The only one of the Kauai airports with commercial passenger traffic is at Lihue. This is where almost all visitors first land for their Kauai vacations, and there are numerous Kauai airport car rentals here. Because the most convenient and the primary method of getting from place to place on the island is by automobile, this is where Kauai rental cars are collected by virtually all visitors. You will find a Kauai car rental available at the airport from most major national chain franchises. These outlets are located just across the street from the terminal’s baggage claim area. In the airport, you will also find a few ground operators who provide tours and transportation from place to place on the island.
Even though there are a limited number of roads on the island, it is a good idea to ensure that your Kauai car rental comes with maps and directions to Kauai hotels, villas, or vacation rentals as well as to the various attractions. Many of the most famous sites on Kauai are remote and located on secluded roads that can be difficult to find if you are unfamiliar with the area. Virtually all companies offering car rentals in Kauai will provide you maps and directions. Also important are the rules of the road. While this is a U.S. state with laws and regulations similar to just about any other state, the unique geography of the island means there are some rules specific to the narrow winding mountain roads and other peculiarities with which you may not be familiar.
For instance, the Hanalei roads and bridges offer a unique challenge. The bridges are one-lane, and the etiquette to cross them is important. All the cars in one direction go together, followed by the cars coming from the other direction. Nothing exasperates a local more than tourists in their car rentals in Kauai going out of turn on this lovely scenic road that passes some of the best Kauai beaches. It’s also possible to rent scooters and motorcycles on the island, and these are particularly well-suited to the roads.
Most tour operators and the Kauai luxury hotels and resorts will provide complimentary airport shuttle services. So car rentals in Kauai are not necessarily required to get to a resort and spend your entire vacation in one place enjoying its amenities and beaches. Many of them will also offer helicopter tours to see remote areas such as Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast, and land tours to other sites. But sooner or later, most visitors will want their own wheels. You don’t have to have the expenses of a Kauai car rental for your entire stay. If you want to get out on your own just for a day trip or two, your hotel concierge should be able to assist you with having Kauai rental cars delivered to the hotel. Some of the larger resorts actually have rental booths right in the lobby.
Because just about all visitors need Kauai rental cars at some point, it is a thriving and very competitive business, so many smaller local companies will have excellent deals. If you’ve decided that when to go to Kauai is in the middle of the peak season, which is winter, you should make your reservations as far in advance as possible in order to guarantee availability and ensure that you have the vehicle of your choice.