FAQ – Discount Hawaii Car Rental

No Booking Fees, No Prepayment, Cancel anytime no penalty, Book early, double check for lower rates, etc.

Driver Requirements

What do I need to bring with me to pick up the vehicle?

Driver’s License

The renter is required to show a valid driver’s license and be the primary driver on contract unless the renter is disabled.  An International License is required in addition to your regular license if your license is not legible in English. Always bring your passport as well if you are not a US Citizen.

Debit/Credit Cards

A major credit card or debit card is required for a security deposit on pick up.  Prepaid cards are not accepted.  Debit cards must have either the MasterCard or Visa logos and may only be used in conjunction with proof of a round trip ticket (Airline or Cruise) within 72 hours of the time of rental.  Customers using debit cards to qualify to rent at the beginning of the rental will be subject to a debit card screening. Company debit card must have the renter’s name or signature on the card.

Debit card users need be age 25 plus with most companies.

Local renters may not qualify to use a debit card.

Debits Cards may not qualify for some vehicles.

Please review the Car Company’s policy on credit and debit cards in the VIEW DETAILS on the search results of our website.

I am traveling from another country - do I need an International Driver's License?

International Travelers must have their driver’s license with them, and a passport.  If the driver’s license is not in English, an International License must also be provided along with the original driver’s license.  NOTE:  You cannot rent with an International Driver’s License only.

We have rates for some international travelers that include insurance.  When you go to the first page of the search,  go to this link: MY DRIVERS LICENSE IS FROM OUTSIDE USA OR CANADA there is a drop down menu to choose the country your driver’s license is from.  Please read more information on this option under Insurance.

What ages qualify for renting a vehicle?

Anyone 25 years or older can rent with no additional charges for age.

20-24 Ages are considered Underage Drivers

The minimum age for a car rental from most of the major national rental companies is 21 years.  With Dollar and Thrifty, the minimum age is 20 years.   All car rental companies will add a Young Driver surcharge in addition to the rental charges for all drivers under the age of 25 years. Young Drivers may also be limited to full size cars or smaller and may be prohibited in the use of debit cards.  We do have some special rates for young drivers. Additional benefits are highlighted in red on the booking screen of the website.  Reduced 20-24 age young driver fee $10/day normally $25-$35/day. Look for those rates for the best savings.  The young driver fee will not show in the total when you book the vehicle.  It will be added at the counter – plus tax.

Some car companies may not allow a young driver as a secondary driver, only a primary driver as well.   Be sure you have booked properly to get the best option as a young driver.  If you need help, please contact us – we are here to help you.  If you have already booked your vehicle on our website, you can reply to the booking, and ask  if this is the best option for a young driver as well.  The DETAILS section of our booking system, as well as the see DETAILS section on the confirmation email we send you has all of the pertinent information regarding young drivers – please make sure you read this carefully as some companies restrict payment methods as well.

What about adding additional drivers?

We have contracts with some of the car companies that allow free extra drivers.  This can be a significant savings if you have additional drivers, so watch for four this benefit on our website when looking at various car companies.  Look for the rates that show free additional drivers. Extra drivers have to be added to rentals at the counter when you arrive to pick up the vehicle (or later during your rental, if that driver does not need to drive right away).  All extra drivers must go with the main driver to the counter and sign on to the contract.  They must provide their own valid driver’s license at that time.

What is the cost to add additional drivers?

When you take a look at the Benefits on our website in the search results, you will see that we have many options available where the spouse is free, or there are free extra drivers of any sort.  For the few options that do not have free extra drivers, the cost can be around $13+ per day.

What do I need to do to add my spouse or an extra driver?

Additional drivers are added at the counter on pickup. The extra driver(s) must accompany the main driver to the counter and provide their own driver’s licence. They have paperwork to fill out at the counter.  Some companies charge extra, some don’t. We will always take your extra drivers into account when searching for your lowest rate and will book you at the rate that works out to the lowest total. Life partners are considered to be spousal on proof of a common address.

I am a local renter, living on the same island - what do I do?

Local renters are subject to differing vendor rules for renting vehicles.  Some car companies will not rent vehicles from their airport locations without proof of a return airline ticket, or proof of a cruise ship ticket that coincides with the rental. At off-airport locations, locals may be asked for at least 2 additional forms of identification that may include proof of your address, they may need to be a certain age (possibly 25 years or older).  Some exceptions may apply, and it is important to read the detailed instructions as you book your vehicle (it is a button that states DETAILS – click on it and read all of the details for that car company at that location.

All About the Confirmed Reservation

What does "Estimated Total" mean?

‘Estimated’ is used in case of a tax increase only before your car rental return date. The base rate is guaranteed, taxes are estimated because they are administered by other authorities and may be subject to change. Total may vary at time of rental based on the selection of prepaid gas, optional insurance coverage items or changes in taxes, surcharges and fees.

I just found a better rate on your website, what do I do?

The cars companies change their rates on a regular basis.  The rates we provide for you on your search are the rates they provided at the moment of your search.  We recommend you just book the best rate for your requirements at that time.  You can keep checking back on our website, and if you find a lower rate, you may book it, and cancel the reservation you made previously.  Quite often rates go up closer to your dates, especially during peak seasons, so it is best to grab a rate to hold so you have a starting point in case the rates do increase.

How do I modify or cancel a reservation?

Existing car reservations cannot be modified without affecting the base rate. If your dates/times change, it is best to start a new reservation search online and book the best vehicle for your new requirements. If the prices have gone way up, and you just needed to add a day at the beginning, you can keep your existing reservation, and just book a one day rental at the beginning. We are here to help you with these changes, so if you are not sure what to do, please call us. Once a reservation has been altered online by you, we can not get your old rate back.

Canceling existing reservations is easy and free. When we send you a confirmation, there is a link right on the email for you to use to cancel if you no longer need the rental. If you need assistance, please contact us by replying to the email confirmation, or phoning us.

How can I confirm my reservation? Is it good?

Once your reservation has been booked, and you receive an email from us, your reservation is good.  If you need to re-confirm it at any time, you can click on the link on the confirmation email, and pull up the reservation (this actually asks the car rental company to check the reservation and send back existing details).  If you need help, please contact us.

How do I pick up my vehicle?

Shuttle buses are provided at all of the airports by the car companies.  They shuttle back and forth between the airport and the car rental company picking up and dropping off passengers.  When you receive your confirmation email from us, click on the SEE DETAILS link, and read the instructions.  The details for the shuttle should be located here along with a lot of other valuable information.

Some off-airport locations will provide shuttle pick up at hotels etc. You will have to read the SEE DETAILS link to find out if your car rental provides this service.


Is insurance included?

Insurance is optional, and is available for purchase at the counter. The rental companies have no minimum requirements. For policy and rate information please refer to the terms & conditions page of the rental company. We suggest you compare to offerings from your current insurance provider and your credit card company.

Do I need additional Insurance?

  • This is something you have to determine by talking to your car insurance company or your credit card company (some credit cards provide insurance when paying the charges with it).  It is recommended that you do have sufficient coverage in case you have an accident or are involved in one.
  • There are different types of insurances offered at the counter:
  • Some cover the vehicle   (CDW) some cover the people that may be injured (SLI) and some cover options like the cost to the car company if their vehicle can not be rented while it is being repaired (Loss of Use), and things like Flat Tires, towing, lost keys (Roadside Assistance).  It is a good idea to educate yourself on all of these and find out what your coverage includes before you get to the counter so you don’t buy something you already have, or think you are already covered for something you may not have included in your own insurance package.

What is an Inclusive Insurance Package and How do I get it?

We have some All-Inclusive Packages available for drivers whose driver’s license is from outside the USA or Canada.  If you go to this link: MY DRIVERS LICENSE IS FROM OUTSIDE USA OR CANADA  and fill in the form, putting the country of your Driver’s License into the Country of Residence box, and then when you hit search, see the top left on the filter for

1 – Inclusive – insurance included

2 – Not Inclusive – insurance not included

You can just click the Inclusive box to see only the rates that include insurance, or click both to compare rates.  Some of these rates also include free extra drivers, a tank of gas, a GPS unit, so look carefully at all of the options when considering the prices to make sure you are getting the best price for you.  When calculating if this is a better deal, you can consider the price of buying insurance at the counter from the car company can be $35+ per day for the same options.

Questions about the Vehicles

What does "Wild Card - WE pick the car" or "Special Car" or "Managers Choice" or "Compact or Larger" mean as these are often the lowest prices and look attractive?

These rates do look attractive, and are chosen often by customers where rate is the most important component of their choice.

When you arrive at the counter, the car company assigns you whatever vehicle they choose.  It can be based on the class of vehicle that has the most available that day, or any criteria they choose.  This can mean that if you are a part of 5 people (or more) they can offer you a compact sized vehicle, which would not fit your needs.  Or if you are a party of 2, they may assign you a large premium sized vehicle, or a minivan, and this option may not be practical for you for many reasons, including the extra gas costs, and parking issues.  If you really don’t have a problem gambling with the size of the car and are willing to take WHATEVER THEY ASSIGN YOU FIRST TIME, then this option is good, as the price is often the lowest.  But, if you opt for this option thinking you are getting a bargain, and you get assigned a car that does not work, your only option is to take an “upgrade” which means a larger or smaller car, depending on what you need, and you will pay the car company price that day for the vehicle- and this could cost you a lot more money.  In this case you would not be saving any money at all.  It might be a better option to just rent the right sized vehicle if the price is comparable.

What does “or Similar” mean in the Rental Car Examples?

When you select a vehicle model from the list of vehicles offered, each one is a class of vehicle, i.e., economy class, compact class etc.  Within that class, each car company will have different models available on their lot on any given day.  When you search, we pull that list of vehicles and prices from their system, with our rates and benefits, and they provide us with an example of a vehicle for each car class.  This does not mean that is the exact vehicle you will get.  The car company has the right to offer you any vehicle on their lot that is within that car class.  If they are sold out of vehicles in that car class, they are obligated to provide you with a vehicle from a higher car class at no additional fee.  You do not get to choose that vehicle, it is up to the car company which vehicle they offer you.  If you do not like the class or vehicle, and you wish to change, they have the option of charging you an upgrade fee.

Are these the same new vehicle models that show on the rental companies’ own websites? What does “or Similar” mean?

All rentals will be current models with air conditioning and automatic transmissions.  Car companies may have more than one brand of each car class, so the exact model may not be what you will receive – that is why each car class description gives a vehicle example, but then says “or similar”.  The vehicle will be “similar” to the model displayed. While all locations will try their hardest to accommodate the customer’s expectations unplanned situations do arise. After all is said and done all rental companies reserve the right to offer you a vehicle from any class of vehicle larger than the one you booked at the same price if your vehicle is not available at the time you arrive.  There will be no extra up charge to you if they do not have your class of vehicle available, as long as you accept what they assign.  If you do not accept, you will either have to wait for your class of vehicle to be ready, or you will have to accept a new price from the car company to get a different vehicle.

Is a 4WD necessary in Hawaii?

No, any vehicle can travel on the roads in Hawaii.  There are some road restrictions where rental vehicles are not allowed to travel (See ROAD RESTRICTIONS).

Is there any other vehicle besides the Minivan which can hold more than 5 passengers?

Yes, the Full Size and Premium SUV’s may hold 7 or 8 passengers, and there are some 12 and 15 passenger vans available at some locations.

Are there any road restrictions in Hawaii?

Please check at the counter when you pick up your vehicle about road restrictions on the Island you are visiting.  There are some roads that are not safe because of weather, and others that car rental companies will not allow their vehicles to travel.  The car company will provide this information to you.  If you do take your vehicle on a restricted road or in a restricted area, you will have negated your rental contract.

Extra Charges at the Counter

What are Early or Late Return Fees?

All rentals are based on a 24 hour time clock. When you book your vehicle, you are putting in exact dates and times for pick up and drop of the vehicle.  The price that is generated is the offering for that exact period of time on those exact dates.  If you pick up early, or return late, or change the dates for any reason, your rate will mostly likely change.  Some companies actually charge a late return fee on top of the extra charges for the extra time you kept the vehicle.  Some companies have a grace period of 25 minutes or so before they start charging a late fee, and some companies have no grace period – if you are one minute late, they start to charge you.  Car companies will hold reservations for a number of hours, and some for the rest of the day for late arrivals due to airline schedules, and some will honor the rate into the next day when an airline has been delayed due to mechanical issues or bad weather.  Please call us or email us if you have any questions or need help with this.

What if I need a Child Seat?

All our suppliers offer child passenger restraint systems that meet federal motor vehicle safety standards as an optional service at various rates starting around $13/day and come in 3 sizes – baby, toddler and child.. Some suppliers have weekly rates, and some also cap the total rate you will pay for a child seat.  All children under the age of 8 are required to use a restraint system. For current regulations click here

Do I need a GPS Device?

All of the car companies do have various GPS devices available for rent at the counter. The prices will vary by car company, and length of use.  The average rate is $13/day and some have weekly rates, and some also cap the total rate you will pay. An alternate option is to bring your own GPS device with you,  use the GPS device on your smart phone, or purchase one when you arrive.  Hawaii is not that hard to get around, and often paper maps that are provided by the car companies work well enough.

What is the average price of gas in Hawaii right now?

For gas prices please see: http://www.hawaiigasprices.com/

What is the Prepaid Fuel option?

The prepaid option is paying up front for a FULL TANK of gasoline regardless of how much is in the tank on return. The second option is to fill the tank yourself before you return the vehicle.  In Hawaii, if you buy the gas package, but fill the tank just before you return the vehicle, and can show the receipt (it must be from a gas station within 10 miles of the Car Rental lot, and within a few minutes of the car return time) you won’t be charged for the gas package.

Cruise Bookings

How do I book my car?

On our website, we have choices for cruise customers – you scroll down the locations list in the Pick-Up Location box until you see the Island you are travelling to, and the Cruise Customers Option.  We will then only show you companies that service cruise customers with shuttles that pick up at the pier, and we also will then send the cruise shuttle pick up instructions in the confirmation email we send you.

Are there shuttles?

Only some car companies provide shuttle services to and from the pier.  Each island is a little different, and some islands (Maui, for instance) have more than one cruise port, and each is handled from a different location.  In some instances, the shuttle services are not necessarily always your best option.

If you have questions please call us or send us an email – we are always happy to help you with your cruise bookings.

For 2 day stays, some passengers do rent vehicles for 2 days on one rental agreement, but are then responsible for finding parking for their vehicle overnight.  There are parking restrictions around the ports.  There is parking at the airport in the airport parking lots, but you must then grab car company shuttles or taxi back to the port.  Some people find it easier to do 2 individual one days rentals and just rely on the car company shuttles.  Be sure you know where to stand to wait for the shuttles; you can ask the security guards for that location.

Added Benefits

What benefits do you provide?

Our contracts with the car companies allow our customers some benefits that may not be available if you were to book directly with the car company yourself.  These benefits may include free extra drivers – if you need extra drivers this could save you up to $14/day per extra driver – a significant savings, especially on longer rentals. Young drivers can also benefit with a couple of our car companies. We have some contracts that allow young drivers to rent for an additional $10/day plus tax (normally  $25-35/day) (added at the counter) which is a significant savings as well.

Other Questions

Should I book a weekly or monthly rate to get a better price if I am not staying that long?

No.  Make your reservation for the amount of time you will actually need the vehicle. If you return a vehicle earlier than the day you have booked, you may be surprised at the counter as the car company considers you have “broken the original contract”, and could easily charge you the going rate at the time of return, which could end up being much higher than anticipated.

Can I book all of my Rentals together to get a better rate?

Sorry the car companies don’t allow us to combine rentals from different locations. Each rental requires a separate reservation.