Hawaii car rental and public transport

Explore all of Hawaii for an incredible island holiday you’ll never forget.

Hawaii is best explored by car as many of its most famous sights are not within walking distance.

You can use public transport to get around to all the major attractions; but for the ultimate experience of the islands’ lava desert, jungles, beaches and mountains, hire a car.

Some of the top spots to explore are Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Honokaa black sand beach, Waipi’O Valley, and Mauna Kea for star gazing.

Hawaii comprises of multiple islands. The most popular for tourists are: Oahu (where Honolulu is), Maui, Kauai, Hawaii Island (Big Island), Molokai and Lanai.

Image: Hawaii Department of Transport

Hawaii public transport

  • Types of transport: Most of Hawaii’s main islands are serviced by bus. TheBus is a public bus that transports visitors on Oahu while the Waikiki Trolley is a tourist bus that runs along select tour routes. On Maui you can get around on the Maui Bus Transit System, the Kauai Bus is available on Kauai Island, while Hawaii Island has the Hele-On Bus. There is no public transport on Molokai or Lanai. Two interisland ferries operate daily. One takes passengers from Molokai to Lahaina and Maui the other takes passengers between Lahaina and Manele Bay on Lanai.
  • Paying for transport: Single tickets for TheBus cost US$2.50 and allow for up to two connections; pay upon boarding. The Maui Bus Transit System costs US$2 per trip or US$4 for a day pass; pay when boarding. Kauai Bus fares are US$1 per trip. Tickets for the Hele-On Bus must be paid for in exact change when boarding and cost US$2 for a single trip.
  • Getting to and from the airport: TheBus has three routes numbered 19, 20 and 31 that service Honolulu’s International Airport. Buses are located on the second-level roadway by the centre median strip and run every 30 minutes. An on-demand, door-to-door SpeediShuttle is also available and can be prebooked online. Is it available from Honolulu, Kahului, Kona and Lihue airports.
  • Best apps for getting around: Use DaBus app for getting around Oahu. It provides information such as where the closest bus stop is, real-time bus arrival and a search for stops by street name. For the Maui Bus Transit System, use the Maui Bus Routes app that allows you to see routes even when offline. Kauai Bus and Hele-On Bus do not have apps.

Taxis and uber

  • Taxi: Taxis can be found at taxi stands, major shopping malls, the airport and business centres. Hailing a taxi from the side of the road is not the norm in Hawaii. Call in advance to prebook.
  • Uber: Uber is available and costs from US$48 to $63 from Honolulu International Airport to the city centre. Uber currently serves all major islands except Lanai.

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Hawaii car-rental companies

Renting a car on any island in Hawaii is very popular because it is the best way to see all of the sights.

Avis, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise, National and Advantage all service Honolulu International Airport. Use DriveNow to compare prices and find the best deal.





Hawaii car-hire deals

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Valid until 31 July 2018 on intermediate and larger car categories. T&Cs apply.

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10% off private car rides

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Hawaii airport transfers

Transfers to and from all major airports in Hawaii are available in both shared and private vehicles. You can book it in advance with Viator and Jayride.

Shared Arrival Transfer: Maui Airport to Hotel
Shared Arrival Transfer: Maui Airport to Hotel


Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Honolulu Airport to Hotel or Cruise Terminal
Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Honolulu Airport to Hotel or Cruise Terminal


Private Departure Transfer: Big Island Hotels to Kona International Airport
Private Departure Transfer: Big Island Hotels to Kona International Airport


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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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