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Saint Louis...
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Rental cars from KOA kailua - Kona airport

This car rental business is driving me crazy -- the price keeps jumping around; they give you a weekly rate and then by the time you add two extra days ( we will be on Big Island 9 days), all the taxes, fees and such and the rate goes from $400 up to $720 --- ridiculous! Have been using Hawaii discount car rental.com and this is for a van since we are 7 persons. Does this seem reasonable or way out of line? I just can't tell anymore. Trip is coming up end of July.

No California
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1. Re: Rental cars from KOA kailua - Kona airport

In January of this year, I booked a small SUV for 2 weeks. The cost was $800. Within a month or so, the cost had risen to over $1000.00 for new bookings. Within another month or so, the prices started dropping and continued to drop each week (or day). In the end I think our price finally came out to less than $325 (middle of May)

Yes, the taxes and fees really do add to the price of the rental.

I will say that my booking was through Costco, and while Hawaii Discount Car Rental has some good prices they could never match Costco's price.

Keep checking the price right up until a couple of days before you leave.

Edited: 10:41 am, June 09, 2012
Saint Louis...
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2. Re: Rental cars from KOA kailua - Kona airport

I do not have a Costco membership -- do you need one to rent a car through them?

I hear their store there is pretty good for groceries and gas too but not sure how convenient it is to get to it. Again, probably you need a membership.

San Carlos...
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3. Re: Rental cars from KOA kailua - Kona airport

Yes you need to be a Costco member. If you have seven people and you are staying in a house or condos the savings by buying food etc. at Costco would be way more than a basic membership fee. It is just south of the airport.

Edited: 11:14 am, June 09, 2012
Saint Louis...
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4. Re: Rental cars from KOA kailua - Kona airport

Yes, good idea; my husbands company might even have some kind of special membership rate; I will check into it; thanks for the tip!!!

ON, Canada
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5. Re: Rental cars from KOA kailua - Kona airport

Agree that a Costco membership will more than pay for itself during your Hawaii trip in grocery cost savings, plus whatever lower rate you can get on your van rental. You can also use your membership to shop on line from home.

You can check car rental rates on Costco's site without a membership if you want to do a comparison now of their rates vs. what you are being quoted through Discount Hawaii or the rental agency directly.

As the above poster mentions, it's important to keep checking on rental rates as your trip gets closer ... we've found that on our trips to Hawaii (and vacations elsewhere) that rates bottom out anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks out, up to a few days before the trip.

Edited: 1:49 pm, June 09, 2012
California
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6. Re: Rental cars from KOA kailua - Kona airport

Our dates are different of course but I'm currently on The Big Island with a standard size car from Costco (Alamo) and paying $169.00 out the door for 9 days.

Surprise, Arizona
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7. Re: Rental cars from KOA kailua - Kona airport

The rates should come down about 1 to 2 wks before your arrival date.

You can also check the Hawaiian Airline site. You do not have to fly on Hawaiian to use. Right now they are lower for us than Hawaii discount car rental. Also, check Hotwire or Priceline closer to your dates.

http://www.hawaiianair.com/

You just have to keep checking as they do change daily. You can also re-book your reservation. You will not be paying $700 - just be patient. It is like this every year.

Saint Louis...
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8. Re: Rental cars from KOA kailua - Kona airport

Ok here is the latest thing to get me confused. HawaiiDiscount .com will get me a rental van from Alamo , picked up at KOA for 435.10 for the 9 days however, this part I pay them; then on pick up at the airport I pay the "estimated' fees of 114.94 to alamo; This is significantly less ( maybe 120.00 less -- hey that 's lunch for my group one day) than my lowest $ 720 quote from the other rental sites; However, I feel uncomfortable paying up front, thus being locked in ( nonrefundable, I think), not knowing anything much about this company, and reading some of the reviews on trip advisor about Alamo which seem to be some of the worst. So maybe I should just pay more and keep my old reliable Thrifty reservation. Give me your input. I wish it wasn't like this; why isnt the price just the price for goodness sake! My husband says don't make a reservation, just get it when we get there, but that is stressful, as we have to have a minivan , it will be around 9pm at night, and I just don't want that hassle at the beginning of vacation......I hate feeling like I overpayed if I know I could have gotten a better deal, but one can get obsessive over stuff like this.

California
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9. Re: Rental cars from KOA kailua - Kona airport

I've used Hawaii Discount a number of times, and they've never even asked for my credit card information, so there's no upfront payment. I just gave my card to the car rental clerk when I picked up the car. You HAVE to have a reservation, no matter what company you use. If you wait to find a card when you arrive, you'll be very lucky to find any car or you may be hitchhiking all nine days.

Edited: 10:55 am, June 10, 2012
Saint Louis...
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10. Re: Rental cars from KOA kailua - Kona airport

Ok so there are two places online that set up rental cars:

very confusing:

Discount Hawaii Car rentals needs no money upfront; They are actually holding a car reservation for me now;

HawaiiDiscount.com wants money upfront for the reservations they make for you. they are the ones that you pay them their part and you pay the taxes, daily fees etc to the car rental agency when you get there, and the price seems about 150 dollars less, but I am leary of that arrangement.

And yes I agree that definitely a reservation is needed in advance. I do not want to hitchhike around the big island!

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