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Rental Car Availability for Christmas Vacation

Christmas Car Rentals

While it may seem a bit early to be thinking about Christmas, you should know that the car rental companies have already reported that there are NO rentals available for the week of Christmas, except on the island of Oahu.  So, if you are planning an outer-island Christmas vacation, you may not be able to find a rental car!

Of course, you might get lucky and someone may cancel their reservations for the same type and time that you were hoping to get.  But, short of that happening, you may want to re-think your vacation destination or timing.

Add-On Taxes and Fees

If you have never rented a car in Hawaii before, or if its been a while since you’ve done so, this seems to be an appropriate time to mention the litany of add-on fees and taxes that you will face when its time to pay up.  Fortunately, most car rental companies include these additional charges in your final estimate.  So, don’t base your expenses on the base car rental rates.

Here are fees you can expect to face:

  • Concession Recoupment Fee (11.11%)
  • Vehicle Reg. & Weight Tax ($0.45/day)
  • Sales Tax 4.166% (Oahu 4.712%)
  • Hawaii State Road Tax ($3.00/day)
  • Customer Facility Charge ($4.50/day)

If you’ve been adding it up, that’s an extra $7.95/day plus 15.276% in taxes (15.822% on Oahu).  The disparity between Oahu and the outer islands tax rate is the Rail Tax to offset the cost of building the controversial, on again-off again, rail transportation system planned for Honolulu.

[The current status of which is “on-hold” by order of the Federal Appellate Court until such time as the City & County of Honolulu provides additional details on historical sites that might be affected by the rail system.  But, that’s a whole ‘nudder topic!]

Reserve Early To Avoid Being Wheel-less!

This shortage of rental cars will not only cause headaches in just securing a rental vehicle for your vacation, but you should also not expect to see any real bargains in car rental rates, either.   You can anticipate that a full-size car, SUV, or mini-van will cost $99/day and up…plus those add-on fees/taxes, mentioned earlier.

So, consider yourself forewarned and best of luck in securing your rental car!


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