Renting a Car on Lanai, Hawaii: Everything You Need to Know

Between the rental car shortage, the car chip factory in China burning down (so, no new cars), and everyone being desperate to get away this year after the debacles that was 2020, renting a car has been an expensive struggle this year! I’ve talked about places to visit without a rental car, but there are just some places in the world where that’s not practical (or possible!). Lanai is one of those places.

Lanai is also not your typical destination. The only way to get there is to take a ferry from Maui, fly from Maui, or fly from O’ahu. There are only 3,000-ish residents, and it’s one of the least-visited Hawaiian islands. So, information about this island is sparse out there! I’ve pulled together all my research about renting a car on Lanai, including things to know, prices, pros and cons, etc. Whether you’re coming in for a day trip or spending a week on the island, here’s what you need to know to rent a car on Lanai!

Note: We paid for our own rental car, and have no prior affiliation with any car rental companies listed below (or in the State of Hawaii). All opinions are our own, and all information is current as of November 2021 and accurate according to each company’s website.

No bells and whistles on this hot red Jeep! We have so much in common.

What to Consider

As with any decision, there are pros, cons, and details to think about first.

On-road or Off-road?

There are 30 miles of paved roads on Lanai. You can see and do a lot from those roads, but some popular sites are only accessible by Lanai’s 400 miles of unpaved, dirt roads and a 4 Wheel Drive vehicle. If you want to visit some of the more famous spots like Shipwreck Beach, Keahiakawelo (AKA Garden of the Gods), or Polihua Beach, you will want to spend a little more for the 4 Wheel Drive.

Where the blacktop ends. (Note: I was not driving when I took this photo.)
Check out your options: Where Can I Go on Lana’i WITH 4WD?

No Beach Driving

Even with a 4 Wheel Drive vehicle, driving on the beaches on Lanai is strictly prohibited. Think you won’t get stuck? Great! But you might run over a sea turtle’s nest, which is far more important.

Park it at the beach!

Gas

You will be expected to fill your rental car up with gas (excluding Chevy Bolt, which is all electric) before returning your rental car. There is exactly one gas station in town, at 11th Street and Lanai Avenue. Gas is approximately $6.00 per gallon. That is not a typo.

$6.09 per gallon in November 2021!

Taxes and Fees

Prices for the companies below do not include these taxes and fees, so be sure to account for these when budgeting and booking:

  • Hawaii general excise tax of 4.166% (State of Hawaii) will be added on rental
  • Hawaii implemented road tax of $5/day and will be added on rental 

For informational purposes, the total cost for our 4-day Jeep 2-door rental with ABB Executive Rental was $625.

We can’t wait to rent with ABB again on our next trip!

ABB Executive Rental

ABB Executive Rental is the company we went with because they have the best rates. We felt very lucky to be able to secure the Jeep we wanted! You’ll contact Bart Baldwin via call or text at 808-649-0644, and you’ll text your information to Bart at this number. You can also e-mail or use their online contact form, but we received a faster response with a phone call. He had the Jeep waiting for us at the airport when we landed, and we dropped it off at their location in town the night before we left. 

Vehicles and Rates

Note: All vehicles are automatic, all Jeeps have 4 Wheel Drive.

  • 4-door Jeep: $180 per day
  • 2-door Jeep: $145 per day
  • Paved road-only vehicles: $115 per day

Bart also rents cars in the Lahaina area, so if you’ll be staying on Maui, consider renting with him there as well! Available vehicles are Honda Pilots for $70 per day, and Ford Focus compact cars for $50 per day.

Also be advised:

  • Overage of $12.50 per hour after a 24 hours rental, up to the first four hours before another full day is charged.
  • Accepts cash, check and major credit cards.  All rentals require credit card information in case of damages.
Driving on Lana’i looks different from all the other Hawaiian islands!

Information Needed to Request Vehicle

  • Number of People
  • Arrival and Departure Dates
  • Dates You Want the Vehicle
  • Vehicle Preference
  • Lodging Information if You’re Staying Overnight

When he checks his fleet availability, he will ask for a photo of your driver’s license (for all drivers, if more than one person will be driving) to confirm the booking. Then all you’ll have to do is re-confirm the day before you plan to pick up the vehicle. 

Note: Bart rents by 24-hour day (not calendar day), so he actually pointed out to us that we could pick up our Jeep upon arrival at 5:00pm the day we landed, as opposed to 8:00 the following morning and still be renting it for the same amount of days (returning at 5:00pm the day before we left the island). I appreciate honest service that helps me travel better, so I appreciated him pointing that out! Here’s a little background about how this company started.

Bart also provided this very helpful map!
More here: How to Choose Which Hawaiian Islands to Visit

Lanai Car Rental

This is the company that was recommended on our hotel’s website, but their rates were quite high, so I decided to do a little more research. I’m glad we did! I’m sure this is a fabulous car rental service, and if nothing was available from ABB, we certainly would have had no problem booking with them. Here are the rates so you can compare as well. Note: only Jeeps may be used off paved roads.

Vehicles and Rates

  • 4-door Jeep: $225 per day ($150 for Hawaii Residents)
  • Ford Transit Minivan: $155 ($125 for Hawaii Residents)
  • Chevy Bolt Electric Car: $95 per day ($75 for Hawaii Residents)

You can request a reservation on their website, or call 808-565-3100. They were more responsive to the online request form than ABB, and they got back to me on a Monday after my requesting a reservation on a Sunday. But by then, I had already done my research and realized they were not offering the best deal.

Note: You will have to find transportation from the ferry terminal or airport to the Lanai Car Rental location in Lanai City. There are no Ubers, Lyfts, or other rideshare services, but there are two transportation options for you:

  • Rabaca’s Limo Service: $10 per person, each way; cash only; call or text 808-559-0230 to book, or e-mail RabacaLimousine@gmail.com to book; personalized tours available.
  • Dela Cruz Taxi Service: Group rates and active duty military discounts available; call 808-649-0808 to book.
No matter which option you choose, make sure you have a paper map to follow!
More to come: What to Know Before You Visit Lana’i

Lanai Cheap Jeeps

Let’s be honest: This is not the cheapest, or even second cheapest jeep rental on Lanai! You can request a reservation via e-mail at lanaijeepandtruck@gmail.com, or call 808-489-2296. Prices are per calendar day, not per 24-hour day. Vehicles are due back no later than 6:00pm the last day of the rental.

Vehicles and Rates

  • 4-door Jeep: $285 per day
  • 4-door Jeep Gladiator Truck: $295 per day

Note: You will have to find transportation from the ferry terminal or airport to the Lanai Car Rental location in Lanai City. There are no Ubers, Lyfts, or other rideshare services, but there are two transportation options for you:

  • Rabaca’s Limo Service: $10 per person, each way; cash only; call or text 808-559-0230 to book, or e-mail RabacaLimousine@gmail.com to book; personalized tours available.
  • Dela Cruz Taxi Service: Group rates and active duty military discounts available; call 808-649-0808 to book.
Remember when booking that only Jeeps can go off-road!
More here: Where Can I Go without 4WD?

808 Day Trips Lanai

If you’re planning to visit via the ferry from Lahaina, Maui, you may want to consider 808 Day Trips Lanai. The ferry is passenger-only, so you will not be able to bring your rental car with you from Maui. The 808 Day Trips Lanai company only offers paved road vehicles (no Jeeps or 4 Wheel Drive). They will meet you with the car at the ferry terminal, airport, or wherever you’re staying on the island. The best way to be in touch is to call or text 808-649-0664, or e-mail 808DayTrip@gmail.com to book.

Vehicles and Rates

  • 4-door Nissan (hatchback): $175
  • Ford Escape (SUV): $195
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee: $250

Information Required to Book

  • Driver’s full name
  • Driver’s email address
  • Hatchback or SUV
  • Your travel dates/times and place

Be Advised of Restrictions:

  • GPS Tracking: All cars are tracked via GPS to ensure vehicles stay on paved roads.
  • $300 Deposit: A $300 deposit will be required with every booking, but will be fully refunded as long as there are no damages and the car was not taken off-road.
  • $1,000 Fine: If you choose to go off-road in one of their vehicles, you will be fined $1,000.
  • Fully Paid in Advance: Every rental will be paid in full, in advance, at the time of booking.
  • No Refunds: Should you cancel for any reason, you will not receive a refund. If you would like to re-book, you will receive a voucher good for 365 calendar days to reschedule based on availability.
  • Prices Per Calendar Day: So, if you are staying overnight, you will automatically be charged for two days.
  • Credit Card Insurance: The credit card you use to book your vehicle must come with rental car insurance coverage. Check with your credit card provider if you’re not sure you have this benefit.
  • Return by 6:00pm: The rental must be returned by 6:00pm the day your rental ends, or you will be charged for another day.
Want this view? You have to drive there!

Not Renting a Car?

If you want to visit Lanai but can’t or don’t want to pay for a rental car, you can still see the island! I recommend choosing, in advance, one or two locations you want to see, such as the Lanai Cat Sanctuary. When you decide where you want to go, call one of the services below to see what you best options are. There are no Ubers, Lyfts, or other rideshare services, but there are two transportation options for you:

  • Rabaca’s Limo Service: $10 per person, each way; cash only; call or text 808-559-0230, or e-mail RabacaLimousine@gmail.com to book; personalized tours available.
  • Dela Cruz Taxi Service: Group rates and active duty military discounts available; call 808-649-0808 to book.
Overall, I recommend renting a Jeep, even though it’ll cost more.

Want more about Lanai and Hawaii? Check out my dedicated Hawaiian Islands Page!

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Published by quickwhittravel

Hey there! I am an avid traveller and adventurer, and you're always welcome to join me! The things I love most are God, my husband Steve, and seeing new places! My favorite places include Sydney, Australia; Ise City, Japan; and Bergen, Norway--but there's always room for more favorite places!

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