Uber vs Turo in Honolulu, Hawaii (Which is Cheaper?) [2022]

Are you planning a trip to Hawaii and not sure if you should go with Uber or Turo and what the price difference might be?

Well, I was wondering the same question and we tested it out on our last trip to Honolulu/Waikiki, Hawaii.

We arrived at a couple of conclusions which I am happy to share with you so that you can make some informed decisions based on real data and first-hand experience.

Uber vs Turo in Honolulu, Hawaii

Below, I’ll take a look at the comparative cost between Uber and Turo when utilizing them in Hawaii and specifically in the Honolulu/Waikiki area.

I’ll give you some price estimates on how much you can expect everything to cost you when visiting different attractions in the area. I’ll factor in everything including gas, rental car coverage, etc.

I’ll also provide you some tips based on my own experience with utilizing both Uber and Turo.

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Uber costs in Honolulu/Waikiki

First, let’s take a look at the cost for an Uber trip to and from the airport at Honolulu (HNL).

It’s really important to know that these prices can fluctuate wildly. During morning rush hour, I’ve seen prices shoot up to over $70 for a one-way trip between Waikiki and the airport!

But based on my personal experiences in Hawaii and the research I did, the prices below reflect the “normal” pricing.

Below are some estimated round-trip costs from the Holiday Inn Express Waikiki. It’s one of the hotels we stayed at in Waikiki and should give you an idea of what the prices would be for other hotels in Waikiki.

Honolulu International Airport (HNL) to Holiday Inn Express Waikiki

  • UberX – $22.83
  • UberXL – $45.96
  • Uber Premier – $84.72

Holiday Inn Express Waikiki to Honolulu International Airport (HNL)

  • UberX – $25.08
  • UberXL – $44.41
  • Uber Premier – $59.01

Uber costs for Oahu tourist attractions

Oahu is home to a lot of really interesting attractions that are not in Waikiki.

So chances are if you want to see some of these popular destinations, you’re going to want to venture outside of the Waikiki area.

Here’s a look at what you can expect to pay when visiting from Waikiki. Again, keep in mind that surge pricing can definitely happen at these locations and change the price $20 to $30.

To Kualoa Ranch

  • UberX – $57.17
  • UberXL – $101.29
  • Uber Premier – $122.22

From Kualoa Ranch

  • UberX – $48.84
  • UberXL – $93.11
  • Uber Premier – $112.87

To Dole Plantation

  • UberX – $61.27
  • UberXL – $108.48
  • Uber Premier – $128.75

From Dole Plantation

  • UberX – $52.24
  • UberXL – $102.21
  • Uber Premier – $122.03

To Pearl Harbor

  • UberX – $32.41
  • UberXL – $57.52
  • Uber Premier – $71.75

From Pearl Harbor

  • UberX – $24.31
  • UberXL – $49.08
  • Uber Premier – $62.03
Uber Hawaii

Turo costs in Oahu

There are obviously a lot of different types of vehicles that you can choose on Turo. We decided to price out four different types of vehicles.

We’ve provided a price for a one day rental below:

  • 4 door car (2021 Tesla Model 3) – $144.15
  • Convertible (2021 BMW Z4) – $201.91
  • Jeep Wrangler (2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited) – $143.73
  • Cheap car (2015 Nissan Altima) – $72.02

These one day rental prices apply if you are renting for a 24 hour period but also for shorter periods.

So if you picked up a car early in the morning and then dropped it off later in the evening, you still get charged the one day rental. That policy might change in the future but that is what we had to work with.

And because some hosts will offer a discount when you rent for multiple days, we’ve provided a price for a three day rental below:

  • 4 door car (2021 Tesla Model 3) – $377.57
  • Convertible (2021 BMW Z4) – $585.39
  • Jeep Wrangler (2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited) – $401.37
  • Cheap car (2015 Nissan Altima) – $211.29

Note: Some Turo vehicles have minimums that require you to rent them for two or more days. This seems to be more common with cheaper vehicles so it’s not always easy to find a super cheap one day rental.

Jeep Wrangler Turo Hawaii

Turo delivery fees in Hawaii

If you don’t want to pick up your vehicle at the host’s location, you can have them deliver it to you at your hotel or Airbnb or wherever you’re staying.

The thing about getting the car delivered is that usually you will have to pay a delivery fee and those delivery fees can add up pretty quickly.

Here are some Turo delivery fees from HNL airport.

  • 4 door car (2021 Tesla Model 3) – $60
  • Convertible (2021 BMW Z4) – $50
  • Jeep Wrangler (2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited) – $75
  • Cheap car (2015 Nissan Altima) – $45

You’ll notice that the Turo delivery fees for the airport are pretty close to the round-trip airport pick-up and drop-off costs for UberX. However, these fees could be much cheaper than Uber if you were dealing with Uber surge pricing.

Here are some delivery fees from a Waikiki hotel.

  • 4 door car (2021 Tesla Model 3) – $60
  • Convertible (2021 BMW Z4) – $50
  • Jeep Wrangler (2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited) – $50
  • Cheap car (2015 Nissan Altima) – $45
Turo delivery fees

I found it usually the case that it would be cheaper to just Uber to the host’s location and then pick up the vehicle from there. That will usually end up saving you about $10-$20 depending on how far you are from the host.

Note: The thing that is tricky about Turo right now is that it required us to drop off at the same location that we would pick up. Depending on your travel plans, that can make life a little bit more difficult.

Waikiki parking fees for Turo

If you’re staying at a hotel in Waikiki, chances are you’re going to be paying a pretty penny for parking every night.

Here is the overnight parking rate for 10 popular hotels in Waikiki. The self parking price is on the left and valet is on the right if available.

  • Holiday Inn Express Waikiki – $45
  • Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort – $55 / $65
  • The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki – $35 / $45
  • Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach – $42 / $55
  • Halekulani Hotel – $50
  • The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach – $41.80
  • Sheraton Waikiki – $35 / $45
  • Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa – $45 / $50
  • Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort – $40
  • Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort And Spa – $50

Every hotel may have a different price but there’s a good chance you’ll be paying about $40 or more for parking every night of your stay.

This is where the cost will really start to add up for Turo.

Note: Parking fees are not outrageous on every island or at every hotel in Hawaii. For example, when we stayed in Kauai both of our resorts did not charge us for parking.

Fuel

California is known for having the most expensive gas but Hawaii is right up there at number two. Prices obviously fluctuate but you could be paying around $4.50 per gallon.

If you plan on doing quite a bit of driving then these gas prices will force you to take a hit when using Turo but it’s usually not that bad.

Miles

A lot of Turo cars come with unlimited miles but some do have limitations on miles. The good thing about Hawaii is that chances are you probably are not going to put a ton of miles on the vehicle.

However, always check to see what those mileage limits will be.

Insurance

Your auto insurance may or may not cover you with Turo.

And if you typically rely on a credit card to provide you with primary rental car coverage, you most likely will not get that with Turo.

So you may need to look into buying coverage for the car which can increase your cost anywhere from $20 a day to $70.

Add-ons

One really cool thing about using Turo in Hawaii is that they offer special packages that can make your life easier.

For example, some offer you a packaged deal for $50 where you can get beach chairs, umbrella, snorkel gear, a cooler, etc.

These will all be ready for you in your vehicle which will allow you to enjoy the beach.

Comparing the cost (Uber vs Turo)

Now to compare the cost.

Let’s say you just arrived at Honolulu Airport and you plan on spending all of your time in Waikiki except for one day when you want to spend a day at Pearl Harbor.

Below are the prices that you would pay for your transportation with Uber vs Turo.

UberX

  • Airport travel: $47
  • Pearl Harbor: $56.72
  • Tip: $13
  • Total: $116

UberXL

  • Airport travel: $90
  • Pearl Harbor: $107
  • Tip: $25
  • Total: $222

Turo (Cheap car)

  • Rental fee: $72
  • Pick-up fee: $45
  • Hotel Parking: $45
  • Minimum insurance: $20
  • Gas: $6
  • Total: $188

Turo (Jeep Wrangler)

  • Rental fee: $144
  • Pick-up fee: $75
  • Hotel Parking: $45
  • Minimum insurance: $20
  • Gas: $9
  • Total: $293

So by the data points above, you can tell that if you were only traveling to and from the airport and then heading only to Pearl Harbor for a day, the cheaper route would be to go with Uber.

That’s even the case if you go with one of the cheapest cars on Turo.

However, if you have a larger party and are forced to use UberXL, it’s a lot closer and Uber could be more expensive.

Just remember this is only going to Pearl Harbor. If you want to add on other sites like the Punch Bowl then Turo could quickly become cheaper for the day.

But what about the following days if you wanted to continue to get out from Waikiki?

Maybe one day you wanted to go to the Kualoa Ranch and the next day you wanted to go to the Dole Plantation. Let’s see how the cost each day would compare.

To take a round trip on UberX from Waikiki to Kualoa Ranch, that’s going to be $106 and UberXL would be $194. That’s without factoring in the tip which would probably bring those totals to around $116 and $213, respectively.

Compare that to the cost of renting a cheap car from Turo for the second day, which would be ~$143 and the Jeep Wrangler at ~$218.

Getting to the Dole Plantation is a more expensive Uber ride coming out to $113.51 for UberX and $210 for UberXL. Again, tips would drive up those prices to around $124 and $230.

So the prices are actually pretty comparable to Turo but you just can’t forget to factor in all of the flexibility that a rental car offers.

Here’s a chart that adds in a few more destinations to give you an estimated transportation cost roundtrip from Waikiki.

Prices from Waikiki (with 10% Uber tips):

DestinationUberXUberXLTuro (cheap)Turo (Wrangler)
Kualoa Ranch$116$213$143$218
Dole Plantation$124$230$144$219
Polynesian Cultural Center$184$310$146$221
Hanauma Bay$80$132$143$218
Dole Whip waffle cone
Turo is probably cheaper for your Dole Whip needs.

Multiple stops

Some destinations in Oahu are really perfect for day trips where you spend several hours exploring them.

Pearl Harbor is a perfect example of a great day trip. By the time you get through exploring places like the USS Missouri, USS Arizona Memorial, and all of the other sites you’ll probably be ready to head back to your hotel and rest.

But in other cases you will likely want to hop around to check out different sites.

So let’s run one of those examples to see how the price comes out.

Let’s say you wanted to go from Waikiki and visit these three spots in one day:

  • Bishop Museum
  • Halona Beach Cove
  • Polynesian Cultural Center

Waikiki to Bishop Museum

  • UberX: $19
  • UberXL: $33

Bishop Museum to Halona Beach Cove

  • UberX: $36
  • UberXL: $70

Halona Beach Cove to Polynesian Cultural Center

  • UberX: $80
  • UberXL: $156

Polynesian Cultural Center to Waikiki

  • UberX: $80
  • UberXL: $150

For UberX, that total comes out to $215 and for UberX it’s $409.

That’s 92 miles of driving and so your gas costs would be about $20 assuming 20 miles per gallon.

For the cheaper car on Turo, that’s a total expense of ~$157 and for the Jeep Wrangler it’s ~$234.

So it will be significantly cheaper to rent a car with Turo if you plan on hopping around the island during your vacation.

The conclusions

After looking at these different costs, I’ve arrived at the following conclusions:

Uber prices can fluctuate wildly to and from HNL airport so be on the lookout for those surge prices. If you schedule an Uber ride reportedly you can avoid the dynamic pricing.

Taking trips to single (day trip) destinations is probably more economical with Uber than Turo but not always by a huge margin and not for longer trips.

If you get hit with surge pricing Uber can easily be more expensive and if you want to make multiple stops Uber can quickly become more expensive.

Also, if you have more than four people, you can’t use UberX and will be forced to go with UberXL. The prices then jump up dramatically and renting a Turo car usually becomes cheaper (sometimes a lot cheaper).

This is especially true if you have five people in your party because you don’t always have to rent an SUV to accommodate five people.

I personally value the freedom of being able to head out to any destination at any time.

You never know when you might see something on the roadside that you want to stop at such as a food truck or art gallery.

And what about all of the beaches and scenic overlooks you will undoubtedly stumble upon?

Things get complicated and pricey when you’re using Uber and trying to constantly stop to check out different stops but if you have your rental car you can check out anything and everything.

So even if Turo was more expensive than Uber, I would be okay with paying extra for the added flexibility which in a place like Hawaii is invaluable.

Final word

If you think you will be remaining at your hotel or simply in the Waikiki area for the majority of your trip then relying on Uber for all of your transportation needs is obviously going to be cheaper.

If you plan on taking one or two day trips to a specific destination and nowhere else Uber can also be the cheaper way to go.

But if you plan on getting out pretty far from Waikiki or if you think you’ll be making trips with multiple stops then renting a car through Turo can be much cheaper.

And if you have a party of five or more renting a car through Turo can be significantly cheaper than UberXL.

One comment

  1. This was so helpful! Thank you so much! Gas prices have jumped even more now, so i’m trying to figure out which is the better route, but this was a great place to start and get an good idea, especially since we’re also staying at the Holiday inn.

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