Friday, April 3, 2015

Cars on Maui (An Introduction to the Perils and Pitfalls of Car Ownership)

Why bother to write about cars? Cars are cars are cars, right? Yes and no.

On Maui, some cars are not the right cars to ever own. You will curse having these cars. 

They will ruin your life. 

You will spend months trying to get them repaired because there are no parts for these cars, because parts have to be ordered from the mainland at an exorbitant cost, and no one on the island knows how to fix them except for Crazy Jack (a name I just made up) and the cost for fixing your car is your first born child, and he has a waiting list four months long. 

Heee heee heee. Evil laugh #1032.  And Crazy Jack isn’t known for his honest work, either.

A car that you might love to have on Oahu or in Texas, California, is not the same car you might want to have on Maui. Maui does not have a lot of competition, so prices are awful for new cars. Repair shops don’t have a lot of competition, so repair costs are also abysmal. If you know how to fix your own car, you will be a winner!

There are only a few real dealerships on Maui and one guy owns two major dealerships, which means guess what? NOT A LOT OF COMPETITION.

Let’s say you buy a new car on Maui. You could be screwed over buying the car or getting it serviced. If you buy a car somewhere else that you could have bought at a Maui dealership, the service department may still enjoy toying with you for months because they will know that you bought that car off-island.

Let’s say you ship your car to Maui. Is it even worth shipping? Does anyone on the island know how to fix it? How long will it take them? Will you be able to sell it for Blue Book value if you move?

In short, there are certain brands and makes of cars you don’t want on Maui. (Off the top of my head, I would avoid Jeeps, Land Rovers, VWs...etc...and this should be its own separate post one day.)

Used cars have their own very unique dangers on Maui. There are certain used cars you don’t want to buy here, and there are dangers when buying used cars or transferring the title. (By the way, a used car that would be called a lemon elsewhere is called a “Maui Cruiser.”)

Even if you have the right kind of car for Maui, one with a high resale value that is easy to get repaired, the other problem is Maui’s climate which is hard on cars. 
  • Many houses do not include garages, so the outdoor sun and acidic rain will weather your car, leave weather spots on your windows, 
  • Dust and different kinds of pollen can stain your car. 
  • If you live close to the ocean, salt air will corrode your car. 
  • If those pitfalls don’t get you, Maui’s infamous pothole roads (depending on where you live) will get your car. 
For electric vehicles, there are even some charging stations on Maui. But do you know how much it will cost to replace your battery? Usually $6,000 and up. Plus, finding a repair shop that will charge fairly for the work and not take two weeks to do it

Related posts:

Here's a shortcut to the archives for the A to Z Challenge and other blog posts.

The theme of this year’s A to Z Challenge is Living on Maui: A Beginner’s SurvivalGuide. While I can’t include everything in only 26 short blog posts, this is my foolish attempt.

If you are participating in the A to Z Challenge, please use either Disqus or Facebook to comment below. Please include your link so that I can visit you back, but it might be as late as May!



  1. wow, I would never think that owning a car could be so complicated. Maybe it's time to go back to the horses and buggies? The potholes in the northeast are pretty bad too!

  2. If I ever move to Maui, I'm gonna feel so prepared... Btw I was so happy my bf took care of used car buying, because I can't even begin to understand car stuff :D

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from

    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

  3. I just visited Maui last year and it was beautiful! I would consider moving there! Now that I think about it I didn't see very many newer cars and I guess this explains it!
    Can't wait to follow along with the rest of the alphabet!


  4. I hope that car in the picture isn't yours!

  5. So it looks like cars are too much trouble to have at all in Maui but my guess is that they might be a necessity. I wonder if there are any good alternative ways to travel through that area. Either way, it would still be nice to visit Maui. I like your theme of a Beginner's Guide for those who venture there...whether as a vacation or relocation. What a practical approach to blogging in April! :)

    A to Z Challenge CO-HOST

  6. They can be some trouble, but they are an absolute necessity, for most of us. Some people live here but manage to hitchhike everywhere.

  7. No, just another one of our abandoned vehicles. I forgot to mention that people (usually teenagers) often torch cars that are left too long by the side of the road.

  8. We did see one Tesla the other day. It's pretty uncommon. Not too many campers or RVs on Maui either because they are so expensive to ship.

  9. LOL! Every area has its own subculture and things that everyone who lives there knows. My DH takes care of car things too, which is really great.

  10. There are a lot of horses here too, but not as many as cars!

  11. Oh my. Cars are not the first thing that would come to my mind, but it makes sense to do your research before buying a car in Maui. Thanks for sharing.


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