Fees, Surcharges and Taxes on Hawaii Car Rentals

Information on mandatory fees, penalties, surcharges & taxes on Hawaii car rentals - charges added to your rental car bill.

Taxes, Fees, Penalties, Surcharges on Hawaii Car Rentals

Rental car transactionWhen traveling to Hawaii one of the first things you’ll need is a car to rent. Finding a discounted car rental company is one of your top priorities along with finding the perfect resort, vacation rental or hotel to stay at. But with every state there comes different ways of taxing. Some taxes and fees that Hawaii does NOT charge for, but other mainland states do, include energy surcharges, convention charges, stadium taxes, mileage surcharges and additional driver surcharges.

We all feel like having a tantrum or pulling our hair out when it seems the added taxes and fees for everything we buy these days never ends. When added to the cost of a rental, keeping to a Hawaii vacation budget can seem like a hopeless endeavor. It seems the base rate of rental cars in Hawaii are quite competitive these days, but taxes, fees and surcharges can almost double the cost of a rental car.

Unfortunately, we at Hawaii Car Rentals and also the various rental car agencies have no say when it comes to the taxes and fees the state of Hawaii tacks on. Many people experience sticker shock when they get an online estimate for their automobile rental or when they return the car and see the bill. The state of Hawaii has mandatory fees and taxes over and above the base price offered by a car rental company. This money does not end up in the coffers of Hawaii Car Rentals or the car rental companies, it gets sent to the State of Hawaii Treasury.

Mandatory Taxes, Fees and Surcharges on Car Rentals charged by the State of Hawaii:

Mandatory Taxes, Fees and Surcharges:

Tax / Fee Type


Applicable Locations

Hawaii Motor Vehicle Surcharge Tax $5.00/day All locations
Hawaii Rental Vehicle Customer Facility Charge $4.50/day if serving an airport
Airport Concessionaire / Permittee Fee 11.11% if on airport grounds
Honolulu County Tax 0.546% Oahu only
Vehicle License Fee (Registration Fee / Weight Tax) $.35 to $1.45/day All locations
GET - Hawaii State General Excise Tax 4.166% All locations

Car rental taxes and fees are manditory industry-wide charges required by the State of Hawaii.
Car rental companies only get to keep the base rate. All taxes, fees and surcharges collected go to the State.

Examples of Location Charges: 

Tax / Fee / Surcharge

Honolulu Airport
On airport grounds
Honolulu Airport
At airport, serves airport,
but not on airport grounds
Maui Airport (OGG)
On airport grounds
Lahaina (JHM)
In town, serves airport
In town,
does not serve airport






SAVE  $0.00 11.11% 0.546% $4.50/day + 11.656% $4.50/day + 11.11%
Rental Vehicle Surcharge: $5.00 per day $5.00 per day $5.00 per day $5.00 per day $5.00 per day
Airport Facility Charge: $4.50 per day $4.50 per day $4.50 per day $4.50 per day $4.50 per day
Airport Concession Fee: 11.11% 11.11% 11.11% 11.11% 11.11%
Vehicle License Fee: $0.35 to 1.45 per day $0.35 to 1.45 per day $0.35 to 1.45 per day $0.35 to 1.45 per day $0.35 to 1.45 per day
Honolulu County Tax: 0.546% 0.546% 0.546% 0.546% 0.546%
General Excise Tax: 4.166% 4.166% 4.166% 4.166% 4.166%

*The above may not make 100% sense, but those are the charges assessed.

  • Hawaii Rental Motor Vehicle Surcharge Tax:

    $5.00/day ($3.00/day w/ Hawaii Driver's License)
  • As a way of generating more revenue for the general fund to operate the state of Hawaii, the state requires the car rental companies to pay a surcharge tax on rental vehicles. This tax is applied at all rental car locations.

    Effective 01/01/19 the Hawaii Rental Motor Vehicle Surcharge Tax (HRMVST) was increased to $5/day (from $3/day), or portion of a day, for drivers who do not have a Hawaii Driver's license.

    For Hawaii licensed drivers, the HRMVST will remain at $3 per day, or portion of a day. If your current reservation is quoted at $5/day and you present a valid Hawaii Driver's license at the time of rental, the HRMVST will be reduced to $3/day.

    Please note that some car rental brands are still quoting the HRMVST at $3/day in our "Estimated Charges" section and others are correctly quoting it at $5/day on this website.

    . . . aka Rent Tax Surcharge, Rental Surcharge, or may be combined with other fees.

  • Hawaii Rental Vehicle Customer Facility Charge:

  • This fee goes into special funds for the purpose of enhancement, renovation, operation, and maintenance of existing rental motor vehicle customer facilities and the *development of new rental motor vehicle customer facilities and related services at state airports. This tax is applied at all airport locations, whether the car rental agency is located on or off airport grounds. *We have been told that eventually all car rental companies will be at one location for the convenience of travelers. Tentative breaking ground date will be in 2018.

  • Airport Concessionaire / Permittee Fee:

  • For those who choose a car rental company that is located on airport grounds, there’s an additional tax called an Airport Concessionaire / Permittee Fee. This 11.11% tax is assessed to the Base Rate and Vehicle License Fee at the Honolulu Airport but only to the Base Rate at neighbor island airports. This tax is applied at all airport locations. If you choose a non-airport location, also known as an off-site or off-airport location, you will not have to pay this tax.

  • Vehicle License Fee, aka Vehicle Registration Fee / Weight Tax:

    $0.35 to $1.45/day
  • All locations are also required to charge a Vehicle License Fee, also known as a Registration Fee / Weight Tax.

  • Honolulu County Tax:

    0.546% (Oahu Only)
  • If you’re renting in Oahu there is a Honolulu County Tax that is added to your rental car cost. This tax is applied at Oahu locations.

  • GET – Hawaii State General Excise Tax:

  • In addition, a GET – Hawaii State General Excise Tax, similar to a sales tax, is required to be added to your rental cost. This tax is applied at all locations.

Other added on fees, surcharges and penalties: (Mandatory and non-mandatory)

Some additional fees that you may be charged for include the Extended Rental Surcharge fees, which are added when someone decides to extend their rental agreement an additional day or more. Some companies will even change an Early Return Fee if you decide to return the vehicle a day or more early. Of course there are Overtime Charges if you are late bringing the car back on the day you're supposed to. Overtime fees are charged by the hour, usually not to exceed the daily rate.

What does this mean? "Surcharges and other fees are subject to tax in certain locations. Quoted taxes and fees are subject to change."

When you reserve online, some companies will issue the statement, "Surcharges and other fees are subject to tax in certain locations. This tax is not reflected in your reservation total and will be applied at time of rental. Quoted taxes and fees are subject to change which will affect your final total due at rental return." This is quite a mouth full of lingo to digest and understand, but exactly what does it mean? How much could the taxes, fees or other surcharges change? Why would they change? What certain locations? Well, lots of companies put this sort of thing in their fine print.

Taxes on Surcharges: This is if there is a surcharge for an extra driver or underage surcharge, it will also be taxed.

Local Taxes: If you’re ever charged anything extra for this, it’s usual a matter of a several cents to several dollars, less than $10 anyway as far as I can tell. This is put in the fine print because the rental car agencies can’t keep up with all the minor fractional variations in tax rates the various municipalities tack on. They do their best to provide you with a fairly accurate estimate (that's why it's called an estimate). I’ve never had anyone email me with a complaint about it.

Taxes on Add-ons: When you arrive in Hawaii and if you decide to order something like child safety seats, GPS Navigation, satellite radio, insurance protection, or decide to rent a more expensive vehicle, all they are saying is you will be taxed an additional amount on additional things ordered.

Gasoline fill up fee: (Applies only if you do not fill up the tank)

Fuel charges can really add up as an additional fee if you don’t fill up the tank with gasoline when you return the rental. However, fuel can be prepaid beforehand with a set rate or you can simply fill up the tank before you return the vehicle.

Young driver surcharge: (Applies only for drivers age 21 to 24)

With some brands, there is a full surcharge fee for underage drivers, but when renting your car through us at Hawaii Car Rentals, some companies reduce this charge for our customers because we have a corporate account. Through special arrangement with the various rental companies we represent and as a wholesale corporate discount vendor, Hawaii Car Rentals is able to offer underage drivers who are age 20 to 24 a reduced rate as low as $10/day (Dollar and Thrifty) instead of the usual $25 to $30/day.

Additional driver surcharge: (The fee is waived is most cases)

Hawaii Car Rentals has a pre-negotiated contractual agreement with Advanatge, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and Thrifty that allows at least one additional driver at no charge. In some cases, the additional driver needs to be the spouse or domestic partner of the main driver. If you want to add more drivers than are already allowed for free, the cost is usually $12/day or more.

Option & Accessories: (Optional and non-mandatory)

Options and accessories that have extra fees attached, if you choose to add them to your car rental, are child safety seats, GPS navigation, and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

Car rental insurance: (Optional and non-mandatory)

Advanatge, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and Thrifty offer a variety of rental car Insurance Coverages, Protection Plans and Rates. Insurance protection is recommended though it is not mandatory. Prices vary between the various companies.

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