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Is it necessary to rent a car on Maui?

Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 01:02 PM
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Is it necessary to rent a car on Maui?

We are planning a trip to Maui in October and are wondering if we need to rent a car for the week we will be there. We definitely want to do the drive to Hana but we were planning on just renting a car for that one day. However, it seems like we may need a car just in general. We are planning on staying at the Hyatt near Lahaina.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
lfalcone is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 01:14 PM
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My advice would be to get a car. There are lots of places to visit other than Hana, and you really do need the flexibility. Visit Kehei, Kahului, Wailuku...drive up the volcano to see the sunrise from Haleakala.

Have to admit that we didn't drive ourselves to Hana but took a tour guide. Learned a lot of things we might otherwise have missed, and were able to look at the scenery instead of being focused on driving.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 01:18 PM
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It's just so much easier if you rent a car. I never go to Maui without renting a car.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 01:24 PM
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Unless you plan on mainly staying at the hotel for dining and activities, then you'll be better off with a car the entire time. There's a hotel shuttle to nearby Whaler's Village for limited shopping and restaurants, but you'll need a car if you want to go to Lahaina or go sightseeing elsewhere.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 01:33 PM
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Actually, you can easily walk to Whaler's Village, and there's a shuttle into Lahaina. Nevertheless, we always rent a car -- there are lots of other places we want to go (besides Kaanapali Beach and Lahaina).
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Old Apr 4th, 2009, 05:07 AM
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Although not ideal, it CAN be done. I was on Maui in January, staying in a Maalaea condo. There was a lovely older couple from Canada who were there for a month without a car. They walked up to the Harbor Shops area and caught buses almost anyplace they wanted to go. They also found a grocery store that would deliver to the condo. Once in a great while they would take a bus somewhere and then take a taxi back if they had stuff to carry. Our condo complex was one of the furthest from the bus stop..perhaps about 3 city blocks.

I am not familiar with bus service in the Kaanapali area, however I read recently that bus ridership was way up on Maui, and more buses had been added to routes. I've been going to Maui for many, many years. The last two visits I have seen buses everywhere. When age and/or budget prohibit the renting of a car, I have confidence now that I can find a place to stay that I could enjoy without wheels. If I can stroll to the beach, store, and a couple shops, I could be happy!

That said, if you can afford the Hyatt you can probably afford to rent a car. (Unless you are traveling on points, or going to a company-paid convention.) My response is more for budget and senior travelers who might find hope in this info.
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Old Apr 4th, 2009, 05:15 AM
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If you post your email address, I will send you a link to a discount car rental company. NO, I don't work for them, just booked my own car in Maui and got a fantastic rate.
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Old Apr 4th, 2009, 05:37 AM
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odyssey,
You can post a link just on this thread.

ifalcone,
Over the years Ive noticed more local shuttles available. So after you get to many Maui locations you can get by without a car. However, what is the cost to get to and fro from the airport? What if you are in the North and its raining while the South is dry? What if you want to see the volcano or Hana? How about getting to harbor for an ocean activity? Tour company's charge quite a bit to drive you to those places.

Overall, I think Kapalua can satisfy someone without a car. They have a shuttle that will take you to restaurants, beaches and a snorkeling bay. There is also a small market condo renters can buy groceries at. However, you will need a car to get to the Napili market.

I have found the 200-300/wk(or so) I spend on a car is well worth it. For example, you have dined it up for a few days and you want a quiet evening but still want a Maui experience. Example-Get in your car and go to Paia Fish market(fresh fish for a third of what a restaurant near your hotel would charge) get a dinner to go and find a beach all by yourself to watch a sunset.

Anyways- I get a car every time, but you can get by fine without one.
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Old Apr 4th, 2009, 05:57 AM
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We just returned from Maui. We have been to Maui five times in some 20 years. I can't imagine getting by without a car. Whalers Village is a real waste of time. I suggest you eat at the "Pacific O" restaurant at the beginning of Lahania. We have eaten there four times; twice during this last visit. It isn't cheap, but it is absolutely beautiful at sunset. The food is very fresh.
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Old Apr 4th, 2009, 09:50 AM
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Whalers Village is a real waste of time

To each his own. When staying in Kaanapali, I find Whaler's Village a pleasant diversion, and enjoy a couple of the restaurants. The food at Hula Grill is not 5*, but it's pretty good, and the ambiance (especially at the beach bar part) is great - sand on the floor, and live music.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 05:33 AM
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I lived there for 2 and half years and yes I would rent a car. There is so much to see. I would make it a point to drive completely around the island.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 06:14 AM
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You'd be better off renting a car. Like everyone else is saying, there is so much to see! You'll want a car.

I think I've been to that Hyatt...fabulous hotel!
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 01:26 PM
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i would rent a car on Maui, but you should do it NOW. If you decide not to need one, cancel it later. There is a shortage of rental cars on maui...the rental company's have shipped many cars to other locations because business is so slow here. Thus, if you can find a car to rent, I've heard it's quite expensive. I've also heard that travelers have either cancelled their trip to Maui due to no car availability or because they refuse to pay the outrageous prices for a car
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 02:47 PM
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There's no way I'd go there & not rent a car for the entire time.
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