Maui Discussion

LETTERS: More Complaints About Maui’s Car Rental Prices

January 24, 2013, 11:15 AM HST
* Updated January 31, 7:05 PM
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The following letters are in response to an earlier letter highlighting a perceived dramatic increase in the cost of car rental prices on Maui.

A common sight on Maui - a rented Mustang. Photo via shared tourist photo on TravBuddy.

A common sight on Maui – a rented Mustang. Photo via shared tourist photo on TravBuddy.

By Janice Morrison, Victoria BC, Canada

I am from BC, Canada and had booked our flights prior to booking accommodations and our car.

This will be our first trip to Maui and our last, sadly our flights were non refundable.


This article is spot on – yes Maui is ridiculously expensive – we have been to Oahu and the Big Island and there is no comparison to the cost.


Why is it so high and why do the businesses feel the need to gouge the tourist on Maui? It is hard to believe that a place as nice as Maui feels the need to charge rack rates at certain times of year – and even the “discounted” rates are over priced for what you get.

Some of the places that most people can afford are holes in the wall. For what we are paying per night for 14 nights, we should be in a 5+ star place anywhere else in North America instead of a 2 ½ star. We have not even arrived to see what the cost of food/restaurants etc are, we are scared away by accommodation and car rental costs.

The other thing I read is the theft is rampant everywhere on the island – “guard your belongings” is what I read on the message board or see on the online news feeds. Is there nothing the police/government can do about this? Sadly I read that one of Maui’s main incomes is tourism – not going to be that for long at this rate. We will gladly return to the other islands and give them our tourism dollars – they welcomed us with open arms!



By Jan Eggert, Las Vegas (“the 9th island”)

As a yearly visitor to Maui for 20 years, I’ve been aware of the steep car rental fees. But last year (2011), I went to Maui at Christmas time and found the daily rate for a compact to be $200! And anything larger was astronomical. So I didn’t rent a car and took the shuttle to my hotel.  The driver said I should try one of the small island-based car rental companies.  I did, and found they had no more cars available for rental. So why do they have such high fees? Because they CAN! …… I’m not feeling the aloha.

By long-time Maui resident

I read the letter from the fellow complaining about the car rental prices and he is right on the money.

The state has saddled the car rentals with so many taxes and taxes on top of taxes that these prices are truly outrageous and likely to get worse. I wonder if the editor of a well read reliable digital news site would dig into this a little?

Could it be just this one visitor thinks he’s being unfairly nicked, or could it be that a majority of travelers feel that way.

Hint: the upward movement of the future prices will be helped along by the proposed relocation of the rental car facilities at the airport and the new consolidated rental facilities the state proposes to build there to the tune of several hundred million.

Your good friends at the DOT [Hawaii Dept. of Transportation] said the last time you looked this cost would be paid by “user fees”, i.e. more add-ons and surcharges and taxes.

I wonder how that will play in the national press when the travel writers finally get around to noticing that the costs for wheels here are way out of line.

It doesn’t take much to kill the golden goose. I think you’d find it instructive to pretend you’re a visitor and price out the car costs for rentals in the winter season.

Letters to the editor – [email protected]. Include your full name, town, and clearly state your issue.

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