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    Car hire in Honolulu - Jewel of the Pacific

    The capital city of Hawaii (as well as its largest city) is Honolulu, also known as Oahu which means 'sheltered harbour' or 'calm port' in Hawaiian. It has been the capital of Hawaii since 1845 and gained historical recognition following the attack on Pearl Harbour by Japan in 1941. Since 2015 it has been highly ranked as one of the world’s most popular cities in which to live and also as the second safest city in the USA. Booking a car hire in Honolulu is a great way to enjoy the best that the beautiful island of Oahu has to offer. Drive your car hire around the island to discover idyllic surfing spots and vibrant resorts.

    There are indications that there were settlements where Honolulu now stands as early as the 11th century. In 1794, Captain William Brown of Great Britain was the first foreigner to reach Honolulu, making port on what would become Honolulu Harbour. This was the starting point for establishing the port as a focal point for merchant ships travelling between North America and Asia. In 1845, King Kamehameha III made Honolulu the permanent capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and he and the kings that followed developed the city into a modern capital, erecting buildings such as ‘Iolani Palace, Ali’iolanhi Hale and St Andrews Cathedral. This helped turn the city into a centre of commerce in the islands due to the descendants of American missionaries establishing major businesses in downtown Honolulu. With the monarchy being overthrown in 1893, Hawaii was annexed to the United States in 1898 and became the 50th US state in 1959. Even after a massive fire in 1900, and the horrific attacks at Pearl Harbour by Japan on the 7th of December 1941, Honolulu remains the capital, largest city, main airport and seaport of the Hawaiian Islands, as well as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the USA thanks to its warm, tropical climate, amazing beaches, rich history and renowned friendliness of the locals.

    If you are looking for an affordable car hire on the island, book with Auto Europe today! Our exceptional customer service and longstanding partnerships with some of the world’s most renowned car rental companies, along with our Beat Rate Guarantee, assure you the best savings and quality of service on your car hire in the USA. Book your deal online today by using our secure, state-of-the-art booking engine in 3 easy steps or, if you prefer, you can also speak to our our friendly reservations agents over the phone on +44 123 3225 114, who will help find the best offer for your trip. Please take a look at the user ratings and comments posted by previous Auto Europe customers on our Honolulu car hire reviews page before booking your next car rental in the city.

    How's the traffic in Honolulu?

    There’s no sugar coating it, Honolulu traffic can be a bit problematic, especially on freeways if you opt for a car rental in Honolulu. However, as a visitor without the time crunch of a commute, it helps to find alternative, less congested routes to get to your destination, especially if you avoid the peak rush-hours between 6am and 8.30pm (inbound) and 3.30pm and 6pm (outbound). Honolulu and its surrounding areas are served by an extensive network of freeways and highways. Several major highways connect Honolulu to all different areas of Oahu Island, as well as Honolulu Airport. If you’re sightseeing and find yourself slowing down to take in the views, pull over (if it’s safe to) and let the locals pass you. It’s the aloha way! For more information on driving in the US in general, please visit our dedicated driving information page.

    Where can I park my car hire in Honolulu?

    Parking your car in hire Honolulu, like in most US cities, can sometimes require a bit of patience. As a very popular tourist destination it can get a bit crowded, but if you persevere there is no reason why you shouldn´t find a space in any part of the city. Always have some change ready for the parking meters and cash for the car parks, and check the area you're planning to visit for an idea of where it’s easier to park. The spaces in nearly every street in Honolulu are metered all week, except for Sunday. The meters start at one dollar, with some accepting credit cards and others only coins, so be prepared. If you’re not comfortable with parking your hire car in the street, there are several parking garages throughout Honolulu where you can park safely.

    Honolulu Airport

    The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, also known as Honolulu International Airport, is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. The airport gets its name from the US senator Daniel K. Inouye who was a representative of Hawaii from 1963 until 2012 when he passed away. The airport first opened in 1927 and was then known as John Rodgers Airport after a World War 1 naval officer. It is now one of the busiest airports in the United States with traffic of 21 million passengers a year and rising.

    Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
    Telephone: 808 836-6411
    Address: 300 Rodgers Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96819
    Airlines: There are many airlines which run flights to and from Honolulu, with Delta Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines operating flights to the greatest number of destinations. Other airlines handling flights are United Airlines, Jetstar Airways, American Airlines and Air Canada.

    What to do in Honolulu

    Hawaii is one of the most visited places in all of the United States, and as the regional capital, Honolulu attracts millions of people every year thanks to its wonderful beaches, fine cuisine, unique culture and friendly people. Here are some things you cannot miss;

    • Valley of the Temples Memorial Park: The memorial park that was founded in 1963 by Paul Trousdale is the burial site of thousands of Hawaiian residents of several religions such as Catholic, Shinto, Buddhist and Protestant. It features a replica of a Buddhist temple located in Japan, as well as several Catholic statues depicting the Virgin Mary, several Catholic saints, scenes from the Passion of Christ, as well as crypts and mausoleums of very influential people in Hawaii.

    • Pearl Harbour Memorial: The USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbour in Honolulu stands atop the sinking site of the USS Arizona, the battleship that serves as the final resting place of 1,102 sailors and Marines killed during the attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7th, 1941. It also immortalizes the attacks and pays homage to the 2,403 American lives lost that day, both Military and civilian. The memorial was built in 1962 and is visited by more than two million people a year.

    • Iolani Palace: The cornerstone for the palace was laid in 1879, with full Masonic rites and it was completed in 1882. The Palace was the royal residence of the rulers of the kingdom of Hawaii until Queen Liliuokalani’s imprisonment and the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy. The building was first used as government headquarters for the Provisional Government and then as the Capitol Building for the Republic. It was restored after the government offices vacated the Palace in 1969 and opened to the public as a museum in 1978. It is the only royal palace on US soil.

    • Bishop Museum: Also known as the Hawaii State Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honour of his wife, Princess Berenice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family. The museum was originally established to house the extensive collection of Hawaiian objects and royal family heirlooms of the princess but it quickly grew as the largest museum in Hawaii and house of the largest collection of Polynesian cultural artefacts and natural specimens.

    Best day-trips with my car rental in Honolulu

    Honolulu is the epicentre of the Hawaiian Islands, and its island, Oahu. The island has so many wondrous sights that it may take days to see it all. Here are some day suggestions of places to visit when you rent a car in Honolulu;

    Diamond Head State Monument

    Known to Hawaiians as Le’ahi, Diamond Head was named by British sailors in the 19th century, who thought that the sparkling calcite crystals on the neighbouring beach were diamonds. It is part of the Ko’olau Range of volcanoes that began erupting below sea level 2.6 million years ago. The crater was created by a single eruption around 300,000 years ago. Considered a state monument and a US National Natural Monument, the volcanic tuff cone has become a defining feature of Honolulu aerial views. It is a great place for hikes that take you right to the edge of the crater, where you can find information and historical displays, a picnic area, drinking fountains and restrooms.

    Waikiki Beach

    The most famous beach in Hawaii, Waikiki is the perfect place to spend a day drinking cocktails, paddle-boating, surfing, snorkelling, swimming or just lying on the beach getting a tan. Around the beach there are several bars, restaurants, shops, and outdoor activities to keep you occupied for the whole day.

    Hanauma Bay

    Oahu’s best-preserved marina nature park, Hanauma bay is one of the most popular destinations in Hawaii for diving and snorkelling, with its rich coral bed and colourful aquatic sea creatures.

    Oahu’s East Coast

    Less explored than the northern and western shores of the island, the East Coast is home to the most tropical and volcanic scenery in Oahu. It has fewer hotels and resorts, but it is quieter and more relaxed than its counterparts. Windswept and wild, it is a great place to drive your car rental in Honolulu.

    How to get around Honolulu


    TheBus is the public bus transportation service on the island of Oahu. It has been considered America’s Best Transit System several times. It covers most of the island, especially the centre of Honolulu. Tickets can be purchased on-board or at TheBus Pass Office at Kalihi Transit Centre. Bust stops are scattered throughout the city and you can find their location on Google Maps or their own website.

    Bicycle Sharing

    Travelling around Honolulu by bike is the most ecological and flexible way to visit the city. GoBiki has 130 Biki Stops throughout the city. You can unlock a bike using your credit card, the Biki mobile app or the Biki pass which can be purchased on their website. When you arrive at your destination, just find a Biki Stop where you can drop off your bike, push it into the dock to lock it and once the light turns green that means that your ride is over.

    Useful links

    Honolulu Tourist Info