If you decide to rent a car, there are a few things to plan for.
• Don’t leave any valuables in your rental car. There have been break-ins on the island. If you have valuables that you don’t plan to hike the trail with, I would suggest leaving them somewhere else. Don’t leave them in your car. Check out our gear page for a great option for storing gear and also renting gear if you need it.
• Damage to the car: I would suggest getting car rental insurance just in case of any damage. Some people leave the rental car door unlocked to prevent someone from breaking a window to look for valuables. Your current auto insurance policy may cover rental cars. If this is the case, buying only supplemental insurance can save you money. Check with your auto insurance company. Also, some credit card companies include car rental insurance if you use their card. Check with your credit card company to find out if they provide this insurance.
• Overnight visitors to Napali Coast State Wilderness Park: Limited overnight parking is now available for campers with overnight permits for Napali Coast State Wilderness Park. Camping permits must be acquired from State Parks prior to purchasing overnight parking. These spots are available for purchase up to 90 days in advance and users will be charged for the number of days your vehicle occupies the lot (e.g. a one night stay will require paying for 2 days, a 4 night stay will require paying for 5 days, etc.) Visit GoHaena.com to reserve a parking spot.
Other overnight parking options include limited overnight parking at Aliʻi Kai Resort in Princeville. Call (808) 826-9988 for details and reservations. Finding legal overnight parking anywhere else on the North Shore is a problem. If you are staying at a hotel the night before you hike, I’d suggest arranging something with your hotel if they allow it. Or, ditch the rental car and taxi/uber/bus into the trail head.
• Booking early gives you flexibility for choice and pricing. Longer lead times mean more available cars, a broader selection and better rates for rental cars.
• Give yourself plenty of time so you don’t return the car late. Late costs can hurt.
• Thrifty Car Rental is right near the Lihue Airport and you can book right now for a discount.