Kailua-Kona (KOA) Airport Car Rentals

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Kona (KOA) Airport Car Rentals

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 best option.

Best Type of Car to Rent at Kailua-Kona Airport

Are you thinking about getting a jeep rental at Kona Airport, or a convertible rental for Kona? These are both fun vehicles, and will allow you to experience the sights and sounds of Hawaii as you travel. 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 travelling on the rainier side of the island, you might not want the top down.

Canadian travellers should consider the size of their party, and what you would like to see and do before you rent a vehicle. If you are planning on doing a lot of driving and sight-seeing, and you have 4-5 people, the smaller vehicles may not be very comfortable. 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 centre, any rental car will get you there. None of the rental car companies will allow you to take their vehicles past the visitors centre, 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 prices, you might be surprised to see a Kona van rental at a lower rate than a compact car rental – this may mean that a certain car company is having a special “sale” at that time, and if you need a larger vehicle, this is the time to book that option, as the prices could change next time you look.
We, at Discount Hawaii Car Rental, always recommend that Canadian passengers 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 travelling during peak seasons.

If you are traveling to attend “Iron Man”, you may want to book 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 Canadian 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 travellers into Kona via Oahu.
KOA car rental companies are located right at the airport, a short shuttle ride away, and are easily accessible, making renting a car in Hawaii very easy and convenient.
KOA has an open-air pavilion design, and is home to the Ellison S Onizuka Space Centre, 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.

Canadian 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 rentalon 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 specialised equipment and we are able to make those arrangements for you.


There are some Airports in Canada that have direct flights to Hawaii, and specifically to Kona on the Big Island. These flights are more popular during the high season for Canadians to travel to Hawaii, which is late fall, winter and early spring, while the weather is still cold in Canada.

Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

Vancouver has the most direct flights to Hawaii, and you may be able to find a convenient direct flight to Kona here.

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

You may not be able to find a direct flight to Kona from Toronto, but you may be able to get to Honolulu, and then find an intern-island connecting flight.

Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)

You may have to find a flight that will connect you to a city that has a direct connection to Kona from Montreal. Airlines do have some direct flights during the high season.

Ottawa McDonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)

You will have to find a flight to a city that has a direct flight, as there are no direct flights to Kona from Ottawa.

Calgary International Airport (YYC)

Calgary may have direct flights during high season. Otherwise, if you can not find one that works for you, you could get a flight to Vancouver, and connect to a direct flight from YVR to KOA.


The Covid 19 rules are changing, and it is getting much easier for Canadians to travel to Hawaii. To be safe, and to keep your family and the residents of Hawaii safe, please check this link for any rules and regulations you might need to know before you travel.


Tips for Renting a Car at Kailua-Kona Airport

  • When you pick up your car rental at Kona Hawaii Airport, you must have your driver’s licence with you. If you are travelling from another country, and your driver’s licence is not in English, you may also need an International Driver’s Permit. This will not replace your driver’s licence, but will be in addition to it.
  • Make sure you know which car company you have booked your Kona International Airport car rental with. 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 licence 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 rental car 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 numbers and sizes of passengers and luggage. Look for the best priced vehicles for your passengers, including extra drivers, where required, and 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


What do Canadians need to know before renting a car at Kona Airport?

Canadians must have their return airline ticket, passport and up to date Canadian Driver’s Licence with them when they arrive at the rental car counter. It is always a good idea to check with your home car insurance company and your credit card to see what kind of insurance you may already have available for car rentals. Make sure you check the bottom line total on the Rental Record before you sign, to make sure there are no extra charges for items you did not approve. Once you sign, you are agreeing to their terms and conditions.

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 travelling 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.

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 book better options if they come 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 for your needs.