By Car

Hawaii has some of the lowest car-rental rates in the country. (An exception is the island of Lanai, where they're very expensive.) To rent a car in Hawaii, you must be at least 25 years of age and have a valid driver's license and credit card. Note: If you're visiting from abroad and plan to rent a car in the United States, keep in mind that foreign driver's licenses are usually recognized in the U.S., but you should get an international one if your home license is not in English.

At Maui's airport in Kahului you'll find most major car-rental agencies, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty. It's almost always cheaper to rent a car at the airport than in Waikiki or through your hotel (unless there's one already included in your package deal).

Rental cars are usually at a premium on Kauai, Molokai, and Lanai and may be sold out on the neighbor islands on holiday weekends, so be sure to book well ahead.

Gasoline -- Gas prices in Maui, always much higher than on the U.S. mainland, vary from island to island. At this writing, average prices for regular gas in Maui are about $3.99 per gallon (except in Hana where gas was $4.49).On Molokai gas was $4.57 and on Lanai gas was $4.99. Note: Taxes are already included in the printed price.

Insurance -- Hawaii is a no-fault state, which means that if you don't have collision-damage insurance, you are required to pay for all damages before you leave the state, whether or not the accident was your fault. Your personal car insurance may provide rental-car coverage; check before you leave home. Bring your insurance identification card if you decline the optional insurance, which usually costs from $12 to $20 a day. Obtain the name of your company's local claim representative before you go. Some credit card companies also provide collision-damage insurance for their customers; check with yours before you rent.

Driving Rules -- Hawaii state law mandates that all car passengers must wear a seat belt, and all infants must be strapped into a car seat. You'll pay a $50 fine if you don't buckle up. Pedestrians always have the right of way, even if they're not in the crosswalk. You can turn right on red after a full and complete stop, unless otherwise posted.

Road Maps -- The best and most detailed maps for activities are published by Franko Maps (; they feature a host of island maps, plus a terrific "Hawaiian Reef Creatures Guide" for snorkelers curious about those fish they spot under water. Free road maps are published by This Week Magazine, a visitor publication available on Maui.

Another good source is the University of Hawaii Press maps, which include a detailed network of island roads, large-scale insets of towns, historical and contemporary points of interest, parks, beaches, and hiking trails. If you can't find them in a bookstore near you, contact University of Hawaii Press, 2840 Kolowalu St., Honolulu, HI 96822 (tel. 808/956-8255; For topographic and other maps of the islands, go to the Hawaii Geographic Society, 49 S. Hotel St., Honolulu (tel. 800/538-3950 or 808/538-3952;

Stay off the Cellphone -- Talking on a cellphone while driving in Maui is a big no-no. Fines range from $92 to $150. One woman on the island of Oahu was even ticketed for talking on a cellphone while she was parked on the side of the road! Save yourself the money, don't use the cell while you are driving.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.