Getting Around the Big Island – Renting A Car

Big Island Guide Travel Guide

Renting a Car on the Big Island

We highly recommend getting a rental car to tour the Big Island. The sheer size of the island makes it worthwhile to have a consistent way to get around. Most of the major companies have offices at the airports and they are just a quick shuttle ride away from the terminal in Kona and just outside of baggage claim in Hilo. It is a very good idea to book your rental car in advance. Most visitors rent a car, so the supply can run low or even run out at the busiest times of the year. If this happens to you, take a cab or shuttle to your hotel and check to see if there is a rental company at the hotel or call around to the non-airport rental offices as they may still have a supply of cars left.

As far as the type of vehicle, we typically choose an SUV style 4-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle. We like the storage space these offer for all our beach toys, and there are many unimproved roads that you will need the 4WD on. Jeep Wranglers are fun and we have rented them a time or two. The only thing to keep in mind is security and being exposed to the elements more with the open top. Just remember not to leave things in your vehicle, take a light rain jacket with you, bring hair ties or clips, and use sunscreen or a hat when you’re driving and you will enjoy the Jeep experience more. Also, most convertibles have a few tricks to getting the top up and down, so do a dry practice run on putting it up and taking it down (and I mean dry as in don’t wait until you’re in a downpour to give it a try!)

As a cost-saving tip, we have found that you often get better prices (as much as 30%) by booking directly with the rental car company and paying in advance. The next best deal seems to be booking the car as part of your package with the flight and hotel and that is often a 10-15% savings. Also, gas prices on the island can be a bit expensive and the best price for gas is at the Costco in Kona, so fill up there anytime you are in the area.

If you are looking to book a full package with flights, rental car and hotel, Kayak generally has great deals. Kailua-Kona. Compare Car Rental Deals to Find the Best One.

Please see our complete list below of Car Rental Companies on the Big Island.

Guided Tours

There are also guided tours that can take you to many of the main sights and destinations. These range from van and bus tours and taxis to private limo service. Many of these companies are detailed in our Tours Section.

Mass Transit

The Big Island does have mass transit in the form of the Hele-On bus. This system offers limited transportation options around the island, and it would be difficult to use this as your sole transportation while visiting the Big Island. Please see their Website for information on their routes and schedules.

Taxi Service on the Big Island

Taxis are available curbside at the Kona and Hilo International Airports, as well as at some resorts and major shopping areas. On-demand taxi service can be hit or miss on the Big Island, so preplan and call ahead of when you need rides to ensure you get picked up at the proper time and place.

Kona Taxis

Kona Taxicab
Service Area – Kona Area, Kona Airport, Waikoloa Resort Area, Waimea
(808) 324-4444
Website

Dakine Taxi
Based in Downtown Kona & Kona Airport
(808) 329-8294
Website

R Jay Taxi
Serving Kailua-Kona HI, Airport and Surrounding Areas
4am – 11pm daily
(808) 201-1780
Website

Hilo Taxis

AA Marshall’s Taxi
Service Area – Hilo, Hilo Airport & Surrounding Areas
Also Offers Tours
(808) 936-2654
Website

WJJ Taxi Tours
Service Area – Hilo, Hilo Airport & Surrounding Areas
Also Offers Tours
(808) 938-8786
Website

Kona Rental Car Companies

Kailua-Kona. Compare Car Rental Deals to Find the Best One.

Alamo
877-222–9075
www.alamo.com

Alamo – Kona Airport
888-826-6893
73-106 A’ulepe Street
Kailua Kona, HI 96740

Alamo – Hilo Airport
888-826-6893
131 Kekuanaoa St
Hilo, HI 96720

Alamo — Waikoloa – Hilton
808-886-0205
69-425 Waikoloa Beach Dr
Waikoloa, HI 96738

Avis
800-321–3712
www.avis.com

Avis – Kona Airport
808-327-3000
73-361 Kupipi Street, Suite 1
Kailua Kona, HI 96740
Avis Kona Airport

Avis – Hilo Airport
808-935-1298
1 General Lyman Field Suite 15
Hilo, HI 96720
Avis Hilo Airport

Budget
800-527–0700
www.budget.com

Budget – Kona Airport
808-329–8511
73-361 Kupipi Street
Kailua Kona, HI 96740

Budget – Hilo Airport
808-935–6878
1 General Lyman Field
Hilo, HI 96720

Dollar
866-434-2226
www.dollar.com

Dollar – Kona Airport
73-200 Kupipi Street
Kailua Kona, HI 96740

Dollar – Fairmont Orchid
1 North Kaniku Drive
Kohala Coast, HI 96743

Dollar – Kona – Courtyard Marriott – King Kam Hotel
75-5660 Palani Road
Kailua Kona, HI 96740
This location services the Cruise Ship and Pier guests.

Dollar – Hilo Airport
1 General Lyman Field, Suite 13
Hilo, HI 96720

Enterprise
800-261–7331
www.enterprise.com

Enterprise – Kona Airport
808-334-1810
73-107 A’Ulepe Street
Kailua Kona, HI 96740

Enterprise – Kona Town
808-331-2509
74-5583 Luhia St
Kailua Kona, HI 96740

Enterprise – Waikoloa – Marriott
808-886-0762
69-275 Waikoloa Beach Dr
Waikoloa, HI 96738

Enterprise – Mauna Lani Bay Hotel
808-885-6748
68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr
Waimea, HI 96743

Enterprise – Hilo Airport
808-933-9683
1363 Kekuanaoa St
Hilo, HI 96720

Enterprise – Hilo Town
808-934-0359
875 Kanoelehua Ave
Hilo, HI 96720

Thrifty
800-367–5238
www.thrifty.com

Thrifty – Kona Airport
73-200 Kupipi Street
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
877-283-0898

Thrifty – Kona – Courtyard Marriott – King Kam Hotel
Cruise Ship Passengers Only
808-331-0531
75-5660 Palani Rd
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Thrifty – Hilo Airport
866-434-2226
1 General Lyman Field
Hilo, HI 96720

Hertz
800-654–3131
www.hertz.com

Hertz – Kona Airport
808-329-3566
73-104 Aulepe Street
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Hertz – Kona – Courtyard Marriott – King Kam Hotel
808-329-2042
75-5660 Palani Road, Suite 200
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
– This location services the Cruise Ship and Pier guests.

Hertz – Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort
808-322-1715
78-128 Ehukai Street, Suite 200
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

Hertz – Fairmont Orchid
1 North Kaniku Drive
Kohala-Hapuna, Hawaii 96743
808-885-0706

Hertz – Hilo Airport
808-935-2898
2355 Kekuanaoa Street, Suite 15
Hilo, HI 96720

Hertz – Hilo Town
808-934-0302
400 East Kawili Street
Hilo, Hawaii 96720

National
877-222–9058
Kona: 329–1674
Hilo: 935–0891
www.nationalcar.com

National – Kona Airport
888-826-6890
73-109 A’ulepe Street
Kailua Kona, HI 96740

National – Waikoloa
808-886-0205
69-425 Waikoloa Beach Dr
Waikoloa, HI 96738

National – Hilo Airport
888-826-6890
181 Kekuanaoa St
Hilo, HI 96720

Related Articles