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Maui Car Rental Prices: One Year In Review

June 30, 2024 - Over the past year, Maui car rental prices have ranged between $146/week and $447/week for an off-airport rental. For a rental from Maui's Kahului Airport (OGG), the range was between $161/week and $601/week.

HOW WE COLLECTED THE DATA

Every week, on Sunday, for the last 52 weeks, our research recorded the lowest advertised price for a one week rental starting the following day, Monday. This included prices from companies such as Ace, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National, Payless, SixT, Thrifty, et cetera. Those were the cheapest Maui car rental prices available each week from any of those companies. These prices were usually for an economy or compact car, like a Nissan Versa, Toyota Corolla, or Chevy Spark. Prices for other vehicle types (mid-size, SUV, convertible, Jeep, minivan, etc.) were higher. Prices from locally owned and operated companies were not included in the survey. Local Maui car rental company prices can be lower than the major companies we listed. For details, see our blog post on the cheapest local Maui car rental companies. 

WHEN ARE MAUI CAR RENTAL PRICES THE HIGHEST (OR LOWEST) FOR THE YEAR?

The highest rates for the past year beginning July 7 were set in February at the time of the Valentine's Day to Presidents' Birthday holiday rush. The lows were in the aftermath of the Lahaina wildfire disaster.

Normally, the highest rates for the year are set during the Christmas and New Year's holiday rush. This did not happen in the past year. Maui car rental prices were unusually low at Christmas 2023 because travel to Maui was slow to recover after the disruption of the Lahaina wildfires the previous August.

For more details on seasonal patterns in Maui car rental prices, see our blog post on Low Season Rates For Maui Car Rental.  

HOW MUCH IS THE MOST LIKELY MAUI CAR RENTAL PRICE?

The second chart illustrates the variation of Maui car rental prices over the past year. The plot shows the distribution of prices, or how likely it was - relatively - for the rental price to be any given amount, The most likely price for an off-airport Maui car rental was between $175 and $200 per week. For an airport rental, the most likely price was between $250 and $275 per week. The most likely amount for the difference between airport rental price and off-airport rental price is in the range of $60 to $80 per week.

A few things to note:

  1. Maui car rental prices were depressed for several months following the Lahaina wildfire. This means that the price distributions are skewed to the lower end, with the most likely price being lower than it would be usually expected.
  2. This also means that the peak in price distribution is narrower that it would be usually expected to be, i.e. the prices are more narrowly distributed because more of the prices were grouped near the lower end of the scale - this is caused by the nearly flatline portion of the price chart from August 2023 to January 2024.
  3. The prices for rentals from Maui airport have a broader distribution than the off-airport locations. This means there is more variability in the price for airport rentals. 
  4. The visible shoulders on the right hand-side of each curve correspond to the clusters of prices on the high end during holiday and high season periods, when prices suddenly rise.

IS IT NORMAL FOR CAR RENTAL PRICES TO VARY SO MUCH DURING THE YEAR? 

Our research shows that variations in price of the same order or even greater are normal at many popular US destinations, so Maui's car rental price variations are nothing out of the ordinary. See our blog post on Why Are Car Rentals in Maui So Expensive.  

HOW MUCH MORE DOES IT COST TO RENT FROM THE AIRPORT?

On average, for the past 52 weeks, it cost $78/week more to rent a car from the airport than nearby off-airport locations. This was the average difference in price between the lowest-priced options at either location. For the higher-priced options, the difference can be significantly higher. For more details on the difference between airport pricing and off-airport pricing in Maui, see our blog post on Is It Cheaper to Rent A Car From The Airport in Maui. 

ARE MAUI CAR RENTAL PRICES BACK TO NORMAL?

Maui car rental prices have shown some weakness over the past year - which is great for travelers but not-so-great for car rental businesses. However, with not quite one full year elapsed after the fires, Maui car rental prices seem to be returning to their usual levels from before. Prices for this upcoming July 4 2024 Independence Day holiday week are comparable - in fact slightly higher - that the rates for the same period one year ago in 2023.

IS IT CHEAPER TO BOOK IN ADVANCE?

In most situations, unless you are booking for a holiday period, Maui car rental prices go lower and lower as the reservation date draws closer. About 80% of the time, the lowest price is available the day before rental. For the best price on your Maui car rental, book in advance in order to be assured of having a rental, then check again - more frequently as the date approaches - and re-book at a lower price if rates do go lower. Most online booking sites will allow you to re-book without any penalty. But be sure to check the policies of your booking site BEFORE you make a booking. Afterward, there are no ifs, ands, or buts.

WHERE DO YOU FIND THE BEST PRICE ON A MAUI CAR RENTAL?

Check our booking site at rentals.mauicarrental.biz . This site gives you access to all vehicles from eight different companies - Ace, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Payless, and Thrifty - at all their Maui locations, that include the Airport rentacar center, Kahului town locations nearby the airport, and resort locations in Kihei/Wailea, and Ka'anapali. With so many options to choose from, you are assured to find the rental car that matches your preferences and your budget for your Maui trip - and there is never a cancellation penalty if you have to change plans.

CHEAPEST MAUI CAR RENTAL PRICES FOR THE WEEK OF 7/1/24

These are the lowest advertised prices for a one-week rental beginning on Monday, July 1, from Maui's Kahului Airport (OGG). Rates have risen dramatically for the busy July 4 holiday week, which is always one of the busiest - and priciest - for the year.
Off-airport (with shuttle): $295.02 (up $77 from lasty week).
Airport Rentacar Center: $468.91 (up $189).

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