Car Rental Kona Airport

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Kona International Airport (KOA) is located at Keahole, about seven miles northwest of Kailua-Kona. This airport services international, domestic overseas and inter-island flights, as well as commuter/air taxi and general aviation flights. All of the car rental agencies for this airport are located right on airport grounds and are accessible by taking the car rental shuttles to their locations.

Officially called Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport, this airport consists of little open air terminals. Much of the runway system, which consists of one 11,000 foot runway, is built on top of a relatively recent lava flow and is the second longest runway in the Hawaiian Islands. Near the airport is the Natural Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NEHLA), and the aquaculture ponds and solar energy experiments can be seen during takeoff and landing. There is no public transportation system in the Kona area, making rental cars the standard option for travelers.


Of all the rental cars Kona Hawaii Airport can offer you, a Jeep rental or a convertible are incredibly popular options. These are both fun vehicles, and will allow you to experience the sights and sounds of Hawaii as you travel down the road. Keep in mind, if it starts to rain, the convertible would be a better option, as you can put the top up or down with the push of a button. The Jeep Wranglers, both 2 door and 4 door mostly have a T-Top if they have a removable top at all, and you will have to pull over and put the top on yourself in the rain. This is not necessarily a big concern, but if you are staying in a hotel on the rainier side of the island, you might not want the top down.

Consider the size of your party, and what you would like to see and do before you decide on which type of car rental Kona Airport vendors can provide for you. If you are planning on doing a lot of driving and sight-seeing every day and you have 4-5 people, the smaller vehicles may not be very comfortable, as they get full fast. There is also not much space for luggage to and from the airport. If you are planning on staying put in a resort area, a smaller vehicle such as a mid size may be a perfect choice, as it doesn’t usually cost as much, and it will get you where you need to go.

If you are planning a trip up Mauna Kea to the visitor’s center, any car rental Kona Airport has available will get you there. None of the rental car companies will allow you to take their vehicles past the visitors center, so if you are looking forward to a trip to the top, you may have to book a tour to get that far.
When you look on our website at the car choices available, and the rates, you might be surprised to see a Kona van rental at a lower price than a compact car rental – this may mean that a certain Kona Airport car rental company is offering special deals or sales at that time. If you need a larger vehicle or a luxury car, this is the time to book that option, as the prices could change next time you look. Of course, this can mean you get an even lower price on an economy option at a Kona Airport car rental!

We, at Discount Hawaii Car Rental, always recommend that you book a vehicle on your first search of the website so you can hold a rate, as prices do fluctuate with the car companies, and can go up or down closer to your date of arrival, depending on how many cars are available, and whether or not you are traveling during peak seasons.

If you are traveling to attend “Iron Man”, you may want to book your Kona Airport rental car way in advance, as that season is almost always a sell out for the car companies. An SUV rental in Kona Hawaii would be a good choice if you have passengers and a bike to transport as well.

What's available at Kona International Airport (KOA)?

Most travelers to the Big Island tend to stay on the west side, and this is where the larger airport is located. Duty Free shops, restaurants, banking services, and specialty shopping are all available at this KOA Airport location. There are some International and overseas flights arriving here, and many interisland flights bringing international travelers into Kona via Oahu.


Car rental companies available at the Kona airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty. Each car rental company has a shuttle that will pick up customers from the airport and transport them over to the Kona car rental counters.

KOA has an open-air pavilion design, and is home to the Ellison S Onizuka Space Center, located near baggage claim. This little gem is dedicated to Kona native and first Asian American in space, Ellison S Onizuka, who lost his life on the Space Shuttle Challenger mission, January 28, 1986. This is a great way to spend some time while waiting for your flight.

Passengers with special needs can request assistance from the porter service, where wheelchairs and other needs can be handled. All restrooms are equipped for passengers with special needs. If you have any disabilities and will need specialized equipment for your car rental on this Hawaii Island, please let us know well in advance so we can arrange installation and make sure your Kona rental car is waiting when you arrive. Some car companies carry more specialized equipment and we are able to make those arrangements for you.

Tips for Renting a Car at Kailua-Kona Airport

  • Whenever you pick up the car rental, Kona Airport vendors will require that you have your driver’s license with you. If you are traveling from another country, and your driver’s license is not in English, you may also need an International Driver’s Permit. This will not replace your driver’s license, but will be in addition to it.
  • When you book any car rental KOA Airport has, pay attention to the specific rental company you use. You will then look for that shuttle when you go outside after you have collected your luggage. Take your confirmation # and/or email from us with the confirmation # and all of the pricing details with you. This way you can make sure the costs are the same as when you booked. Always double check the pricing before you sign the rental agreement at the counter. Question any extra charges.
  • If you have any extra drivers that need to be added to your Kailua-Kona airport car rental, make sure they come with you to the counter, and have their driver’s license with them. They will need that to sign onto your car rental.
  • If any drivers are between the ages of 20-24 years of age, there are some restrictions, so make sure you have booked the proper car – some cars are off limits to young drivers, or drivers with a debit card.
  • There is no need to rent a special vehicle here. Any car rental Kona Hawaii Airport has in stock will get you where you want to go, except to the top of Mauna Kea, and no car company will allow you to drive that far up the mountain. Choose your best Hawaii car rental option by fitting in your “must have” options based on the numbers and sizes of passengers and luggage. Look for the best-priced vehicles for your passengers, including extra drivers, where required, and the best young driver rates for 20-24-year-olds.

Kona International Airport Information

73-200 Kupipi Street Kailua-Kona, HI 96740-2645
(808) 327-9520

Kona Airport car rental companies are all located right on airport grounds, and are accessible by shuttle from the airport terminal. Each car company group has a shuttle that will pick up customers from the airport and transport them over to the Kona car rental counters.

You will find Alamo Rent a Car, Avis Car Rental, Budget Rent A Car, Dollar Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Payless Car Rental, and Thrifty Car Rental all located within the same area at the Kona International Airport car rental companies area. Each car company will have it’s own car rental hours, which will be the hours of operation, and our system will only allow you to book your best car rental for Kona Airport when they are open.

Kona (KOA) Airport Car Rental 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


Is a car rental for Kona Hawaii Airport necessary?

Yes, as there is no local transportation system, you will either need to use a taxi or other shuttle service. A Big Island car rental may be the best option.

How much does it cost to rent a car at Kailua Kona Airport?

Prices will vary depending on the car company, the type of car you book, the length of your stay and the season you are traveling in. During high season prices are often much higher than in the lower seasons. Holidays can be quite expensive for car rentals, and they are sometimes hard to find. Cheap car rentals in Kona Hawaii can often be found by booking early - as soon as you have purchased your tickets, and know your arrival and departure times. If you’ve forgotten to reserve a rental car, Kona airport we may be able to help so please get in touch.

When is the best time to book a rental car at Kailua Kona Airport?

We always recommend you book your first Kona car rental as soon as you get your airline tickets booked. Even if your trip is many months away, it is best to lock in a car rental in Kona while the supply is abundant for your dates and times. You can always come back to our website and re-check prices and include better options for a KOA airport car rental if they become available (and yes, sometimes they do!). It is free to book and free to cancel any reservation with us, and this is the best way to make sure you reserve the best rental car Kona has for your needs.