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Rental Car Prices Surging On Kauai

Car Rental Kauai

You may have seen the news stories where tourists are resorting to renting U-Haul trucks due to a shortage of rental cars on Hawaii. The same news stories are reporting daily car rental fees of $500 to more than $1,000 a day on the main island of Oahu. The rental prices are not as extreme on the island of Kauai, but a recent surge has left tourists who will be soon visiting the island this summer during peak travel times with sticker shock nevertheless.

For example, car rental queries at Travelocity for July 2021 are showing rates starting at $150 per day for compact cars, rising to almost $200 per day for convertibles and small SUVs. That is a marked increase from years prior where the prices were approximately at least half those numbers.

Hawaii is experiencing a rental car shortage due to the pandemic. With Hawaii almost completely closed down to tourists during the last year, Hawaii rental car companies shipped and sold inventories back to the mainland. But now, with demand for travel to Hawaii surging this summer, there is a shortage of cars. On top of that, car rental companies are having issues building back inventories due to a high demand for new and used cars also created by the pandemic.

Our advice, if you’re traveling to Hawaii or Kauai this summer or fall (2021), search all the major travel companies such as Travelocity, Priceline, Kayak, Expedia, etc. as soon as possible. Find the best price and reserve that vehicle (many car rental agencies do not require prepayment, credit card or cash upfront). You can always cancel that reservation if prices come down and you can find a better deal.

In addition to the major travel companies, a better car rental price might be found by dealing directly with the car rental companies at Kauai’s Lihue Airport. Search online or call the following numbers:

  • Advantage Rent A Car (800) 777-5500
  • Alamo Rent-A-Car (808) 246-0462 (800) 327-9633
  • Avis Rent-A-Car (808) 245-9031
  • Budget Rent-A-Car (808) 245-9031
  • Dollar Rent-A-Car (800) 342-7398
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car (808) 241-5580
  • Hertz Rent-A-Car (808) 245-3356
  • National Rent-A-Car (808) 245-5638 (800) 227-7368

You can also check the following companies.

Additionally, a travel agent may be able to help you find a rental car for your trip to Kauai. Travel agents often have access to rental car discounts and coupon codes. They deal directly with travel organizations and are knowledgeable about all aspects of travel. And even if a travel agent can’t provide a better rate than you’ve already found, an agent might still be useful in finding a rental car even when listings indicate rental cars are sold out.

One last note: If you are a member of an association such as AAA or USAA, check to see if the association offers discounted car rental rates. For example, AAA members can save up to 20% off base rates at Hertz using the AAA discount code.

Also see: Kauai Car Rentals

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