We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

rental car Car suggestions

Central California
posts: 28
reviews: 4
rental car Car suggestions

We will be driving all over the Big Island during our 8 day stay, what kind of car would be best to rent for this area?

Tulsa, Oklahoma
posts: 91
1. Re: rental car Car suggestions

Hi CaliGirl, Probably the best type of vehicle to rent for driving on the Big Island is an SUV. They are a little more expensive than a sedan or minivan, but worth the extra cost. The higher ground clearance and 4WD make it where you can go where other vehicles can go.

Palm Springs...
posts: 11,470
reviews: 61
2. Re: rental car Car suggestions

Well a 4x4 do have more clearance... and that would be fine for driving on lava and dirt roads. The problem is that ALL the rental car companies except, Harper, all say in your contract that their cars and 4x4s can not be driven off a paved road.....

yup thats the deal..... ask your rental car company direct questions..... they will try to avoid it but on your contract in Kona, it states " not to be driven of paved road, and many prohibit south point and saddle road..

In truth it is a waste of your money to rent a 4x4 that cant be used legaly here.

Rent the minimum and save... if you want to drive on dirt or to Mauna Kea then rent a 4x4 for that specific day..... maybe 2 days out of 8.

The savings on the economy car will pay for the splurge......

posts: 174
3. Re: rental car Car suggestions

How much does a vehicle from Harper cost for the day?


Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
posts: 8,721
reviews: 35
4. Re: rental car Car suggestions

I'd go with a convertable unless you live in an area with alot of sun.....if you just want to get from point A to B then yes, go with whatever is least expensive.

You do not need a 4X4 as was pointed out, most companies won't let them off road anyway and they get lousy gas milage.

seattle, wa
posts: 40
5. Re: rental car Car suggestions

I just called them yesterday. It was about $875/week (with taxes) for a 7-person SUV in Kona in March. You can go on their website--harpershawaii.com for an instant quote also.

Omaha, NE
posts: 1,122
reviews: 27
6. Re: rental car Car suggestions

Like most everything else, "it depends". Number of people, amount of baggage you might be hauling, and where you want to go.

SUV's can be nice if you want to try to access some of the inaccessible roads on the island. However, you will be violating your agreement.

However, having rented cars, pickups, vans, and SUV's on the island, I'd prefer a car - especially if you plan on touring the island. There are a lot of twisty roads on the island, so a good handling vehicle can be much more enjoyable to drive.

Also, the trunk of a car does give you a somewhat hidden place to store your luggage, unlike a van or SUV. This might be important if you have a red-eye flight home and have to check out before noon. Also good if you are staying in different places on your trip.

Central California
posts: 28
reviews: 4
7. Re: rental car Car suggestions

Thank so much for all of the tips ! I think I will go with the convertable. This will be my first trip to Hawaii and I am super excited ... I cant wait!