Rental Cars Sold Out in Hawaiʻi? Do This
Published on - 2023-04-07
You’ve planned out your ultimate tropical vacation, created an extensive itinerary, and have already envisioned yourself soaking up the sun in a beachside hammock.
The only problem? You can’t find a rental car.
If you come to Hawai’i in one of the peak tourist seasons, you’re going to find a similar story online and at the airport: Rental cars are sold out! You may feel like you’re stranded, but fortunately, there are options that don’t involve public buses or taking expensive rideshares all over the island.
It’s Not Just You!
If you’re frustrated that you can’t find a vehicle, you’re not alone! Rental cars really are selling out in Hawai’i. We’re facing severe rental car shortages nationwide, and it’s one of the main reasons why rental cars are so expensive right now.
The pandemic forced many car rental companies to sell off huge portions of their fleets to cut down on losses. This along with a combination of other factors such as a shortage of semiconductor chips used in the manufacturing of cars, shipping delays of new fleets, and increasing demand for rental cars has led to a situation where there is more demand than supply, leading to rental cars frequently being sold out in Hawai’i.
So is your vacation doomed? Not at all! Just because you can’t find a rental car right now doesn’t necessarily mean that no cars are available. You can still get a car in Hawai’i using some crafty tactics for last-minute rental car deals. Here’s what to do.
Check Alternate Dates and Locations
If you’re booking online, then before giving up in frustration, make sure you check to see if there are any rental cars available on a different date, time, or pick-up location. For example, if your flight lands on a Monday night, use Tuesday as the first day of your rental. Because companies use computerized inventory systems, sometimes it will show that rental cars are sold out based on the quirks of the database, not what the company actually has on the lot.
It’s also worth looking away from the airport. Daniel K. Inouye Airport receives over 20 million visitors each year and is always going to sell out first. But if you call a few rental car companies located elsewhere in the city, you may find a last-minute deal.
We recommend searching on your maps app. If you search “rental car companies in Honolulu,” the top results will usually be airport locations, which may already be sold out. Instead, look for an off-airport location. You may find it easiest to call them directly to confirm that you’re checking the right site’s availability.
There are some downsides to booking with a location away from the airport:
- The hours are usually shorter for pick-up and drop-off
- The selection may be smaller
- You’ll need to take a taxi or rideshare from the airport to pick up your car
GoVibe will pick you up from the airport, but not all companies will. Make sure to ask about this so you are not surprised by an extra hassle.
Look At Other Websites
If you’re unable to find a rental car on travel aggregator websites like Expedia, Priceline, and Kayak, then widen your search and explore company-specific websites. Because of the price aggregator structure, the big sites are not always showing you up-to-date inventory. If you look directly at car rentals on GoVibe’s site, you will see exactly what we have available.
Even though some sites like Expedia advertise that they have last-minute rental car deals, this claim really does not apply to Hawai’i. When rental cars are sold out, there are no deals to offer!
Alternatively, you can try peer-to-peer, car-sharing marketplaces like Turo, but these may have some downsides:
- Prices are sometimes more expensive than with a rental car company
- Damage claims and insurance are more complicated
- You may not have flexibility about where and when you drop off the car
Rearrange Your Itinerary
It may seem like an extreme step to take, but sometimes making a few changes to your itinerary is the best solution to Hawai’i rental cars being sold out.
Often, visitors to Hawai’i don’t need a rental car for every day of their trip. If you plan to spend a few days at the beach or your resort, then maybe drive to some North Shore attractions, you could consider renting a car for just the days you’ll need it. Now, you have the flexibility to take your road trip on the days a rental car is available.
Finding a car for two or three days in the middle of a week is sometimes easier than booking a car for a week straight. This is because many customers rent cars over the weekend. If you search Friday-Friday, rental cars might show as sold out, but some of these cars are only used Friday-Monday. If you change your search to just Tuesday-Thursday, you find that those cars are suddenly available.
Once again, local companies will have far more flexibility. We frequently make special arrangements with our Members to accommodate their exact travel plans. Contact GoVibe to ask about our personalized pick-up and drop-off.
Myths About Last-Minute Rental Car Deals
With the soaring prices right now, everyone wants a rental car for cheap. But browsing in incognito mode or clearing your cache won’t make the rates magically drop. It’s true that your online activity can be tracked via cookies, but it’s a complete myth that rental car companies use this data to manipulate prices.
The internet has all kinds of “hacks” like booking your tickets or deleting your browsing history before you make a reservation, but these are not effective techniques to find a lower price. If the problem is that airport rental companies are out of inventory, no amount of private browsing will make sold-out rental cars magically reappear.
Instead of trying to game the system, just call a reputable local company like GoVibe to get fair pricing and guaranteed rates.
How GoVibe Can Help You
At GoVibe, we believe in offering an affordable, personalized rental experience to all our customers. We’re a locally owned and operated company partnering with Hawai’i dealerships. Our streamlined operating model passes savings directly to our customers with rates that are up to 25% less than what you’d get at an airport rental chain — along with unbeatable customer service and cool membership perks!
There’s no need to waste time scouring the internet or exploring Hawai’i by bus because rental cars are sold out. If you’re staying on the Big Island or Oahu, simply get in touch with us. We’ll help you find the best rental car and any last-minute deal we can offer to get you on your way.
Here is why our Members keep coming back to GoVibe.
No Paperwork, No Hassle
With our online booking process, you can rent a car in minutes from anywhere in the world. Simply enter your travel details, select your preferred vehicle, and reserve it. Managing your rental and making changes to it is just as easy with our lightweight mobile app. It’s much more convenient than standing at a rental counter!
Your Reserved Car Is Always Available
With us, you’ll never get to hear that your reserved rental car is sold out. We don’t indulge in overbooking or making false promises. Whether you’ve booked a small sedan or a luxury convertible, you can expect it to be waiting for you here when you arrive.
Concierge Pick-Up and Drop-Off Service
Besides not having to worry about your rental car being sold out, with us, you don’t have to wait or share an overcrowded shuttle to reach your rental car. We pick you up at the airport as soon as you land. When it’s time for your flight home, we’ll give you a lift back to the terminal.
Hotel Rental Car Drop-Off and Pick-Up
We’re one of the few rental car services that offers hotel drop-off. If you only need a car for a portion of your stay, we will bring it directly to your hotel. Other companies make you pay for extra nights just to leave a rental car in a parking garage. With GoVibe, you can choose a car for only the days you need it.
Due to our connections with local dealerships, we’re hardly ever sold out of rental cars. As a small business, we’re also able to offer personalized attention to each of our customers. Our staff is personable, hospitable, and always eager to answer your questions about last-minute rental car deals or give recommendations about where to go during your trip.
Book Now, Pay Later
Don’t want to pay upfront? No problem! GoVibe gives you the option to reserve your ride online first and then pay later at no additional cost. Your rental car won’t get sold out if you pay later!
We understand that life happens and plans change. That’s why we offer free cancellation with each reservation. You can cancel your ride at no cost with a 24-hour notice period before your pick-up date.
Membership Benefits For All
Other companies make you pay extra to enjoy a special status or perks, but we treat everyone as a VIP. Every GoVibe customer enjoys our rental car Membership benefits and deals at no extra cost. Instead of stressing about your last-minute rental car, start making dinner plans at a luau or dream about the warm sand of Waikiki Beach.
With GoVibe there are no what-ifs because we’re committed to providing a consistent experience every single time.
Set Off On Your Hawai’i Adventure!
Don’t let car rentals being sold out at airport rental chains stop you from your dream trip to Hawai’i! Contact us to get the lowest prices and best last-minute deals on your rental car on Oahu and the Big Island. Become a GoVibe Member today to enjoy a convenient and hassle-free rental process, consistently outstanding service, and a smooth experience from start to finish.