How To Get The Best & CHEAPEST Car Rental in Hawaii (Honolulu/Maui)

Hello Travel Pandas!

So as you know, we LOVE Maui and we LOVE Hawaii as a whole! We go there often for the food, the beaches, the incredible culture and history. This trip will mark 5th time there and we are going to share with you the BEST but also the CHEAPEST car rental place we use every time we are in Hawaii. We will also share our secret to getting the best deals every time. It’s a little bit of work to save a lot of money but nothing strenuous we promise 😉

As you know, car rentals can easily make up to be the 2nd or 3rd most expensive part of the trip. Car rentals can be frustrating sometimes as they can be super cheap one time and then BAM! stupidly expensive the next day. How can you avoid that and WHICH car rental place should you go to for the best deal?

Several cars/SUV/Tesla rented later and the #1 and ONLY winner is ALAMO!

ALAMO is simply has the best customer service and best prices we have found time and time again.

Honolulu – When we arrived in Honolulu, we were greeted by the shuttle bus to take us to the rental spot, as we were pulling in, I saw this magnificent and gorgeous White Tesla P70 sitting there being charged. I thought to myself, do I really want to trade in my $19 (8hr rental) car for this ultra sexy all electric vehicle that I could never possibly afford? HAHA then came the question, would the Mrs. agree to such request. Long story short, it was approx $100 usd for the car and the Mrs got it for me! HOLY SHIT! I was so excited you have no idea! The super sweet gal at the counter was so patient with my excitement and ran us thru everything we needed to do very efficiently and less than 10mins later, I had the keys and was loading our luggage into the car. I won’t go into the details of driving a Tesla, but if you have the opportunity, DO IT!!!

Bottom line here – We had fantastic customer service. Can’t really compare the price anywhere else cause I’m unsure if anyone else even had a Tesla for rental on the island LOL


Maui – Ok so you guys all know we come here lots, but what you may not know is that we often invite lots of friends to come with us or we just have lots of family that come along too. We have rented many many vehicles here and EVERY single time, no matter the hour of the day/night, we have been treated with the utmost respect and professionalism. These guys are great, super friendly and offer you the best start to your stay in paradise. As a matter of fact, I would gladly pay to receive this kind of service HOWEVER….. LUCKY for us! We don’t have to pay more, we actually pay LESS!

Alamo has consistently been HUNDREDS and sometimes THOUSANDS of dollars cheaper than Budget/Dollar/Enterprise/Avis/etc… Let me give you an example. The one trip we did, I thought “oh… let’s use my personal company code to book for a better rate at Avis” so we looked it up and it was something in the $1600 range for 10 days. Ok…. that’s a little much so let’s keep looking on Kayak/Expedia/etc… A little cheaper than regular rates (as it should be) but nothing like wow… Then we went to Alamo and found a coupon code on google. We punched that in and it was in the neighbourhood of $350 for TEN DAYS oh and it was for a compact SUV at that! $333 if I remember correctly. We ended up booking TWO mid sized SUV and a Full size SUV (can’t remember the price of this one, our friends had it).

Now you’re thinking to yourself that there is NO WAY that there can be that much difference. Most of the time NO, but sometimes, YES. Ironically Avis DID call me during the vacation and asked me how things were going (pure coincidence) and asked me a bunch of questions. Long story short, I felt bad for the operator as she was doing her best to get good rates for us but it was not even close. We had a good laugh at Avis tho.

HOW in the world do you get the best deal Mr.Panda?

Simple. First off, you need to find out your EXACT dates for going. This makes it easier. Try to book MONTHS in advance if you can

Second – Go to Alamo directly (not Expedia or Kayak or whatever) – Go to Alamo website and enter in your dates and promo codes if you have any

Third – Once you chose and find the vehicle(s) that you need, go ahead and book. DO NOT PREPAY. BOOK ONLY! DO NOT ENTER ANY CREDIT CARD INFO

Wait…. We are not done yet.

You still have a few more months or weeks left until you depart. This part is crucial to saving $$$. The following day and following day and following day… etc… keep checking with the same parameters you used for your original booking. Why would you want to do that? Well sometimes demand will change based on those dates and it may drop prices. We did it for about a month and we were able to save over $300USD for just ONE vehicle. That’s HUGE. On another note, we found out about this little trick the hard way. We looked at renting a Jeep Wrangler for the first time and we found it for $320USD for TEN days, we thought, “ah you know what, let’s book it tomorrow”, so the next day came around and sure enough, the price had sky rocketed to over $1000USD! HAHAHA we were CHOKED. So disappointing but that taught us to just BOOK and THEN hunt for better pricing later. 

So there you go Travel Pandas! We hope this was informative for you and hope that this will help you get the absolute best deals ANYWHERE you may go.

Love you guys,

The Travel Pandas

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