By | 16th January 2018

Do you need a car in Kauai?

Do you need a car in Kauai > Should you rent a car in Kauai USA > Kauai ( LIH )

Do you need a car in Kauai? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Given that there is only really one major road running in a “C” shape around only part of the island of Kauai, we don’t really think that Lihu’e is a sort of destination where a hire car is going to be particularly useful. The island is also small enough that resort transfers can easily be done in a taxi without bringing up an exorbitant bill.

Yet to really appreciate the incredibly rugged interior, you will either need to go on a hiking tour or to take a “Jurassic Park” style helicopter excursion – the latter is the only way to actually see the famous falls which feature in the opening and closing scenes of the film, as it is located on a private estate with no overland access.

There’s just not much point in getting a rental car for any of this, although it might be worth hiring a car for one day when you are here to do the full island tour.

Why should you rent a car in Kauai?

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 Kauai?

Kauai Car hire summary

Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all cost and quality factors. [Full notes - drive rating]



Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]




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]




Free parking score

Total 439 - of which 58 have free parking. [full notes - parking]




Why not? Visiting Kauai without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Kauai public transport quick facts

Train score



Water travel score


Overall public transport score



Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Kauai. 



Car rental in - Kauai Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Kauai?

  • Based on comparison with transit and walking/cycling?

Is it worth hiring a car in Kauai?

  • Based on value for money?

Should you rent a car in Kauai?

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

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Kauai if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

What about for families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Kauai if we are staying in the city centre / main resort area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the urban area?

What if we are staying in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Kauai if I prefer not to drive?

What if we are easy either way?

What if I prefer to drive?



What is our final score for Kauai on the Carornocar scale?


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Would you hire a car in Kauai?

Have you driven in Kauai? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Kauai?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:


Category: USA

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