Friday, August 27, 2010

The Cost of Renting Vehicles at the Airport in Hawaii is about to get more expensive:

The cost of renting vehicles at the Airports in Hawaii is about to get more expensive:
Bill (SB2461/ HB2370) was put in place to raise the existing Customer Facility Charge (CFC) from the present amount of $1.00/day to $4.50/day, beginning September 1, 2010.  This fee is a special fund in the state treasury that is being accumulated to facilitate the acquisition of land, building of a new unified vehicle rental facility that would include a single shuttle bus service to and from passenger airport terminals, as well as monies for the operation of such a facility. It is being charged on all car rentals from on airport locations in Hawaii.  Possible locations for a new facility would be Honolulu and Maui (OGG) Airports.
This money is being collected in addition to the already existing 11.11% Airport Concession Fee, and can amount to a great deal of money added on to every vehicle being rented from any car rental companies that have locations at airports in Hawaii.
There are car companies that have off-airport locations, and therefore do not collect these additional charges.  Although they do have the following charges that are added on to the cost of renting any vehicle in Hawaii:
Hawaii State General Excise Tax:  on Oahu - $4.712% and on Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui and Molokai:  4.166%
Hawaii State Motor Vehicle Rental Surcharge - $3.00/day
Vehicle Licensing and Registration Fee – up to $1.00/day typically, but can vary depending on vehicle and location.
Wherever possible, we at try to locate cars for our clients at the best possible prices, which often means booking at these off airport car companies.  In some cases, such as Honolulu Airport, there is little difference in the convenience of picking up your cars from these locations, as the companies provide shuttles to pick you up and return you to the terminal. There are some off airport locations with no Customer Facility Charge (CFC) that service the local island renters as well, and although they do not pick up and drop off at the airport, we can book clients here when necessary, such as in the case of sold outs at airport locations, military personnel coming in from ships, or locals just needing a car rental when they have visitors from off island.
Many hotels and private shuttle services provide transportation to and from hotels in Waikiki. While some of the hotels provide this service free of charge, the shuttle service companies have rates that can run $8-10 or more one way; with a reduced rate when a return ticket is purchased. In Waikiki, most car rental companies have at least one rental location.  It is beneficial to book here if you are staying in Waikiki and need a car for a day or two during your trip, but may not necessarily pay off if you need to pick up or drop off at the airport, once you add the drop charges to the bill, depending on your length of rental.  None of the airport fees or taxes apply to rentals from these locations.
Locations such as Kaanapaali/Lahaina (JHM), Kihei (K2H), Wailea (OG1) and others on Maui, and some of the smaller locations on Kauai and the Big Island have no Customer Facility Charge (CFC), and especially on longer stays, it may be beneficial from a cost saving measure to book a one day rental from the airport (with a CFC charge) to one of these locations, drop the car, rent a vehicle from this location with no Customer Facility Charge (CFC) charge and return it to the airport with another drop charge and still save a bundle of money.  This would only work for off-airport locations that do no have much higher rates, and some do. (Some locations block our pre-negotiated discount rates.) Many of the locations on Kauai and the Big Island that are off airport and located in resort areas have some vehicles available, but they often have much higher rates than airport or near airport locations, and these prices would negate any benefit to renting off airport.
On short-term rentals, it would probably cost more to rent from one of these locations with the drop charges, possible transportation/shuttle charges across the island, the inconvenience, and the possibility of losing a weekly rental rate by breaking up your days.  In these cases, it would most likely be best to support the Customer Facility Charge (CFC) and just enjoy your holiday.


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