Price is obviously important for most people, myself included. But today I am not looking for just the cheapest Maui car rental, but for the best deal on a larger rental car.
I have just booked my flight to Maui for May 2 – 14, 2018. This time, I will travel alone and stay in our two Kamaole Sands Resort vacation rental condos. It’s a business trip – I need to paint and deep clean both of them and to do other maintenance. Since I will be there updating two condos, I want to have a roomy car to be able to load larger items I might need to buy. So I will be looking for Maui cheapest rental SUV or minivan.
What’s the cheapest Maui Car Rental?
If you just need the cheapest car and the size doesn’t matter, you might catch a great deal on Turo.com – a website akin to Airbnb. They even use the same term “hosts” to describe locals listing their cars for rent. For my dates there was just one great deal – 2012 Nissan Versa at $21/day. That’s $252 for 12 nights. Taxes might probably need to be added that will make it around $300 – an excellent deal! All other cars were $33/day and more.
I googled “cheap maui car rental”, and checked cheapmauicarrental.com. I booked a car from them in the past at a great price, so it was worth to check out. But this time the cheapest cars were small and started from $463.
Scrolling down the list, looking for an SUV or a minivan. The cheapest SUV (Jeep Wrangler) is over $1000.
The next company I had known about was Kihei Rent a Car. They have older cars but at unbeatable prices. One minus for me was that it wasn’t a larger car that I needed. Also their office and cars are located in Kihei. They pick up and drop off at Kahului airport for free, if the rental period is at least 5 days. But I always like to stop at Kahului Costco on my way to Kamaole Sands to shop, and that’s not possible when I rent from Kihei Rent a Car. But their quote surely qualifies them for the cheapest Maui car rental!
Kayak.com advertised rental cars starting from $21/day, but that was actually the price on Turo.com. Interestingly, I saw more cars on Turo, available for my dates, through the referral link from Kayak, than I did when going directly to Turo. Something to remember.
The next company I am checking out is Manaloha Rent a Car. They also rent older cars. There are two categories – Older and Newer cars. After looking at their offerings, I get excited! I could rent my desired SUV or minivan at a price just slightly higher than the best deal on the economy car! I selected a newer SUV, and the total with all taxes and fees came up to $403. I will pick up and drop off this car at Kahului airport right on the parking lot – no need for shuttles at all!
I filled out the forms and submitted. One downside is that they don’t guarantee the rental right away, I will have to wait 24 hours for their confirmation that the car is indeed available. Well, I will wait and report in 24 hours!
UPDATE: I received a confirmation email from the owner in about an hour after the booking. It said: “Please email us 2 days before your arrival. We will then send you the make, model and license plate for your car. You will pick up your car at Sector I of the OGG Airport parking. The key will be in a safe box attached to the rear of the car. We’ll send you the code.”
So far so good. It looks like it might not be the exact blue Toyota SUV in the photo. I will update after I pick up the car.
UPDATE May 16, 2018: I am back home from my Maui trip and happy to report that all went well with my car rental. Alas, it wasn’t the Toyota SUV in the photo, but a Suzuki Grand Vitara. The car ran pretty well, but at 134K on the odometer I wouldn’t call it newer car (that was my rental choice). It looked and sounded more like older car to me. But overall, I was quite happy and wouldn’t hesitate to rent from Manaloha Rent a Car again.
UPDATE May 31, 2019: Another great stay in Maiu is over, and again I rented an SUV from Manaloha Rent a Car. It was again the cheapest Maui car rental for a larger car. I paid $290 for an older Toyota Highlander for 9 days.
For longer stays, you might want to look into shipping your car to Hawaii. Vacation rental owners who use the car for business purposes may have tax benefits by being able to deduct the expenses associated with the shipping. This is not a tax advice; always check with your CPA prior to making any tax decisions.
If you rent a car in Maui for your next vacation, make sure to read about Safe Driving in Maui. Tips on How to Safely Navigate Our Beautiful Island.