Hilo

By | 16th January 2018

Do you need a car in Hilo?

Do you need a car in Hilo > Should you rent a car in Hilo USA > Hilo ( ITO )
Car: Do you need a car in 3? No car: Is it worth hiring a car in 3? Slider: Should you rent a car in 3? Should you rent a car in 3?

Hilo car hire quick facts

Cheapest rate for one week Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]

255

 #244/300

  • Price alone isn't the only factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Hilo but clearly it's an important one. See our "why" section for more figures.
How much should I expect to pay in the peak season? Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]

 €

370

 225/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.
Free parking score Based on the number of hotels which offer free parking.Total 99 - of which 29 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

29

%

208/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.

Hilo public transport quick facts

"Top trumps" train score

Higher scores go to the systems which take you to the most amazing places.

0%

#300/300

  • [full notes - top trumps trains]
  • A good rail system doesn't mean you shouldn't hire a car, but it often means you have a decent range of options.

Overall public transport score {coming shortly}

This is a more practical rating based on bus and rail travel.

--%

#---/300

  • [full notes - overall transit] buses | trams | metro | local & regional rail | national rail
  • Is public transport in Hilo good value, or is it worth hiring a car just because it is cheaper overall?

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score {coming shortly}

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Hilo

--%

#---/300

Need, worth & should!

Whether you have come here asking "do I need a car in Hilo", "is it worth hiring a car in Hilo", or whether or not you "should" hire a car here, these are all slight variations on a similar theme:

Do you need a car in Hilo?

This is essentially based on whether or not public transport and other "non car" options are good enough to get around and beyond the city.

Is it worth hiring a car in Hilo?

Is car hire good value, especially during the peak season? How does this compare with transit fares?

Should you rent a car in Hilo?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Do you need a car in Hilo? Introduction

When someone asks "Do you need a car in Hilo?", this often breaks down to two key questions:

  1. Can you actually get around using public transport, or is a car all but essential?
  2. Is it worth hiring a car in Hilo? Is it good value for money, compared with non-car options?

Over the next few sections, we wil look at the pros and cons of driving in Hilo as a tourist, and ultimately weigh these up, so we can answer the key question of Should you rent a car in Hilo?

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments


Big Island Hawaii has substantially more open roads than the more densely populated and smaller Oahu, where the state capital Honolulu is found, and this might suggest that Hilo is the sort of place where a rental car is automatically going to be the best option.

We think this is certainly the case if you are flying into Kona on the western side of the island, where most of the major Big Island Hawaii resorts are located. In the case of Hilo, it is still possible to travel around to various different locations using the local bus services, and these include buses which will drop you off at the Volcanoes National Park and allow for a day’s walking before returning to Hilo later on in the afternoon. However, you will still be at the mercy of these local bus schedules, and for travelling further around the island, you might well have to make several changes, as the buses tend to operate around various different sectors of the island, rather than making complete loops.

Having said this, there are still only a limited number of driving roads even on Hawaii Island, so if you get a rental car for the entire length of your stay, it might well be unused for most of it. As with anywhere, whether this is a problem or not is going to depend on the daily car hire rate you are paying, and whether that also includes other extras.

Why should you rent a car in Hilo?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Hilo?


  • For a bit of flexiblity – Hilo may be one place where you don’t strictly nered to rent a car, but it’s still useful, especially for a small group.
  • At least parking at your hotel is unlikely to be a problem, but if you are travelling reasonably light anyway, it might be worth looking at just getting a car for one or two days, and then using local buses and taxis for the other days. Naturally, it goes without saying that a lot of activities in Hawaii are based around the coastline, and if you have direct access to a beach from where you are staying, a hire car becomes even less useful.

Why not? Visiting Hilo without a car

What is public transport like in Hilo? What about local conditions for walking or cycling? Can you rely on public transport and maybe a few taxis for most or all of your trip? Are there some times of year when it's easier to get by without a car than others? When should you rent a car in Hilo?


 

  • Unllike other islands in Hawaii, you can get around Big Island by bus, but only if you start your trip in Hilo, rather than Kona.

Do you need a car in Hilo? Verdict – no

Ratings

Our slider ratings range from 0 (it isn't even possible to hire a car, e.g. Hong Kong) through to 10 (you really must rent a car here, e.g. Phoenix, Tampa). However, most places are somewhere inbetween these extremes, and this is where it gets more interesting! Further ratings breakdowns, including a much more detailed public transport rating, are currently being added. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Would you hire a car in Hilo?

Have you driven in Hilo? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Hilo?

Do you need a car in Hilo? For some or all of the time? 

Tell us what you think using the comments section below:


Category: USA

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