Don't wait to reserve a car:
It seems there are always special events, competitions, holidays or celebrations somewhere in Hawaii either on Oahu or one of the neighbor islands. Some of these events draw large numbers of participants and onlookers who are either local, on vacation, or who are coming from all over the world. If they don't reside nearby, they will need rental cars. This puts a strain on local car rental availability of inventory. Cars could become unavailable because they're sold out. If it's a big event or holiday, then some of the car rental companies will even raise their prices for that time period. They may even hold cars back from being reserved at corporate discount rates from sites like Hawaii Car Rentals. This is called a "blackout period." To mention a few, evenrone knows Christmas is a busy time of year but there are also many local events like The PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Poipu Kauai, or Oahu's Big Wave surfing championship, or marathons like the Big Island's Ironman Triathlon Competition where people come from all over the world to participate.
Contrary to popular belief, rental companies do run out of cars, especially in tight economic times and especially in the Hawaiian Islands. Rental companies often run into a shortage of vehicles around holidays, competitions and special events. In order to ensure there’s a vehicle available, you should always book early. Because of supply and demand, your choice of cars will also no doubt be more expensive. So don't expect the usual discount rates.
Reserve well in advance to get the car you want:
Not only does booking your rental car early ensure you’ll have a vehicle for your vacation, it can also mean getting to reserve the car and features you want. Upgrades, like GPS navigation units, tend to sell out quickly. Make sure that when you’re creating your reservation, you specify any features, upgrades and special options and accessories you require. Chances are better that if you book early, you won’t be stuck in a taxi cab.
Car rental reservations are based on a first come, first serve, supply and demand business model. This means your early reservation is putting you ahead of everyone else who may be traveling at the same time as you. You’ll have first choice of car models and you’ll be ahead of any last-minute rate increases. The fewer cars available in a fleet, the more expensive they become. To ensure you get what you want, book your rental at least a month, or better yet, even several months in advance.
Blackout periods can be a headache for any traveler. Sometimes you just don’t realize a blackout is scheduled. This can result in the inability to rent cars at discount rates from websites such as this one. If a blackout is occurring, you can’t take advantage of special rates, discounts, and waivers. It’s best to ask the reservation specialist about their blackouts to ensure your vacation doesn’t fall on their specific blackout dates. Not all car rental companies feature the same blackout dates. So, if you find one is experiencing a blackout, simply contact another. Shopping around is one of the best ways to ensure you get a good price on your rental.
Double Booking - should you do it?
Double booking is when multiple cars are reserved for close to the same travel dates from the same company. This usually happens if people aren't sure of their exact travel dates and they want to ensure they have a backup or rate-lock for when thyey do firm up their travel dates. It's not illegal, but this is something car rental companies frown upon because it makes it more difficult to manage their fleet. Double booking is something that shouldn’t be done. Booking a reservation you ultimately will not use is essentially taking someone else’s opportunity to reserve a car. It also causes the business to lose out on valuable dollars should you neglect to cancel a reservation you don't need. To compensate for double bookings and no-shows, car companies are forced to overbook by a certain percentage. This can result in car shortages or at the very least, the car companies having to provide upgraded vehicles at no additional charge to the customer. That may sound great for the consumer, but double booking doesn’t help anyone and can really cause serious issues. The long-term results of this are car rental companies increasing their reservation rates and may result in pre-payment requirements in the future. We recommend that you do not double book or not show up to get your car. If you must double book, always cancel a reservation that is not needed as soon as possible.
Holiday Reservations - the busiest times of the year:
Hawaii is a series of tropical vacation island destinations wherein its people and guests love to celebrate. There’s truly no shortage of events to attend and holidays to celebrate. The problem with these events and holidays is that they tend to make renting a car difficult because they can sell out early.
Imagine trying to rent a car on one of Hawaii’s busiest seasons of the year, Christmas. During this time, say on Christmas day or December 31st, New Year’s Eve, it’s nearly impossible to rent a car. You could be left out of all the island’s celebrations if you don’t have a reliable set of wheels. If you’re planning a Hawaiian vacation over the holidays give your rental company a few months’ notice. This is going to ensure that your car is reserved for you and that you get where you need to be. In many cases, if you haven't reserved a car from a discount website such as Hawaii Car Rentals, you may be stuck with having to pay full retail rates, which in high demant periods, may be as much as 400% more costly.
Special Events are busy too:
Holidays aren’t the only busy time of the year. Many events take place in Hawaii that makes renting a car a difficult experience. Imagine trying to find a car on the island of Kauai when guests are flying in from all over to experience the joy and beauty of the local Polynesian Festival? Or you may find yourself without a car during any of Hawaii’s Big Wave Surfing Championships on Maui or Oahu. These events draw in the crowds and could render you spending your vacation time waiting for a cancellation, not to mention higher rates.
Although Columbus Day is an ideal time for a Hawaiian vacation, it’s also the weekend of Hawaii’s annual Ironman Competition. This nationally television competition draws in crowds from all over the world. Like the rest of the country, Hawaii celebrates all American holidays as well as many local festivals and state holidays. You’ll want to ensure your car is booked before the last minute or you may be without wheels.
The dates for Hawaii’s many events and festivals vary. It’s important to always make the sound decision to book a rental car in advance. A good rule of thumb is to book your rental car immediately after booking your flight and hotel. Even if it’s a couple months in advance, your rental company can reserve your vehicle and you’ll be able to sleep soundly knowing that your vacation isn’t gridlocked.
Peak Rental Days
Possible Higher Rates
Dec 14 to Jan 7
Some Special Events on Each Island