Hi! Have you ever thought about shipping to Hawaii? If not, This guide will enlighten you. HI car transport is one of the most popular shipping requests we get from our customers.
Here we will discuss:
- Why do people ship their cars to HI?
- How does Hawaii car transportation work?
- How to prepare the vehicle for the shipment?
- How much does it cost to ship the car to or from Hawaii?
- What do I need to set up the shipment to the Aloha state?
- Hawaii car shipping companies.
HI Car Shipping Reasons
Moving to the Aloha State may seem like a pipe dream to a lot of people but those who finally make up their minds to relocate to Hawaii never want to move back. Leaving freezing cold temperatures behind to live in a sunny oceanside with mountains covered in green all year round is just mesmerizing.
Hawaii is among the most diverse states in the country, with the only Asian American demographic majority in the country. It has almost 1.5 million residents, which makes it the 11th-least populous but at the same time the 13th-most densely populated state.
There are eight main Hawaiian Islands, but only seven are permanently inhabited and one of them is privately managed and access to it is restricted to those who have permission from the island’s owners.
The state capital and largest city is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu. Settled by Polynesians, Hawaii was an independent nation until 1898, when it was annexed by the United States and only in 1959 Hawaii joined the union as a state.
The cost of living in Hawaii, especially on the island of Oahu and the capital city, is rather high in comparison to most large US metropolitan areas. It’s the 11th-highest in the country but these numbers do not take into consideration shipping fees or the cost of flights to the mainland or traveling between the Hawaiian Islands. Despite all this, people are dreaming about moving to the Paradise of the Pacific.
How does Hawaii car transportation work?
The first thing one should know when shipping the vehicle to Hawaii is that there are only 4 port terminals where the vehicle can be accepted for further transportation to the Aloha State. They are located in Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego in California and Seattle in Washington state. Depending on the type of vehicle, there may be some restrictions: for example, motorcycles and inoperable cars can only be shipped from the terminal in San Diego.
Second, to get your car shipped to HI first of all you need to decide whether you need to ship it or drive it to the port. If you are living in the abovementioned metropolitan areas (Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle) dropping off your vehicle at the port is not difficult. But when the vehicle is located far away from the port, for example in northern California or in another state you need to hire a car shipping service. The same thing applies to people who are living in HI and want to buy a car from an auction or dealership on the mainland.
In situations like these, your transportation company will schedule a driver to transport your vehicle from your exact pickup address to the port where it will be loaded on the ship and properly secured with lashings so it will not move during the transportation. Usually, transit time is around 15-20 days from port to port*.
After your vehicle is delivered to the terminal in Hawaii, you will receive a notification that it can be picked up. If you are not able to pick it up right away, the shipping company will store it for free for a few days (or we can also schedule a driver who can deliver it to your exact address in Hawaii). Depending on the shipping company, free storage time may vary from 2 to 5 days after which fees will be applied.
* if the vehicle needs to be shipped to the terminal add 3 days for routes of 1000-1300 mi, 5 days for routes of 1800-2000 mi, and 7-9 days for routes from coast to coast (2700-3100 mi). You can also check this article to get more information on cross country shipping.
How to prepare the vehicle for the shipment?
Probably the first and most common question we receive when shipping the car to or from Hawaii is whether it’s possible to ship any items in the vehicle. Unfortunately, we have to warn you that: ALL PERSONAL ITEMS MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE VEHICLE BEFOREHAND. Even such small things as tools, CD players, car covers, or remote control are not allowed. The only exception is the item that is permanently installed or mounted to the vehicle, for example, a spare tire and jack, spoilers, or an infant car seat.
Before you drop off the car at the port or the driver takes the responsibility to transport it to the port terminal you should also make sure that:
– the vehicle is thoroughly washed and cleaned (interior and exterior). The shipping company will inspect your vehicle for external damage and note it down in the Bill of Lading. If the vehicle is dirty they cannot do the inspection and the vehicle will not be accepted at the port location.
– the vehicle has no more than 1/4 and no less than 1/8 tank of fuel. If it’s an electric car it must be fully charged when delivered to the terminal.
– you disconnect any after-market alarm system prior to shipping since the shipping company accepts no liability for mechanical or electronic issues as a result of non-compliance.
Important! If you are planning to drop off the vehicle at the terminal by yourself make sure you have a face mask (gloves are also recommended). Otherwise, you will not be allowed to access the location. We also recommend you to wear a mask and gloves when releasing the vehicle to the driver if the car needs to be shipped to the terminal.
How much does it cost to ship the car to or from Hawaii and what is included in the quote?
The cost of shipping a vehicle to or from Hawaii consists of two parts: shipping cost from your state to the port and from the port to HI. The shipping price from HI to the port (or from port to HI) depends on the island and the type of the vehicle, and it’s quite stable, but the price to transport your vehicle to the port depends on a bunch of different factors, and only the shipping agent can provide you with the exact shipping price.
Though to help you calculate the average price we have made this table with the average car shipping price. All you need to do is:
- Google the distance from your state to the port and multiply it by the price per mile using the first table below.
- Add the shipping by sea price by using the second table below.
The payment for the port to port transportation is required in full before the shipping day. If you need additional transportation services (from your exact location to port or vice versa), payment is collected at the pick up if the vehicle is going from your address to the port or at the delivery if it’s going from the port to your house.
Below you can see a table with the list of average Hawaii car shipping prices*:
* If you are military active we can provide you with a discount of at least $100.
** If you are planning to ship an oversized (more than 260″ in length, 96″ in width, and 84″ in height) or modified vehicle (uplifted or oversized tires, roof rack, roll bar with lights) the total price will depend on the exact dimensions of your vehicle. You can contact us directly and we will provide you with a quote.
IMPORTANT! If you are shipping an inoperable vehicle from the mainland to Hawaii, you have to add $250 to the price in the table above and the only terminal that accepts inoperable vehicles in San Diego. In addition, to move them to or from the port you will need additional transport services. You can get your estimate for the whole transportation here.
What do I need to set up the shipment?
To book your place for the shipment from the mainland to Hawaii/ Hawaii to the mainland we need:
– Your full name (and the name of the person who will be receiving the vehicle on the other end unless it’s you);
– Your email address;
– Year, make and model of the vehicle;
– Vehicle color;
– VIN Number;
– License Plate Number (if available).
If you are shipping your car from auction you need some additional info, check it in this guide. To confirm the booking you will have to review and sign the paperwork that you will receive in your email.
Hawaii car shipping companies
There are a bunch of companies shipping the vehicles to or from Hawaii. We would recommend only the top 3 of them: Pasha Hawaii, Hawaii Car Transport, and Matson.
Pasha Hawaii offers specialized vehicles, containers, and oversize cargo transport between the Mainland and the Hawaiian Islands. Their schedule and services are so far the best one since it’s the only company that ships any kind of vehicle to all inhabited islands of the Aloha State. The mainland terminals of Pasha Hawaii are located in Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
Lately, Pasha Hawaii updated their website and added a new function of online tracking. For that, you only need to open the website, enter your booking number and within a moment you will get the latest update on the location of your shipment and estimated dates when your vehicle can be picked up at the port terminal.
Hawaii Car Transport is another popular company shipping all kinds of vehicles to and from 5 terminals on 4 Hawaiian Islands: Honolulu, Hilo, Kahului, Kona, and Nawiliwili. Their weekly sailings can accommodate any schedule. This company also offers online tracking. You will need to have your email and the booking number to get the latest status of your shipment. And if you are planning to ship an old or exotic car the company offers you extended insurance coverage.
Matson shipping company was founded in 1882 which makes it the oldest shipping company on this list. Besides Hawaii, it also offers transportation to Alaska, Micronesia, Guam, Japan, and China. As well as Hawaii Car Transport, Matson offers transportation services only to 4 inhabited Hawaiian Islands. On the other hand, they have a terminal location in Tacoma, WA besides those in California.
If you want to move your vehicle within the Hawaiian Islands, you may need some help from the local shipping company called Young Brothers Hawaii. The company has been in business for over one hundred years and they work with most of the Hawaiian ports and set sail at least twice a week plus most trips are overnight.
All in all, when planning to move to or from Hawaii especially if you need additional cross-country shipping to your home address, you will have to check and negotiate a lot of things: reserve shipping to/from Hawaii, find a carrier for your exact time frame and check their insurance. And of course, have a plan B if something goes wrong. All these will take a lot of time and you will need so much patience. But if you decide to go with our company, our experienced shipping agents will be happy to assist you and schedule everything for you. You can get your instant Hawaii car shipping quote here.
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