Do You Need a Car In Maui?

If you want to see some of Maui's wildest (and most beautiful) sights, renting a car is a must.
Written by Jasmine Kanter
Reviewed by Hillary Kobayashi
Unless you're staying in the resorts, you'll want to rent a car while on Maui, especially if you wish to explore the island's eastern side.
Bordered by the ocean and filled with miles of gorgeous countryside, the Valley Isle offers some of the most scenic drives in the country. You’ve flown for miles to share in a slice of Paradise—so is it really necessary to pay for a set of wheels, too?
It depends on what you want to do. You can probably get by with a bus pass and a few local cabs if you stick to the resorts and popular beaches. But if you want to see the famous Road to Hana or Haleakala National Park, you'll need a rental car
Read on for the full guide to renting a car and using public transportation in Maui.

Where to get a rental car in Maui

Kahului’s central location makes it Maui's transportation hub. Its airport welcomes interisland and overseas visitors, and it offers the most rental car companies.
There are
nine rental companies
that you can visit as soon as you step off your flight, three of which offer ADA-accessible vehicles. Large companies, like
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
, and
, offer loyalty programs and organizational discounts. But if you’re looking to use a
discount code
or to get unlimited mileage, try
, or
You can expect to pay $60 per day for a standard car if you choose
the best time to travel to Maui
. During peak season (late December to mid-April and mid-June to mid-August), rates can reach $185 per day. If you have a lot of destinations to visit that are far from your hotel, it might be worth it. Plus, you won't waste your vacation time waiting for a bus.
If you’re not going far, why not add some fresh air and exercise to your trip?
Maui Bombers
has been voted the #1 bike tour company in Hawaii by TripAdvisor for four years running. With a large range of guided and unguided tours, they’re sure to get your heart pumping.
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Do you need rental car insurance?

It's not uncommon to have visions of road catastrophes play out in your head when the time comes to sign the car rental form and deny optional insurance. But the answer is actually much simpler than your fears (and the rental company representative) might suggest. You can probably skip rental car insurance if you have your own full-coverage policy. 
comprehensive coverage
apply to rental vehicles, too. Your credit card might even offer free rental insurance. Don't forget to check your paperwork before heading on vacation—this will help you out when it comes time to say no. 
You should take advantage of the rental company’s Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) when you’re between insurance policies or if you only carry basic
liability insurance
. Not only will it help you avoid repair bills, but it can also save you from loss of use, administration, and diminished value damages.

Do you need a car in Maui?

The answer is yes, unless you plan to park your butt at a resort for most of your stay. Maui has an abundance of beautiful, undeveloped land, but it lacks amenities, such as bus lines, subways, and trains
Those wild places won't come to you; you'll have to go to them, and that means you'll need a vehicle.

Where public transportation can take you

Roberts Hawaii operates
14 routes across the island
as part of
Maui Bus' public transit service
. The service runs seven days a week, including all holidays, but there are no transfers. 
All buses are ADA-compliant. Kahului is the hub of eight routes, with service as far north as Kapalua and as far south as Wailea.
Using these routes, you can visit many of
Maui’s most beautiful attractions
, like:
  • Hookipa Beach
  • Iao Valley State Park
  • Kaanapali Beach
  • Kamaole Beach Parks
  • Kapalua beach, coastal trail, and ziplines
  • Lahaina Banyan Court Park and Harbor
  • Magic Merman Snorkel Charters
  • Makena Beach State Park
  • Maui Ocean Center
  • Maui Surfer Girls
  • Napili Beach
  • Old Lahaina Luau
  • O’o Farm
  • The Plantation Course at Kapalua Golf
  • Wailea Beach
A one-way fare is $2 and a daily pass will cost you $4.

Where public transportation can’t take you

There’s no public transportation on the eastern side of the island. Taking a cab there would also be prohibitively expensive. If you want to get away and see some of nature's most inspiring views, rent a car and mark the following on your map:
  • Haleakala National Park
  • Jungle Zipline Maui
  • Pipiwai hiking trail
  • Makena Beach State Park
  • Waianapanapa State Park
  • The world-famous Road to Hana
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