Car Shipping To And From Hawaii: Tips And Costs (2023)

Of course, if you’re considering a move from the continental United States to Hawaii, you can’t just drive to your new address. You will likely need to rely on an auto shipping company to safely transport your vehicle from the US mainland to a port on one of the Hawaiian Islands.

In this article, we at Guides Auto Team examine the typical costs and transit times associated with shipping a car to Hawaii. We have also researched and ranked the overall best auto shipping companies that can ship your vehicle to or from the Aloha State.

How to ship a car to Hawaii

The first step in car shipping to Hawaii is to consider which is the best car shipping company. Although many carriers serve the Aloha State, availability is often more limited than for mainland US broadcasts. The easiest way to find your best option is to get free quotes from different companies online.

After you have compared car transport quotes online and found the right provider, it is time to start vehicle transport. Here are the basic steps to follow after booking your car shipping appointment:

Prepare your car: remove as many personal items as possible to reduce the weight of your vehicle during transport. You must also turn off the car’s alarm system and leave no more than a quarter of a tank of gas. Gather Important Documents: You will need a photo ID, car title and vehicle registration documents in order for your car to be shipped from a port. If your car is financed or leased, you must also provide a notarized letter from your lien holder authorizing your Hawaii car shipping. Drop off your car: Bring your vehicle to the designated pickup location, whether it’s a port, shipping terminal, or the street in front of your home. Inspect the car for pre-existing damage with a representative from your Hawaii auto shipping company. Vehicle Pickup: The final step in Hawaii car shipping is to pick up your vehicle from its destination port on the islands or mainland. Inspect your vehicle again for damage, sign a bill of lading, and pay the balance of the shipment.

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The major ports for auto shipping in the Hawaiian Islands are Honolulu on Oahu, Kahului on Maui, Nawiliwili on Kauai, and Hilo and Kawaihae on the Big Island – the island of Hawaii. Shipping a car to Oahu could cost less than other Hawaiian ports due to more traffic on the state’s most populous island.

How long does car shipping to Hawaii take?

Shipping vehicles from ports on the mainland to one of the Hawaiian Islands takes longer than shipments within the Lower 48. This is because cars shipped to Hawaii must be loaded onto a ship to cross the Pacific Ocean . The entire process can take anywhere from one to three weeks, with times being longer if you are shipping to or from the east coast or inland.

Hawaii car shipping from the east coast

Those on the east coast often drive their cars across the country to ports like Long Beach, Oakland, and Seattle/Tacoma to make car transportation to Hawaii both easier and cheaper. Roll-on/roll-off (RORO) shipping, where cars are loaded onto a ramped cargo ship and then unloaded with other cargo at the destination port, is a relatively simple and affordable transportation service.

Convenient door-to-door service is not available with RORO shipping as you need to drive to a port to drop off and pick up your vehicle. However, it is a no-hassle car shipping option that usually results in the lowest prices for car shipping to Hawaii.

Car transportation from Hawaii to the mainland

The transport routes go in both directions when shipping cars to Hawaii. Drivers from the Aloha State heading to the mainland can easily ship their cars to West Coast ports in California, Alaska and Washington State. Shipping to the East Coast or Midwest is a far more expensive and time-consuming process, but it can still be done.

Average car shipping cost for Hawaii

Our research shows that transporting a car to or from Hawaii typically costs between $1,500 and $3,500. We’ve solicited quotes from Montway Auto Transport, our premier provider of cheap car transport, to get a clearer picture of how much you’re going to pay. These car shipping cost estimates are for transporting a 2020 Honda Accord in working condition with an open transport.

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Cost Factors for Auto Shipping to Hawaii

Car shipping prices to Hawaii vary based on the following factors:

Season: The summer months and January see the highest auto shipping rates. Shipping Distance: All auto shipping for Hawaii vehicles is long-distance transportation, which often comes with lower per-mile rates but higher overall costs than short-haul routes. Delivery Method: When it comes to car shipping to Hawaii, port-to-port transportation is cheaper than delivery to a private address at either end. Mode of transport: Transporting your car in a closed van offers more protection than an open transport, but it is also more expensive. Vehicle Size: Sedans, other small cars, and motorcycles ship to Hawaii cheaper than trucks and large SUVs. Vehicle functionality: Shipping a non-functional vehicle involves more loading and unloading and is therefore more expensive than transporting a roadworthy car. Fuel Price: Higher gasoline prices result in a higher overall cost of car shipping to Hawaii.

Auto Shipping for Hawaii: Conclusion

Shipping a vehicle to or from the Hawaiian Islands does not have to be an overly expensive or arduous process. However, remember that patience is required as transit times can be lengthy depending on the departure and destination cities.

Recommended car shipping companies in Hawaii

Not all auto shippers offer auto shipping to Hawaii, but most top-rated companies do. Montway Auto Transport and SGT Auto Transport are two providers we recommend when exploring auto transportation services for the Aloha State.

Montway Auto Transport: Editor’s Choice

We give Montway Auto Transport a 9.3 out of 10.0 star rating for its competitive rates, easy booking process and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company uses a network of over 15,000 verified carriers to connect car owners with the lowest rates. Montway Auto Transport also offers active military discounts, as well as savings for returning customers and those paying cash.

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In our October 2021 survey of 1,000 auto transport customers, 236 respondents had their vehicles shipped by Montway Auto Transport. When asked about their experiences, 75% of these customers said they were very satisfied, while no other provider even reached 50%.

Read more: Montway Auto Transport Review

SGT Auto Transport: Price Guarantee

SGT Auto Transport’s price-match guarantee is strongly reflected in the rating of 9.2 out of 10.0 stars. If you submit a competitor’s written offer that is lower than SGT Auto Transport’s offer, the company will match it. SGT also offers guaranteed collection dates and an easy-to-use online instant quote form, making it a hassle-free and efficient provider.

Our methodology

Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we have developed a comprehensive rating system to formulate our ranking of the best car transport companies. We collected data on dozens of auto transport providers to rank the companies based on a variety of ranking factors. The end result was an overall rating for each vendor, with the companies with the most points topping the list.

Here are the factors our reviews take into account:

Cost: Auto transport companies with affordable rates, fixed prices, and discount opportunities scored the highest in this category. Services: Companies that offer a variety of auto transportation options, strong insurance coverage, and additional benefits are more likely to meet consumer needs. Customer Experience: This score is based on customer satisfaction ratings and the availability of extras like GPS tracking. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each carrier’s customer service team based on our own buyer analysis. Reputation: Our research team considered availability, industry expert reviews, and years in business to assign this rating.

Our references:

Over 150 hours of research 20 companies evaluated Over 2,000 consumers surveyed

*Data correct at time of publication.