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Car Rental Moorea French Polynesia

Tips for Renting a Car in Moorea

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During our first visit to Moorea, French Polynesia in 1994, we rented a car from a local company for a half-day. We circled the island on the ring road and got a great feel for island life. During our last four trips to Moorea, we have rented a car for our entire stay. This is not the norm among tourists. Most resorts, including the popular Moorea Hilton Lagoon Resort & Spa, organize paid transfers for guests, which is certainly handy. But if you like to be independent, think about renting a car for at least a few days of your stay.

Answers to Common Questions about Car Rentals in Moorea, French Polynesia

What does it cost for a car rental in Moorea?

Renting a car is not cheap on Moorea. The prices fluctuate, so check out a few websites before you book your rental. I would say the average cost is about $400/week. We have always dealt with Avis and have had no problems at all. Definitely book online ahead of time and check with your insurance company and credit card about Collision Damage Waiver coverage to make sure you are covered in the case of an accident. Bring a hard copy of your reservation.

If your rental is with Avis, walk just cross the street from the ferry port and you will see the small outpost. Be patient as the agent does your paperwork and your car is prepared for you. Remember, you are on vacation! That being said, before driving away, make sure your agent makes note of any scratches or existing damage.

What kind of rental cars are available?

Most of the cars available to rent in Moorea are tiny and may not be large enough to fit a family of four and their bags. We always book the second to smallest car, and it barely has enough room for the three of us and our bags (and we pack pretty lightly). If you have a larger family, make sure the car you book is large enough to fit all of you and your bags.

Should I rent the car at the Papeete airport on Tahiti?

One year we rented a car at the Papeete airport and paid to transport the car to Moorea on the Aremetti ferry. The cost savings were negligible, but we did save the cost of transfers to and from the Papeete airport to the ferry port.

In the past, it was impossible to book the ferry online, but now that it is, this option is more attractive because you can reserve the space for your car in advance. However, my advice would be to wait and pick up your car in Moorea to avoid any possible mishaps.

What about gas?

There are a few gas stations on the island of Moorea (including one near the ferry and another near the airport), but be aware that they do not stay open all night and credit card machines do not always work. We always fill up our car at the gas station immediately next to the Avis car rental desk. Rarely does the credit card machine work.

Note that gas is sold by the liter (not the gallon) in Moorea. Make sure you fill your car with the right kind of gasoline, as some cars could be diesel. Most gas stations also sell cold drinks, fresh baguettes (during certain parts of the day) and snacks.

Is a car rental in Moorea worth it?

It depends on your family. If you plan to take daily excursions on booked tours or you don’t want to leave your resort, you don’t need a car. If you want to explore the island, stock up on groceries at the large supermarket by the harbor (called Champion), visit the local food trucks or less expensive restaurants, you should rent a car, at least for a few days. If you are like my family and crave independence and like to eat dinner outside the resort on most nights, rent a car for your entire stay.

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A self-proclaimed Jersey Girl (with a soft spot for Jon Bon Jovi), Amy currently resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and 11-year old daughter. She picked…

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