Save Big Money on Car Rentals in Hawaii - Cost Cutting Tips
for the Savvy Traveler
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February 04, 2013
Finding the very best
way to save money when renting cars in Hawaii can be a
challenge, but getting a great deal doesnít need to be hopeless. You can save money by
finding deals and by not having to spend extra on
penalties and unnecessary items. There are many factors to consider when you
try to find the best
deals for the money. There are more ways than one to avoid
those annoying added fees, charges and penalties. First, you
need to make yourself aware of them. Then you should study
each of your options to see which best suits your
particular situation. Always try to apprise yourself of
all the opportunities available to you and take advantage
of every tip you can.
Money Saving Tips for Savvy Vacationers:
Shop around for the best
Hawaii Car Rentals
has pre-negotiated wholesale corporate
discount rates that we pass on to our customers.
There are no pre-payment, no cancellation and no booking fees like
travel agents or the giant online
booking companies charge. We have periodic specials with even better rates.
Choose a company that waives the fee for an additional
At Hawaii Car Rentals, all the companies we represent waive
the fee for additional drivers for one or more drivers, but some only allow this if the extra driver is a spouse or domestic partner.
Choose a company that has a reduced fee for "underage" or young
At Hawaii Car Rentals, some of the companies we represent
have a reduced
underage driver surcharge fee and charge as little as $10/day in underage driver fees. Others charge as much as $27/day ($189/week).
a company that offers coupons:
At Hawaii Car Rentals, if you make a reservation through
us with Avis or Budget, on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the Big
Island, you can get free
coupons for free admissions, gifts, food and entertainment worth hundreds of dollars.
This won't specifically save you money on your rental,
but it will certainly help your vacation budget and save
money on activities that you might not ordinarily
participate in had these coupons not been available.
a company that offers unlimited free mileage:
At Hawaii Car Rentals, the companies we represent
all offer unlimited mileage. This is a great savings on
your budget. This isn't just for certain
days of the week or certain times of the year, it's all
year, every day of the year. Of course traveling across
state borders and wracking up mileage that way is not an
option in Hawaii.
in-town non-airport locations:
It Hawaii, if you rent your vehicle at in-town
locations, also known as non-airport locations, you
could save up to 22% more or at least $48/week. Because by NOT renting
at the airport, you will avoid the manditory airport taxes, fees and
surcharges. There are many
non-airport locations, but please take note that none have shuttle service to
and from the airports and you will need to find your way to these locations via
a taxi, bus or privates shuttle service.
rewards programs, awards,
club, frequent renter,
frequent flyer, or loyalty program number when you rent a car:
Try them - Even though all the rental companies have loyalty programs, some are and
some are not set up to allow your loyalty program number to be used in conjunction with Hawaii Car Rentals' already discount rates and bonuses. We've all heard the phrase, "not valid with any other offer." All we can say is to try your loyalty number and see if it works.
It probably won't get you any better rate, but it may
add to the miles or number of rentals you made. In a
recent check, we found that our rates were better than
using one of the club programs. It addition, the
renter was also able to get the free additional driver
as well through our website.
Flyer Fees? - Some companies will allow you to enter in your airline Loyalty Program,
Airline Miles or Frequent Flyer number. Please note that some rental companies
now charge a small service fee if you use a Frequent Flyer number.
Some say: "Frequent Flyer Surcharge: When the renter chooses to receive Frequent Flyer miles, we will collect a Frequent Flyer surcharge, not to exceed $1.50 per day, at the time of rental to offset a portion of the annual cost of participation in the Frequent Flyer
Insurance - Ala' Carte car rental insurance can be expensive:
Ala' Carte car
rental insurance can be expensive. Always look for
ways to save money. Check to see if your existing
personal auto insurance policy will totally cover your rental
car, especially for cargo vans,
the large 12 passenger and 15
passenger vans. It may not. Your insurance may not
cover you if this is a business rental either. If it does
fully insure you in the same way, or for as much as the
various auto rental company insurance protections do, then
purchasing it again at the counter doesn't make financial
sense. I personally inquired with my insurance agent and
found that even though I was fairly well insured, and even
insured for renting a car, I also needed an umbrella
insurance policy, which was only about $27/yea
Fill the tank before bringing the car
The pre-paid gasoline option can be expensive unless the rental car company prices are cheaper than local pump prices. If you choose this option, it's a very convenient option if you're in a hurry, but make sure you bring the car back with an empty tank to make it
really pay off for you. Save money by getting gasoline at
the pump - fill 'er up!
Bring your own
If youíre renting an automobile in Hawaii and donít know how to get
around, you should consider renting a GPS navigation system at the counter or when
you reserve online. Bringing your own GPS is a
option. Lots of cell phones
have this App available for free, even ones that give you
turn by turn voice directions - hey, that's an even better deal.
All locations provide GPS as an added on
option. So if bringing your own GPS Navigation System is
not an option, then there are daily and weekly
rates for GPS
devices from the various rental agencies. The daily rates range from $9.95 per day to $12.95
Ask for a free car class
When you arrive at the pickup counter to get
your rental car, simply ask if you can get a free
upgrade. Some companies will allow this but some will
want several dollars a day additional. But wait to see what
kind of vehicle you're going to get before you make your
request. Because if you reserved one of the popular car
models, much of the time the company will be
overbooked and thus sold out and they will upgrade you
automatically at no additional charge.
Bring the car back on
Some companies have a small grace
period for late returns. Some as little as 29 minutes. But after their grace
period, many companies charge an extra rate if you bring the car in late. You
may be charged 1/2 to 1/3 the daily rate for every hour the car is late, not to
exceed the daily rate. Some will even have a late return penalty in addition to
the hourly late return rate. They also charge a penalty over and above the rental charge if you call in and want to keep the car another day or two. If you bring it in a day or more early, you may
even be charged an early return fee.
the car for damage before you take it off the lot and when
you return it:
It's very important to inspect the vehicle for damage before you take it off the lot.
Take pictures of every single mar, door ding, scuff,
scratch or damage and also notate the locations on the
checkout sheet. When you return the car, don't leave it up
to the lot check-in attendant to do the return inspection.
Go over the vehicle with the attendant. It'll be a lot less
time consuming and possibly less expensive to dispute a
damage issue right then and there than to dispute it in
writing or over the phone when you get back from vacation
after the fact. Once I rented a
car that had one of those wind scoops under the front
bumper. Well, I didn't notate a small scratch that was on
it that a previous renter did by obviously hitting a curb.
I knew of this possibility on this particular model so
I knew never to pull all the way up to a curb when I
diagonally parked, so I disputed it. The counter agent
went through all the records of the car for about a year
previous, one ticket after another, it was very time
consuming. He finally found a couple tickets where it
actually had been notated by previous renters. The vast
majority of people had not notated it. I wonder if every
one of them were charged for body damage.