Rental vehicles are scarce on Savai'i, and some of the car rental agencies in Apia won't allow you to bring their vehicles over on the ferry (be sure to ask, otherwise the insurance won't be valid). It would be risky to do so anyway as you'd be fully responsible for getting the vehicle back to Apia in case of trouble.
Big Island Rentals at Sina World Travel in the Blue Bird Mall at Salelologa has Sidekick vehicles with discounts after three days. They don't pick up at the wharf but their office is only a 10-minute walk away. PK Rental Cars at Salelologa offers the best selection of cars but check the vehicle out carefully before you drive away. Samoana Rent-a-Car diagonally opposite the ANZ Bank near the market is not recommended.
Savai'i Car Rentals, based at the Savaiian Hotel, is reputable. Tax and insurance (S$1,000 deductible) are included but a refundable deposit of S$350 must be made. You should call ahead from Apia to reserve.
While driving through villages on Savai'i go very slowly as the local kids often use passing cars as moving targets and the rental agency will hold you responsible if a stone goes through the windshield. By going slowly your chances of seeing trouble ahead increase and you can defuse the situation by reducing your speed to dead slow. Always lock the vehicle and stow your gear in the trunk, as break-ins are not unknown.
Beware of traffic cops around Tuasivi and Salelologa who will pull you over in the hope of receiving a bribe if you don't use your turn signal, fail to stop at a crosswalk, or commit any of the other minor infractions that most Samoan motorists commit all the time with impunity.
If you don't already have a Samoan drivers license you can get one at the Department of Transport down the road beside the market. Gas stations are found at Salelologa, Vaisala, Asau, Manase, and Lalomalava.
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