Shipping a car to Hawaii

Planning a move to Hawaii? If so you are maybe wondering what to ship and what to leave behind. While shipping your car to Hawaii is not necessary (there are many new as well as used car dealers in Hawaii), it is an option. Quite a few people ship their car from the mainland USA to Hawaii because they are attached to their car or they think it is cheaper than selling their old car and then buying a new one in Hawaii. However, while there is a relatively easy and affordable way to ship personal belongings (for example via USPS, UPS or FedEx), shipping a car is a bit more pricey and requires more planning. Here is what you should know:

  • There are two options when it comes to shipping your car to Hawaii: The first one requires driving your car to a West Coast port (usually to San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Seattle) and picking up your car from your local port in Hawaii. The second option is door-to-door shipping. In other words your shipping company will arrange the transportation to a U.S. port and then deliver your car to your new home in Hawaii.
  • Determine the size of your vehicle. Larger cars may fall into the Oversized Cargo category and therefore have a higher shipping cost. The standard size dimensions are 21 feet 8 inches in length, 8 feet in width and 7 feet in height.
  • Prepare your vehicle for shipping and make sure everything is functioning correctly and the alarm system is disabled. The vehicle should be clean, have no leaks (oil, etc.) and run smoothly. Don't leave personal belongings and valuables in the car. Also don't put other items that you want to transport to Hawaii into your car. Don't fill up your tank either. It is recommended to leave your tank half empty.
  • Make sure you have all vehicle paperwork ready. Standard required documents prior to shipping are the following: your auto keys, vehicle registration, photo ID and shipping authorization from the owner.
  • Shipping a car to Hawaii generally takes three to four weeks, so keep this in mind when you are planning your move.
  • It is recommended to get shipping insurance in case of any damages that may occur to your vehicle. Ask your shipping provider for the cost, terms and how to purchase it.