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4 wheel drive?

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Jacksonville, FL
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94 posts
9 reviews
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4 wheel drive?

Will be in Kona and Volcano Village for 6 days in January. Have rented a car but read somewhere that 4 wheel drive was recommended.... Can anyone comment on whether I need to upgrade to 4WD?

Thanks

Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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37,064 posts
4 reviews
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1. Re: 4 wheel drive?

Definitely not, and the sources that say that may be giving other bad advice.

Our paved roads here are not ones that require 4WD, except for Waipi'o which is prohibited by your rental company in any case.

The rule of thumb is that if you are driving on a road where you need 4WD, you are violating your contract and voiding your insurance. This makes the upgrade a waste of money.

Get a car where your luggage can be stored out of view.

Kona
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2,355 posts
43 reviews
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2. Re: 4 wheel drive?

The huge majority of people who live here do not have 4WD vehicles. No, it is not at all necessary.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
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23,249 posts
57 reviews
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3. Re: 4 wheel drive?

No need 4WD. You can't off-road and not violate your rental contract, anyway, and if you're somewhere that you need 4WD, you're probably somewhere you ought not to be.

Canada
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9,019 posts
39 reviews
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4. Re: 4 wheel drive?

No to the 4 WD.....just reserve a vehicle class that will comfortably accomodate your travel party.

Jacksonville, FL
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94 posts
9 reviews
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5. Re: 4 wheel drive?

Thanks to all who answered so quickly! This is what I love about TA and all the folks who are involved. I suspected as much but am relieved to have it confirmed by those in the know.

Denver, Colorado
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2,450 posts
38 reviews
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6. Re: 4 wheel drive?

My rule is rent the smallest vehicle possible based on the group that will be with you. Last time out I rented an economy vehicle and had no trouble getting around to the typical tourist sites and even a bit of rough road to my private cabin rental.

4WD is only needed for a couple of adventures like Road to the Sea Beach. However if yoiu really look at the cost and the fact that most personal coverage won't include insurance on that type of vehicle then some of the off road tours start making allot more sense. In some cases like Green Sand Beach there's plenty of locals waiting to pick up passengers in their 4x4's for 5 bucks. Waipio Valley tour to me is a trip you want to make w/ an authorized tour company that has access to sine of the private property where the public is not allowed usually.

Edited: 4:57 pm, September 26, 2013
Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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37,064 posts
4 reviews
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7. Re: 4 wheel drive?

Please do not follow Theodore's advice to pay locals to drive you to Papakolea! The locals doing this are illegally profiting by trespassing. If you are in a vehicle there then you too are trespassing. The landowner has given permission for you to WALK in and nothing else.

Note: the "you" here is generic. The OP didn't ask for advice on how to illegally access Papakolea.

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
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25,092 posts
76 reviews
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8. Re: 4 wheel drive?

Not only is it illegal but the 4x4s have torn up the fragile ecosystem and created erosion problems.

9. Re: 4 wheel drive?

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