Special Offer: Rent a car for only $5.76/day, plus taxes and fees. Learn more...  

Maui Car Rental Taxes and Fees - And Hidden Fees

February 18, 2024 - We're offering a spring special of $25/day.
People ask "does this include everything?" The answer is $25/day includes all the taxes and fees that have to be paid, as well as the actual rental amount, but without any optional extras (more details below). It's what you pay "out-the-door," or as Canadian customers say, "all-in." There are no additional undisclosed "hidden fees" that get tacked on as an unpleasant surprise when you get the bill.
Let's take a look at how this breaks down. We'll start with the actual rental amount, and add on everything else that adds up to $25/day. For this example, we use the actual cost structure at Frank's Friendly Cars.
Believe it or not, what you're actually paying to rent the car is just $5.76/day, with $19.24 going to pay various taxes and fees. 

..$5.76 Car rental amount  

..$6.00 Facilities Fee 

..$4.00 Liability Insurance (Required) 

..$0.66 General Excise Tax (4.16%) 

..$0.09 Maui County Tax (0.546%)  

..$2.00 Vehicle Licensing Fee ($2.00/day) 

..$6.50 State Rental Vehicle Surcharge Tax ($6.50/day)



That tells you what's included. Here's what is NOT included. Options below are NOT included:

  • Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) covers your liability if you do not have insurance that covers you while renting a car. Otherwise, the primary responsibility for loss, injury, or damage caused by your operation of the motor vehicle falls on you. You may be covered by your personal auto insurance - check with your agent. 
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) covers any collision damage to your rental vehicle, that you are responsible for under the terms of our rental agreement. Some - not all - credit cards offer this as a benefit if you use them to pay for your rental. As with liability, may be covered by your own auto insurance if you have it on your policy.
  • Comprehensive coverage. A tree branch falls on your rental car, or the car gets washed away in a flood, or someone busts a window to steal the valuables you left in the car, who pays for that? You do, if you do not have comprehensive coverage.
  • Roadside Assistance. Lock your keys in the car? Got a flat tire? Sorry but if you want help in this situation, at just $25/day, you're gonna have to pay to get help. By the way, repairing or replacing tires damaged by road hazards is your responsibility - meaning you pay for it. We recommend that when you come to visit, you're paid up on your AAA. Otherwise, you're gonna have to ask very nicely.
  • Re-fueling Fee. Some companies give you the option to pay in advance for fuel. This means you don't have to stop to fill up on your way to return the car. 

Note these are not hidden fees. They are extras, or options, or up-sells, that you have the choice to purchase and pay for. Nobody forces you to take these. They cannot be added to your bill without your direct authorization. If you're renting from an agency, the counter agent may put pressure on you to buy these, because they earn a commission on every dollar they sell. It's up to you to make an informed choice.
Setting aside the so-called "hidden fees," what does this all mean?

It means: you're paying us $25, but more than $19 is coming right off the top, leaving us with less than $6/day to pay salaries, bonuses (Ha!) and benefits, vehicle repair, parts and maintenance, utilities and operating expenses, state and federal income tax, interest on the SBA loans we had to take out under Covid, and any other unforeseen losses or expenses like when you dent or total your car and skip out - which, despite our best risk management policies, that include denying rental to anyone who appears to be a total nincumpoop (this means you! just kidding), happens more often than you might think. Whatever is left over - if you get the joke here - goes to buying newer vehicles to replace the old used up ones that nobody wants to drive anymore, and some has to go to money we set aside for a rainy day. It's been raining a lot lately.
And on top of that, just paying $25/day, you're still on the hook for your fuel cost if you return the car less than full, and you're on the hook for whatever it costs if you get in an accident or something happens to your car - but that's your problem, not ours.
Our problem is that we have to do everything we have to do on just $5.76/day. That's not even enough to buy you a Grande at Starbuck's. But somehow we've managed it for the last 16 years.
How do we do it? Why do we do it? Maybe we're testing the old business adage that you can lose money on every sale, as long as you make it up on volume. Or maybe we're doing it just because, like in the old tv commercials, we're just plain crazy.
For our weekly survey, this week's lowest advertised rate seem to be headed back down towards Earth, after flirting briefly with the stratosphere. This is the cost for a one-week car rental from Maui's Kahului Airport (OGG), beginning Monday 2/19:
Off-airport (with shuttle) $227.10
Airport Rentacar Center $356.70
Source: rentalcars.com

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