Shipping a car to Hawaii is similar to shipping a car across the country, with a few added procedures that must be followed. Below are the exact steps needed to ship a vehicle to Hawaii.
- Choose your shipment method: Cars shipped to Hawaii are picked up at your home and transported to a port where a ship will take it to the port of arrival. This method is known as door-to-port shipping. Or, owners can drive their vehicle to the port of departure themselves. This method is known as port-to-port shipping.
- Request a quote: Contact multiple shipping brokers for free quotes. Be sure to have your vehicle information and shipping dates ready.
- Book a carrier: Pick the quote and company that best fits your needs and confirm the shipment. Once you book the carrier, the shipping process begins.
- Take out all personal belongings: Personal belongings should not be shipped inside your vehicle under most circumstances, as they add weight which can increase price, and they will not be covered by the carrier’s insurance policy.
- Wash and take pictures of your car: Cleaner cars help you take notice of all pre-existing dents, scratches, and more on your vehicle.
- Empty your tank: Cars shipped to Hawaii should have less than a quarter tank of gas.
- Get your car pre-inspected: If your car is deemed inoperable at the time of pickup, you may encounter extra fees or be completely denied an ocean shipment.
- Turn off your alarm system: All alarms must be disconnected before travel.
- Drop off vehicle: Take your car to the agreed-upon pickup location. Bring your car’s title, its vehicle registration, and photo ID when shipping a car to Hawaii. If you’re taking a vehicle back to the U.S. mainland, bring a notarized letter from your car’s lien holder or second owner if applicable.
- Sign the bill of lading: The carrier that picks your car up will do their own inspection, which will include you signing the bill of lading. The bill of lading acts as an official receipt of your shipment and as a report that you can use to file claims with if your car gets damaged during transport.
- Pick up your car: Go to the pickup location and receive your vehicle.
- Inspect your vehicle: Once you receive it, inspect your car for any damage caused during transit. If the car is damaged, you must file a claim with the carrier.
Hawaii Auto Transport Ports
There are several ports in Hawaii that cars are shipped to. These cities include:
- Kawaihae, Hawaii
- Hilo, Hawaii
- Honolulu, Oahu
- Kahului, Maui
- Nawiliwili, Kauai
- Kaunakakai, Molokai
Shipping A Car From Hawaii To The Mainland
Cars can be shipped from Hawaii to the contiguous U.S. states using the following American ports of arrival:
- Long Beach, California
- Oakland, California
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Tacoma, Washington
- New York, New York
How Long Does It Take To Ship A Car To Hawaii?
Hawaii car transport is a trickier task than shipping to most other states. Since it’s in the middle of the Pacific, most vehicles get loaded onto a boat and endure transit times of about one to three weeks to reach the Hawaiian islands.
Do You Need A Broker to Ship Your Car To Hawaii?
There are many auto transport companies out there, but not all of them ship to Hawaii–which is why it’s important to double-check a company’s services when browsing websites. You can contact cargo and freight companies directly to see if any will ship your car to the Aloha State, but most car owners go through brokers when it comes to ocean shipments.
Door To Port Shipping
Auto transport brokers tend to partner with freight companies that take care of transporting your car across international waters. For example, if you’re shipping a car from Rhode Island to Hawaii, your broker would assign a truck carrier to load your car onto a trailer and transport it across the country.
They would drive the trailer holding your vehicle all the way to a West Coast shipping port, where a different cargo company will inspect it before placing it in a container and loading onto a ship. This is often called door-to-port shipping.
It’s possible to ship your car with an air freight carrier, but this means putting it on a plane, which usually costs significantly more and isn’t worth that higher price tag.
Roll-On/Roll-Off Car Shipping
Another method commonly used is roll-on/roll-off shipping, where cars are driven directly to a West Coast port and loaded onto a ship headed to Hawaii. Once their car arrives at its destination, it is rolled off the boat with the rest of the cargo.
Many from the eastern United States opt to drive their cars to the ports in Los Angeles, Seattle/Tacoma, Oakland, and San Diego to take advantage of the West Coast’s lower shipping prices.
What You Need To Get Car Shipping Quotes To Hawaii
Most auto transport companies require you to get a free quote to start the Hawaii car shipping process. When you go online to get the instant quote, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Make, model, and age of your vehicle
- Whether your vehicle is inoperable or not
- Mainland pickup or delivery location (city, state, and ZIP code)
- Hawaiian island pickup or delivery location
- Preferred time frame for shipment
- Transport service choices (open or enclosed)
- Name and contact information
One of the broker’s representatives will contact you to finalize your vehicle shipping choices and payment methods. They will then find and assign a carrier to meet you either at a terminal or as closely as possible to your door. After a thorough inspection, the carrier will load your car onto the trailer and drive it to a West Coast mainland port.