There are about two rental car locations in Hilo, which means prospective renters will do well to secure their vehicle upon arrival to the city. At whichever part of the trip you grab your Hilo car rental, you’ll be grateful for the autonomy it affords you when you want to explore sites of interest in the city, such as the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center and the Pacific Tsunami Museum. Near these sites, near parks and in locations throughout the area, there are a range of parking options available for your passenger van rental. Park the vehicle when you want to walk, or hop in it when you’re ready to see sites external to the city. With major roadways passing through Hilo, such as the Hawaii Belt Road and Routes 11 and 2000, you can easily take day-trips. What’s more, cheap car rentals in Hilo give you the opportunity to choose departure times for longer trips; you’ll want to wait until after the morning rush-hour ends so that you’re not doubling the commute time.
Is it worthwhile to rent a car while visiting Hilo?
With free or reasonably-priced parking throughout the city, grabbing an economy car rental in Hilo becomes an even more cost-savvy decision. Especially given the ease of navigating the city streets by vehicle. While the streets are welcoming to cars, there are also several areas in the city where walking may be preferred, like Downtown, since it opens up the opportunity for you to tuck into shops, bars and restaurants. When you’re ready to venture outside city limits to some of the more rural sites on the Island of Hawaii, check out Kīlauea, an active volcano that is popular amongst visitors, or Punaluʻu Beach, known for its black sands. Both sites are within a few hours’ drive from the city of Hilo, which sits in the northern part of the island.
What different driving laws should I keep in mind while driving in Hilo?
Before visitors hop in their Hilo car rentals, there are a few things to be aware of about traffic guidelines in the city, and the state, more broadly. For instance, if bar-hopping is on your agenda, you may want to leave the rental behind and opt for a taxi; people who have a blood alcohol content—abbreviated BAC—of 0.08% or higher are prohibited from driving. Additionally, all occupants of car rentals in Hilo, including those in the back seat, must wear a properly fastened seatbelt. You also need to pay close attention so speed limits, since the posted speeds on major roadways are lower in Hawaii than in the mainland United States. While these tips are a good start, it’s best to check with the city’s department of motor vehicles for recent law changes.
Will I need a special driver’s license or permit to drive a rental car in Hilo if I’m visiting from another country?
Travelers who are hoping to grab a rental car in Hilo will need to present a valid driver’s license that has been issued by their government—whether that government is the United States or otherwise. That said, the license must be in English or translated to English. While an International Driver’s Permit is not required, it is recommend if the original driver’s license is in a language other than English. For international drivers looking to secure a car rental in Hilo, it may also be necessary to present a passport. All driver’s will need to present a major credit card that maintains a significant available balance. What’s more, all drivers must be at least 21 years old; however, some rental car companies may require drivers to be at least 25. Drivers below the age of 25 may find that a young renters fee is applied to the rental.