There are just too few Hawaii car rentals to meet the current demand. We’ve heard it everywhere, from friends and family too, and have seen it with our own eyes. As you know, last year car rental companies downsized fleets then underestimated how quickly and strongly demand would return. In Hawaii, it is far worse than we have ever seen.
While Hawaii car rental companies running out of cars during the most peak times has occurred for decades, running out for months at a stretch is a completely new phenomenon.
The peer-to-peer giant Turo was recently quoted as saying that the industry’s availability and pricing issue will “resolve itself over time… [and it] is going to be challenging for the rental car giants for the next six to 18 months.”
Before considering Craigslist Hawaii car rentals or other non-traditionals, check Discount Hawaii Car Rental and other sources first.
For example, we looked at a car for one week in July on Kauai and found the lowest base price from Discount Hawaii Car Rental for $992 and a total cost of $1228 (around $175 daily). Going directly to the car rental company, the price increased to $1200 base and $1480 total. So that would have saved over $200. In checking availability we checked one month in advance.
What Happens With Sold Out Signs: Enter peer-to-peer car rental options.
With peer-to-peer Hawaii car rentals all the talk now and Turo being one of the safer bets, it boasts coverage as one of its foremost features. But, unfortunately, we’ve read their insurance options for car owners and guests, and our readers didn’t really leave us feeling as warm and fuzzy as we had hoped. So here’s what it says:
For hosts: “You’re covered with up to $750,000 in liability insurance, and your car is contractually protected against theft and physical damage unless you have commercial rental insurance and choose to waive insurance offered through Turo Insurance Agency for yourself and your customers.”
For guests: “The Liberty Mutual Policy insures Guests who book with non-Commercial Hosts against liability to third parties for bodily injury and third party property damage resulting from the use of the booked vehicle during the booked trip. Coverage provided is up to the minimum liability coverage required by state law. Guests can’t decline this coverage. If the primary Guest selects the Premier plan (discussed below), the limits of the coverage provided under the Liberty Mutual Policy are increased to a combined single limit of $750,000 subject to the terms of the policy.
Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”): The Liberty Mutual Policy provides the minimum amount of PIP coverage allowed by law in those states where PIP coverage is required and can’t be waived.”
The cost of insurance is of course optional on Turo, and it can range from 15% to 100% of the rental.
What about Craigslist Hawaii car rentals?
Well, if Turo protection doesn’t appear to be that simple for renters, then what about Craigslist?
This all started when Jeff was looking for something unrelated on Craigslist and stumbled upon a huge virtual marketplace for Hawaii car rentals. Hundreds and hundreds of recent listings for those renting everything from island cars to luxury vehicles at prices that were anything but cheap.
What about insurance protection on Craigslist Hawaii car rentals?
As far as we could determine, and please let us know if you know anything different, this is perhaps the biggest concern both a visitor and a car owner would have in a private rental agreement. It appears that a renter is entering into a commercial relationship renting a car on Craigslist and that might preclude protection from the renter’s own insurance coverage. We reached out to Liberty Mutual for their take on this but have not heard back as of the time of publication. We also reached out to Insure My Trip, to go in a totally different direction, and they indicated that their trip insurance plans that offer car rental coverage would not cover peer-to-peer rentals.
Bottom Line: Tell us how you are coping with the current car rental shortage.