Hawaii operates somewhat differently from the mainland when dealing with car and vehicle rentals. These laws and regulations blanket all of the islands in and around Hawaii, so most if not all renters will adhere to them to keep business humming along. Here is what you need to know about fees, surcharges and taxes on Hawaii car rentals.

1. Charges Add Up. The rental fee exists on its own, depending on which vehicle you have chosen to rent. But when the rental agency adds up all of the fees, taxes and surcharges, it can feel like you are paying for another entire car rental. Understanding these fees helps, though only somewhat. It is a fact of life that these fees must be taken care of prior to getting into a rental car, but knowing what they are up front certainly helps too.

2. Some Places Waive Them. Perfectly reputable rental agencies will waive their fees either for first-time customers, for special customers or for everyone. It just depends on the fees themselves and how much each rental agency wants to eat in costs. Generally speaking, though, these agencies are at the whim of the state’s treasury agency, so they must adhere just as renters do to the specific costs and fees involved.

3. Some are Compounded Daily. Some fees are on a daily basis, while others are a one-time fee for the entire rental. So some fees could stay low if you only need the vehicle for a day or so. Other fees, though, are tacked on every single day that a rental car or vehicle is out of the lot, adding to what will be coming out of your pockets. There is really no way to avoid these costs entirely. They are necessary in order for the state’s government to function and keep tourism at an all-time high.

4. The State Does Not Charge for Everything. Mainland car rental agencies will often add their own fees based on their own states’ regulations. For example, there are mileage surcharges, energy surcharges, stadium taxes, additional driver surcharges, and convention charges that are generally tacked on to mainland rentals that Hawaii agencies do not charge. By contrast, Hawaii agencies have to charge motor vehicle surcharges, customer facility surcharges, county taxes, permit fee charges and a general excise tax for the entire state of Hawaii. It is just different for taxes and fees in Hawaii than anywhere else.

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