Is Rental Car and Scooter Theft a Thing in Oahu?

Like any other place on the globe, Oahu, Hawaii, is not safe from car or scooter theft. Whenever I suggest someone rent a car or scooter in Hawaii, the one thing most people are scared of is theft. Thefts have become quite prevalent in Hawaii. As a part of a scooter rental company, I, too, get scared because, let’s face it, even we do have to face the losses.

So, what can we do? What are the reasons for these thefts? What can we do to prevent this from happening? Don’t worry! We’ll be covering all these questions here so you can freely drive around Oahu and actually spend some quality time here.

Types Of Thefts That Take Place

Types Of Thefts That Take Place

Rental car scooter theft Oahu has been the talk of the town now, and because of this, many people are avoiding going for rental cars and scooters. If you are meant to be robbed, you will be! It won’t matter if you are a visitor visiting Oahu for a vacation or a local (kama’aina) simply wandering around to explore the place.

Every country in the world is prone to thefts, and you really can’t help it. Now, there are different types of thieves, and I have personally seen two of the most common types of thefts that take place here.

Common Break In

First, thieves go for the expensive items that are kept inside the vehicle. This is an easy break-in where the thief just breaks the vehicle’s windows and grabs all the stuff that they see. It usually happens when a person leaves their stuff openly and in plain sight.

I’ve seen this happening mostly with cars where people just carelessly leave their laptop, cameras inside the car, making it easy for the thieves to steal the items.

Stealing And Driving Off The Vehicle

The other is prevalent with both scooters and cars. Here, thieves are fearless and steal the entire vehicle. The stolen vehicle and its parts are then sold (I guess they do it for money).

Some even do it if they are planning something malicious and want a different vehicle to commit a crime (to hide their real identity). And finally, there are thieves who do it just for fun because they like the thrill of adrenaline rushing.

However, if theft does occur, you should always remember to take some precautions to keep your things safe.

Some Precautionary Measures To Practice

Some Precautionary Measures To Practice

To make sure nothing bad like thefts don’t happen to you, you need to remember that some precautionary tips should be exercised.

Not Turning Off The Vehicle

I have seen many people forgetting to turn off their vehicles, whether they are cars or scooters. Well, yes, you can sometimes get tired and forget to do it. But this forgetfulness can lead to great disaster and loss. However tired or in a hurry you may be, always remember to turn off your car engines and take out the keys. I’ve seen people forgetting to take their keys off the ignition as well.

Even if you are stepping out of your vehicle for a minute, be careful because thefts can happen in seconds. I am emphasizing this because first, I have seen this happen with my own eyes (and don’t judge me because there was really nothing I could do). Second, a few years back, almost 3,000 vehicles were stolen from the spot using the original vehicle key.

Parking In A Properly Lit Area

Another way to protect your vehicle from thieves is by parking your car in a properly lit area. This is especially important when you are out at night and don’t want to be a victim of vehicle theft in Oahu.

If you plan to park your vehicle outside a mall or a crowded shop, make sure it is easily visible, as these places are highly likely to be robbed. Rental cars and scooters can also be stolen from a parking lot, so be aware of that and choose a safe place.

Double Checking The Vehicle Locks And Windows

Now, what could go wrong if your vehicle is parked at your house? You may think nothing! But trust me, vehicles could also be stolen from your home’s garage, street, and driveway. Therefore, it is essential to focus on the vehicle’s safety, especially if it is rented.

Remember to always lock the door and keep the windows rolled up. You can ask the rental shop if they have fitted any kind of anti-theft alarm in the vehicles; that way, you’ll know when the vehicle is broken into.

Look For Broken Glasses

Look For Broken Glasses

When you are planning to go for a hike or any sight-seeing place, there’s one way to know if the parking area is safe. If you see lots of broken glasses lying down on the ground, chances are that frequent thefts take place there.

I get it. You may not have any other option to park your vehicle, but you can still make it safe. Double-check the locks before leaving the parking area, and carry your stuff with you so the thieves don’t get any reason to break into your car.

Keep Your Things In The Trunk

Again, don’t forget anything in your car in plain sight or leave any stuff behind on your scooter. By doing this, you are making your vehicles more prone to be stolen. Even if you keep a bag inside (an empty one), it will leave the thieves curious, and they’ll break in to find out what’s inside.

While you may not lose you bag (maybe), but you will, for sure, have to pay for the damage done. If there’s anything you want to keep, first inspect the area and then keep your belongings in the trunk.

Don’t Keep The Money Scattered

Another attractive thing for thieves is money. I know you’ll be careful with this, but there will be times when you might keep the change lying around in your car. Thieves are always on the lookout for mistakes, and if this happens, you are sure to welcome one incident.

Install Security Systems

Install Security Systems

Making some additions to the car can prevent anything of this sort from happening. Throwing in some anti-theft gear like a car alarm, steering wheel lock, or vehicle tracker can seriously lower the risk of your ride getting swiped—or up the odds of getting it back if it does.

Commonly Targeted Vehicles For Theft In Oahu

Theft In Oahu

Whether it is your own car or a rented one, there are some common vehicles that are mostly targeted on the island. While all the mopeds, bikes, and cars are in danger, there are some particular ones that have been recorded to be stolen more than the other rentals.

Old Models

In the whole of Hawaii, including the famous Oahu island, I’ve mostly seen old model cars, mopeds, and bikes getting stolen. The model usually ranges from those from the 1990s to the early months of the 2000s.

The simple reason for this is that apart from the vehicles being classic, old cars, the 1900s will have less to no resale value on their parts and vehicles. Olden cars are usually hot-wired, so thieves can easily start the engine even without needing keys.

The newer models, on the other hand, will have better and more advanced anti-theft security systems. Also, new cars have smart keys with computer-controlled ignition systems, making it difficult for thieves to break into the car or steal it altogether.

Commonly Sold Models

Now, coming to which models are more likely to be stolen, these are, Toyota Corollas, Honda Civics, Honda Accords, Toyota Tacomas, Ford trucks and Toyota Corollas.

While all vehicles are open the risk to be stolen, these are the most common ones as these are easily available on the entire island, making it more appealing to the thieves. Also, these models are the most sold ones on the entire island, so that could also be one reason for them being targeted.

No Particular Model

Indeed, smash-and-grab theft is an equal-opportunity menace that disregards the make and model of your vehicle. It’s primarily driven by the thief’s opportunistic eye; if they catch sight of something enticing inside a car, they’re more inclined to target it.

Often, the actual value of the items they snatch may be minimal or even nonexistent, but that’s a detail the thief won’t discern until after they’ve shattered your window and made off with their loot.

Even when you go to the police complaining about the stolen vehicle, it will not guarantee your vehicle to be recovered. I’ve seen only 70% of the stolen vehicles to be successfully recovered, so it depends on your luck whether you’ll get it back or not.

What Steps To Take After Your Vehicle Gets Stolen?

Vehicle Gets Stolen

Unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle or theft constitutes a Class C felony and carries a potential penalty of up to five years in prison. However, this severe consequence often fails to act as a deterrent for most thieves. Why? Because they’re aware that the chances of getting caught are slim.

If, by chance, they are caught, they’re unlikely to face significant jail time, usually receiving probation instead. Even after taking all the precautionary measures, if your vehicle gets broken into or stolen, here are some steps you should take:

Call 911!

First and foremost, call 911. Law enforcement will dispatch an officer to your residence or at the location where the incident has taken place. They’ll also keep an eye on your unattended house or room to ensure the thief doesn’t attempt to target it. Additionally, they’ll send an officer to gather information from you about the incident.

Don’t Engage Even If You See It Happening

If you witness someone attempting to break into a vehicle, it’s important not to confront them or try to intervene physically. Instead, immediately dial 911 on your phone and provide as much information as possible.

This should include a description of the individual, their attire, the type and color of the vehicle, the license plate number, and the direction they departed in. This helps law enforcement respond swiftly and effectively to apprehend the perpetrator.


Is rental car theft common in Oahu?

While you won’t see much crimes happening in Oahu, instances of rental car theft can occur, especially in tourist areas. As visitors, it’s essential to take precautions like parking in well-lit areas and using anti-theft devices.

Are scooters and mopeds commonly stolen in Oahu?

Yes, thefts are not just limited to cars but other vehicles as well. Scooter and moped theft can happen in Oahu, particularly in busy tourist areas. Therefore, whenever riding one, it’s crucial to secure your scooter when not in use, using locks or parking in designated areas with surveillance if possible.

Are there any car insurance options to cover rental car or scooter theft in Oahu?

Many rental car companies offer theft protection as part of their insurance packages. Before renting one, review the terms and conditions of your rental agreement and insurance policy to understand coverage for theft and any applicable deductibles.

From where can I rent a car or scooter in Oahu?

Car, moped, and scooter rentals can be found across Oahu. If you want to be quick with the process, there are rentals available near the airport as well, where you can rent a vehicle of your choice and drive around the place. You can also explore our website if you want to rent a moped and have it delivered to your doorstep if you are in Waikiki.

Be Safe And Enjoy Your Trip!

Oahu is a place of relaxation, and we don’t want you to worry about unnecessary things like your rental vehicles being stolen. While Oahu, Hawaii, is a breathtaking destination for vacationers and locals alike, it’s not immune to the issue of vehicle theft, including rental cars and scooters. Ultimately, by staying vigilant and following these precautions, you can enjoy your time exploring Oahu without undue concern about rental car or scooter theft. Remember, your safety and peace of mind are paramount, so be proactive and enjoy your trip to the fullest!

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