Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Kristin

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If you’re heading to the capital of the Aloha State, you may wonder whether you need a rental car in Honolulu or if you can make do without.

The short answer is that renting a car is absolutely worth it for travelers looking to escape the city. While Honolulu is home to unmissable sites including the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and Diamond Head crater, most visitors want to explore outside the city limits on the lush island of Oahu.

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How to Get to Honolulu From the Airport

Travelers arriving at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) have several options for getting to their hotels, ranging from buses costing a few dollars to luxury car services.

Renting a car here is also easy, thanks to the airport’s consolidated rental car facility housing 10 car rental companies. There you’ll find Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Payless, Thrifty, and Sixt. Rental car rates start at about $60 per day from HNL, however, rates can vary depending on seasonality and availability.

Here’s a breakdown of what other kinds of transportation costs from the airport to popular destinations:

Taxis: Cabs typically charges a meter rate of $50-$55 into downtown Honolulu. It costs about $35-$40 to go to Waikiki. At the airport, taxis pick up passengers at the center median outside baggage claim. Look for the taxi dispatchers wearing yellow jackets.

Airport Shuttles: Several shuttle services offer pickups at Honolulu’s airport and charge varying rates. Expect to pay about $80 for round-trip service for one or two passengers.

Rideshare Services: Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft can vary greatly. Rideshare services from Honolulu International Airport to Waikiki can cost anywhere between about $25-$35.

Honolulu Public Transportation Options

Bus: TheBus, Honolulu’s main public transport option, picks up passengers at the airport. The fare is $3 or $2 with the Holo Card. While this is a convenient option for those who pack light, it is not ideal for visitors with larger pieces of luggage.

Bike: Honolulu has a bike-share service called Biki for tourists and residents alike, with more than 130 stations around the city. Fares are $4.50 for a 30-minute ride, but Biki offers a $25 plan that provides five hours of use. Keep in mind that these bikes cannot go outside the city.

Parking in Honolulu

Parking rates in Honolulu vary greatly based on the location and time. Before paying a fortune for hotel parking, consider a nearby parking garage and scope out street parking.

Hotels tend to have the most expensive parking options in Honolulu, especially in popular tourist areas such as Waikiki. For example, self-parking at the Hilton Hawaiian Village is $72.25 a day.

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Honolulu has several public parking garages, with prices varying depending on the time and location. These tend to be cheaper than hotel parking, often around $35 per day.

Honolulu’s parking meters charge 50 cents for 10 minutes or $3 per hour. Parking is free on Sundays and holidays in certain areas, however, spaces are limited and the meters typically have limits of up to two hours.

Road Trips from Honolulu

No trip to Hawaii is complete without venturing outside city limits. One of the best reasons to have a rental car in Honolulu is to visit all the beaches, waterfalls, and panoramic views that the island of Oahu has to offer—at your leisure. Soak up the North Shore’s gigantic waves and surf culture, kayak Kailua’s turquoise waters and enjoy Waimea Valley’s waterfalls and hiking trails.