Should we get a rent a car on Oahu?

Oct 30th, 2008, 04:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 236
Should we get a rent a car on Oahu?

Or will The Bus take us everywhere we want to go-North Shore,Diamond Head,Pearl Harbor? Is the four day visitor pass a good deal?
Randyforgt is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 05:16 PM
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Rent a car the entire time. You can see the island much better with a car.
dusty56438 is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 05:26 PM
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Rent a car! You will get to see more of the island. It is not a difficult place to drive.
Kerry392 is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 05:31 PM
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I've been to Oahu a number of times. I've traveled around just on public transportation and I've also had access to rental cars. It gets expensive to park a car at the hotels, in my experience, but I still think it is nice to have a car for at least part of the time.

A car is really the best way to make the drive to the north shore. It is also a great way to take some of the scenic highways and back roads around and through the middle of the island. The bus would take forever. It is not something I'd personally want to consider on a trip around Oahu. I really like the ability to stop and go, or take a left at the fork in the road... which you can do with a car!

If you plan to do things just around Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, you can take the trolleys. You can hop on/hop off at a number of stops on the tourist route. I do not recall what the daily ticket price is right now. No car is needed, if that's what you want to do. There is a stop at Diamond Head. The trolley does not go to Pearl Harbor or the north shore.

Enjoy your trip.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 05:39 PM
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We did a bit of both. We used the bus when we could and when we wanted to venture out for an entire day we just stopped by the one of the numerous rental car companies in hotels on Waikiki.
Suzie is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 05:40 PM
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Around Honolulu we use the Bus or trolleys but to go anywhere else we rent a car.
Diamond Head and Hanauma Bay are doable by bus but for going around the island I believe it takes 4-5 hours on the bus.
hulajake is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 06:52 PM
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I would definately rent a car. I have only been to Oahu once but cannot imagine it without a car unless you are wanting to stay at whatever resort you are staying at and you would miss out on so much! (and by the OP you definately want to see a lot)
MomDDTravel is offline  
Oct 31st, 2008, 12:25 AM
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The 3 visits we have had we rented a car, last visit with GPS since we got bit lost in parts of HNL and around Kailua plus we would never have been able to get to Diamond Head without it. It's not difficult to drive but some of the signs are not clear or it might just be us!
Odin is offline  
Oct 31st, 2008, 06:34 AM
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I don't rent a car but I stay only in Waikiki & Honolulu and can get around on foot and with public transportation.

For the places you say you want to go, yes, I wold definitely rent a car. I'd probably keep it your entire stay and save the taxi fare to and from the airport.

Do you mean the 4-day pass for The Bus? I didn't use it often enough to make that worth while, I just paid individual trips.
suze is offline  
Oct 31st, 2008, 03:36 PM
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No Car needed in Waikiki. I find it easy to walk and use THE BUS. I usually take the Roberts Airport transportation back and forth to the airport. I generally rent a car IN WAIKIKI for 1 day to drive to the locations I want to see around the island and return it that night. THe parking fee is more than the car rental rate ... Geeeeeeeeeez
hpeabody is offline  
Oct 31st, 2008, 06:50 PM
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"The parking fee is more than the car rental rate"

Here is a list of some of the parking rates at Waikiki hotels:

Generally the closer to the beach, the higher the rates.

Resortquest Waikiki Banyan is one of the least expensive at $10/day.

You can also find many units on that have free parking.

For two people:

Cab to & from airport $35 each way or $70 total. ($30 total if you take a shuttle, but it takes twice as long as a cab)

4-day bus pass $20 each or $40 total. Add more if you need to take the bus more than 4 days.

Two tours at $50 each total $100.

Then you have to consider that the bus will drop you off at places like Diamond Head outside of the crater adding 1/2 mile each way to the hike. Or outside of Punchbowl so you will need to walk into the cemetery & spend hours doing the same thing that takes 1/2 hour by car.

In about the same amount of time that you can take the bus from Waikiki to USS Arizona & back, you could have driven to places like Punchbowl, Aloha Tower, drive Tantalus in addition to USS Arizona Memorial.

You can stop at any beach you want to and not worry about catching the bus at a certain time or having to walk blocks to the beach or taking twice as long to get there.

If you do save any $$ by not renting a car, it will be very little & not worth what you give up in time lost.

Lots of info including a couple of driving tours:
dusty56438 is offline  
Nov 1st, 2008, 08:05 AM
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Since you said "we" you are 2 people at least. The car is a good value, once you are more than one person (and especially if you are a family).
suze is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2008, 01:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 236
Thanks folks for all the ideas.Looks like I'll be using my VISA,a little more for a rental car....We like to explore and be on our own schedule!
Randyforgt is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2008, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 12

Get out of Waikiki! That is not the true hawaii. The only way to get away from that tourist trap is to rent a car. Make sure to go to the North shore - we like to snorkel at Sharks Cove (named that to scare away tourists not because there are actually sharks) And drive all the way up the west side till the road ends and there is a great beach there.
juliecav is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2008, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 750
Another bonus for renting a car the entire time is that you won't need to pay for shuttle service to/from Airport/Waikiki.

If you're a Costco member, check out for excellent car rental rates offered by major companies. We consistently save $50-$100 on weekly rentals by booking through Costco. Alamo has the best rates in Hawaii.

The Bus will take you to all the places you want to go much cheaper, but exploring the North Shore and stopping whenever/wherever you feel like is the only way to really enjoy it.

If you won't need a car the entire time, check out rates for a few days. You may find that renting for a week makes more sense.

adventureseeker is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2008, 02:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 750

Great post.....thx for all the valuable info.

adventureseeker is offline  

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