When people think about must-visit tourist spots, the tropical paradise of Hawaii has got to be on the list. While Hawaii is home to several famous sights, you’ll want to make time to visit the second-largest island of Maui, which is known for its beautiful golden beaches, dense forests, and diverse terrains. Maui’s unique appeal includes its volcanoes and ocean ecosystems, which attract more than 3 million adventure-seeking tourists every year.
Maui is also home to multiple beach towns where the options for food, entertainment, art, and culture are endless. Renting a car to drive around Maui puts all of these sights within easy reach, so here’s a look at everything you need to know for a car trip around the island.
Is renting a car in Maui worth it?
If you value comfort and flexibility, you should definitely consider renting a car for your Maui trip. While the Maui County has deployed new electric buses into their bus system, using public transport means your sightseeing will be limited by fixed routes and transit times. We all know how important it is to enjoy your vacation at your own pace, so renting a car means you’ll be able to make unlimited rides and stops in Maui without having to worry about restricting your itinerary and battling with waiting times and seat availability.
For travelers with a strict budget, car rentals can actually be more cost-effective than public transportation and ride-hailing services like Uber. Your daily savings can even reach up to $100 per person, especially if you’re traveling as a group or staying in Maui for at least a week.
How do I rent a car in Maui?
To rent a car in Maui, you need to be over 20 years old, have a driver’s license, and have a credit card in order to book your vehicle. Once you’ve fulfilled all the requirements, you can rent a car at Maui Airport so your hassle-free travel experience starts as soon as you arrive on the island. The airport has a dedicated consolidated rent-a-car (ConRAC) facility from which you can pick up the car you booked, which means you won’t need to rely on high-demand cabs or hotels with free airport transfers.
Try to book as soon as you can to get the lowest possible rates, as rates can fluctuate, especially during peak seasons. Booking early also means you can have your pick of preferred vehicles, whether it’s a four-wheel drive that’s perfect for road adventures or a minivan for family drives.
Which Maui sights should I drive to?
Maui is a relatively large island that offers idyllic destinations and scenic views that make driving from one spot to the next worthwhile.
The Road to Hana is a go-to for every tourist, and with good reason. Along the 6.4-mile-long drive, you’re treated to the best of Maui’s natural beauty—cascading waterfalls, lush forests, and the perfect blend of mountain and seaside landscapes. This east side of Maui is also replete with equally spectacular stopovers, such as Koki Beach Park with its red sand and romantic sunset, and the Haleakala National Park with bamboo forest trails perfect for daytime hikes.
Any tips for tourists driving a rental car in Maui?
When planning and scheduling your excursions, always factor in road conditions. The length of your drive can be affected by rainfall warnings and traffic congestion, especially in must-see areas like the Road to Hana.
Maui’s highways are, of course, well-paved and safe for driving, but keep in mind that most beach pull-offs will likely be dirt roads or loose gravel. Lastly, always check with your accommodation and destinations if they have parking spaces!