anything in the vehicle, lock it in the trunk.
  • Modern rental cars often come with electronic key fobs instead of traditional keys. Protecting these fobs from water exposure is crucial, as moisture can damage them, leading to costly replacements. Moreover, losing or damaging the key fob in a remote location could leave you stranded, requiring you to call for assistance.
  • Child seats are mandatory for young passengers who do not meet specific age and size requirements.
  • As you navigate Hawaii, you’ll drive along some long, winding, single-lane routes. Pay attention to the minimum speed limit as the law states that you must pull over and allow traffic behind you to pass.
  • Funeral processions always have the right of way.
  • Hawaii requires drivers to signal turns 100 feet in advance.
  • Hawaii has some of the lowest speed limits of any state in the country. They are as follows:

    Interstate highways are 60 mph
    Highways range from 45 to 55 mph
    City limits restrict cars to 25 to 45 mph
    School zones are 25 mph.

  • You are not allowed to park on sidewalks, and your car must be no further than 12 inches away from the curb.
  • Do not double park.
  • Always adhere to all traffic regulations and show consideration towards the local community. Treating those around you kindly and respectfully will significantly enhance your vacation experience.


What do I need to provide at the rental counter when I arrive to rent a car at Hilo Airport?

As a renter, bring your confirmation # and possibly the entire email with you during your pick-up time - all instructions for picking up your vehicle are included. Your driver’s license is always a necessity. An International Driver’s Permit may be needed as an additional document if your driver’s license is not in English. A credit card matching the name of the main driver, or a debit card may be accepted if it has a Visa or MasterCard Logo, and passes a credit check where required. You will need to bring the additional drivers, their driver’s license and credit card to the car rental counter as well.

Can I rent a 4WD vehicle at Hilo Airport?

Jeep Wranglers are usually all 4WD. Some car companies do have the odd 4WD vehicle on their lots and some AWD vehicles as well, although there is no guarantee you will get a 4WD car type unless you book a wrangler.

Can I get a deal on a rental car at Hilo Airport terminal, Hawaii?

Yes, if you are a price watcher you're more likely to get a cheap car rental. It is always best to book way ahead of time - as soon as you have confirmed your travel dates and times. That way you have a confirmed rental of the exact type of vehicle you desire, such as an economy car, minivan or an SUV. You can recheck our website for lower prices offered by the car rental companies in Hawaii up until the time you depart. If you find a lower rate, book it and cancel the rental you already have.

Are there any age restrictions for renting a car at Hilo airport?

Renters who are 25 or older have no age restrictions. However, any drivers between the ages of 20 and 24 will have to pay an underage driver fee, which is normally $25-$35 per day. To support younger drivers, we do offer this fee at only $8 per day with some car companies. Additionally, no underage drivers may rent cars with a debit card.

Can I add more than one driver?

The car rental reserved for you isn't limited to just one driver. Many of our partnered companies provide the option for multiple free additional drivers, while others may restrict this privilege to spouses and domestic partners or require an additional fee for extra drivers. Ensure all drivers present their licenses at the counter to complete the necessary paperwork.

Can I get a car rental at Hilo Airport with a foreign driver’s license?

Yes, if you’re a foreign traveler, you may rent cars as long as you can provide a driver’s license from your home country as well as your up-to-date passport. If you’re from a non-English speaking country and your driver’s license is in a foreign language, you will be required to present an international driver’s license with your passport and normal driver’s license.

How far in advance should I book my rental?

Hawaii experiences its peak tourist season from December through February, which is attributed to its cooler and more pleasant climate. Additionally, July witnesses a surge in visitors, coinciding with school vacations. To secure your preferred vehicle, booking your car rental at least one month in advance during these high-demand periods is advisable. While the off-season offers more flexibility in availability, arranging your car rental well ahead of time is essential to ensure a smooth and stress-free travel experience. Early booking not only guarantees your desired car but also potentially locks in better rates and avoids last-minute vehicle scarcity. You can always go back online to check prices - if the rate comes down, rebook at the lower rate and cancel the existing reservation.