Where Did The Car Rentals Go

How Hawaii is dealing with its Rental Car Shortage

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As economies around the world reopened following a drop in Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, tourists couldn’t wait to return to their chosen locations across the globe. Hawaii is one of those places where visitors have been flooding in recent months, trying to make up for the lost time. With inventories at below average, this collection of Islands is finding it hard to cater for all its visitors, especially in the Rental Car sector.

Segments of Hawaii’s visitor industry like hotels, airlines, resort shops, restaurants, and other attraction sites have bounced back to life with the average daily census showing close to 200,000 visitors on the Islands of Hawaii. According to J. D Power’s Travel Industry Research, the shortfall was a result of the country’s largest car rental companies selling off tons of cars in 2020 to cushion the effect and financial blows of the COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported in May that the city’s rental car fleet witnessed a 40% decrease during the pandemic. With restrictions now lifted, there are only very few cars available in Hawaii for tourists- who now must pay obscene sums to use them. To cope, several alternatives are being exploited by city administrators and visitors. Rather than pay for vans and moving trucks (which are not condoned in the city), I’ll share legitimate alternatives put in place in some territories in Hawaii. They include.

  • Kauai Transport Options

In Kauai, there is the public transportation option using The Kauai Bus. You can also take advantage of the shuttles/taxi services (Aloha shuttle, Kauai Island shuttle, Kauai Taxi Company, Kauai Transport Service, Worldstar, Polynesian Adventure, etc), rideshares, bikeshare, and bicycle services.

  • Maui Transport Options

The Maui authorities are urging visitors to seek alternatives to rental cars, such as Public Transportation (The Maui Public Bus), Shuttles and Taxi Services (Royal Taxi, West Maui Taxi, Akina Tours and Transport, Polynesian Adventure, etc), Bike Rentals and Rideshares. All of these are geared towards dealing with Hawaii’s rental car Shortage. Most people are only interested in Jeep rentals in Maui, but the main rental companies can not keep up with the demand. Now citizens saw the opportunity to enter the car rental game by listing vehicles on Turo. Turo is a car-sharing app allowing people to book peoples personal cars through the app.

  • Molokai Transport Options

Molokai is another popular tourist destination in Hawaii that has put some measures in place to deal with the rental car shortage. There are mainly two options available; Taxi Services, such as Midnight Taxi and Hele Mai Taxi; and Bike Rentals like the Molokai Bicycle.

  • Oahu Transport Options

Oahu has a pretty long list of Transport Options to ensure visitors and tourists do not only get a pickup ride from the airport to their hotels or vacation homes but can also visit amazing tour site sites attractions during their stay. These include Public Transportation (TheBus), Shuttles/Taxi Services, Sports Car rentals (Aloha Motorsports), Rideshare, BikeShare, and Carshare Services, among others.

  • Lanai Transport Options

Asides from Hotel vehicles and shuttle rental services, Lanai offers two major options for visitors. You can either use the Taxi Service (like the Rabaca’s Limousine Service) and Rideshare Services like Holoholo.

  • Hawai’i Island Transport Options

The Island of Hawai’i comes last on this list, but that doesn’t take anything away from the many options you can take advantage of. Thankfully, this Island has Uber as part of its Rideshare service, along with Lyft and Holoholo. There are also Motorsports rental services, shuttle and taxi services, and Public Transportation by Hele-On.

You’ll often find that the hotel you choose should also have a shuttle, tour, or taxi service that you can take advantage of. While Hawaii Authorities believe it is mostly a temporary pitfall, it doesn’t seem to be getting any better even with summer already here. Although not condoned, private car owners are also beginning to cash in by renting off their cars to visitors.

The rise of Mopeds

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Gloom for one, bloom for another. That is the story of the sudden surge in the Moped industry in Hawaii. Customer behavior is changing as Mopeds continue to gain popularity across the Islands. There are several Moped rental services you can use (Find the list here). Although fun, it may not be as convenient as vehicles would. Besides, there’s a rising concern about Moped-related accidents in many parts of Hawaii.