Tourists are thronging back to Maui in rising numbers in 2023 as main segments of the visitor industry — hotels, resorts, airlines, restaurants, shops, and attractions — spring back to life.
One crucial segment, however, is lagging behind: rental cars.
A hodgepodge of interrelated matters has slowed the rental car business from bouncing back in Maui and other notable leisure travel destinations, and there appears to be no significant rehabilitation on the horizon.
Simply put, the nation’s largest car rental corporations sold a ton of cars in 2020 to cushion the financial blows amid widespread Covid travel restrictions, and now they can’t buy enough replacements principally due to car production delays.
Consequently, many tourists in Maui are dishing out considerable amounts to rent the relatively few vehicles available from recognized and alternative rental firms, which tie prices to supply and demand. In fact, some visitors have turned to public transportation, ride-sharing, and unconventional rentals that include moving vans and privately held vehicles. And in other instances, would-be customers have opted not to come to the islands.
Tourism officials have said Hawaii’s shortage is worst on Maui. Recently on Maui, the lowest-priced cars at the airport from major rental firms were higher than they’ve ever been.
The supply has improved slightly for 2023. We have been fortunate to have an ample supply for most travel dates. However, we recommend securing a car rental before getting lodging and airline tickets. There is no obligation to book early and return to check rates as your trip approaches. If rates drop, they often do; reserve at the lower rate, and cancel your higher-priced rental.
Check car rental rates for Maui today!
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