Drive Change, not cars: embrace sustainable savings on Oʻahu! | Go Hawaii

Drive Change, Not Cars

Scroll to Continue

Drive Change, not cars: embrace sustainable savings on Oʻahu!

While you may be thinking about renting a car on O‘ahu, it’s really quite easy to spend a week or more here without a vehicle.

While renting a car on O‘ahu may be in your plans, you may want to reconsider. O‘ahu is simple to navigate with competitively priced public transportation options and a cost-effective selection of shuttles, guided tours, taxis, and attractions that provide transportation. The result? You’ll save a lot of money — because car rentals and parking fees can add up fast on O‘ahu — and the hassle of driving in Waikīkī and Honolulu where you just don’t need a car. 

Why don’t you need a car on O‘ahu? You’ll probably be based in Waikīkī on the South Shore. Waikīkī and Honolulu are filled with cultural offerings, dining, shopping, and outdoor recreation all reachable by walking, TheBus (O‘ahu’s comprehensive public bus system), Biki (Honolulu’s public bike share program), taxi cabs, or the Waikīkī Trolley. When you go further afield to the Windward Coast, the North Shore, the Leeward Coast, or Central O‘ahu, opt for TheBus or a taxi. You may even take a tour or visit an attraction that offers paid shuttle bus transportation as part of the admission. Just imagine how much more you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the beautiful views and discover some hidden gems when you’re not driving a car. And when you’re cycling, you’ll actually be able to slow down and experience more of O‘ahu.

Now let’s take a look at the costs associated with traveling around O‘ahu. You can ride TheBus all day, hopping on and off, and never spend more than $7.50. With Biki, rentals start as low as $4.50 for a single ride and the Explorer Package provides 300 minutes of cycling for just $30. The Waikīkī Trolley can cost $25 per person per day or a 7-day All Line Pass averages out to around $10 per day. A round trip to Hale‘iwa via Uber might cost you about $75 one way. And the average round trip shuttle to major attractions like Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve, Polynesian Cultural Center, and Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawai‘i ranges from $25 to $35 beyond whatever package you may purchase. 

And now, let’s compare that to a week of rental car charges. If we were to rent a midsize car for a week in October 2022, the average rental cost (including all taxes, surcharges, licensing fees, and concession recovery fees) for a midsize vehicle would be $596.70. That’s based on rates from an O‘ahu-based discount car rental website.

Let’s add on the associated costs. It will cost about $68.24 to fill up a 13.2-gallon, midsize car with gas in Hawai‘i which is currently $5.01 per gallon.

Resort fees for parking cars are about $40 a day on O‘ahu so that’s a weekly cost of $280.

So, the rental fee ($596.70), gas ($68.24), and hotel parking $280) can add up to a weekly rental car cost of at least $944.94.

The bottom line is that a week on O‘ahu without a rental car is probably a much more reasonably priced and hassle-free option. Even if you take several taxi rides during the week, it’s doubtful your fares are going to add up to anywhere near $944.94.

What’s more, by not renting a car, and using public and other sustainable transportation options, you are keeping one more gas fueled car off the road in O‘ahu. This helps with lowering pollution and reduces your carbon footprint. It’s all part of being a mindful traveler and doing your part to mālama (care for) O‘ahu.