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How Long to Ship a Car From California to Hawaii?


When you need to ship a car from California to Hawaii one of the questions you’ll want to ask is how long it takes. Knowing that shipping a car from California to Hawaii takes a certain amount of time means you’ll be able to make plans around the schedule. For example, you’ll need to be present in Hawaii to accept delivery of your car at the port. In addition, you’ll need to be available to release your car into the care of a carrier at the start of its journey.

In this post, you’ll find the answer along with some other important information for anyone wanting to ship a car from California to Hawaii. 

How long to ship a car from California to Hawaii? 

Let’s start with one of the most common questions when it comes to Hawaii car transport. The answer is the same whether you’re shipping a car from Maui to California or shipping a car from California to Hawaii.

Also known as “The Golden State,” California is located along the Pacific coast of the United States. To the north, it’s bordered by Oregon, to the south by Mexico, and by Arizona and Nevada to the West. 

Hawaii is located in the central Pacific Ocean and comprises an archipelago of islands. The main islands are Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Nihau, and Kahoolawe. The Hawaiian islands are located some 2,000 miles southwest of the US mainland, which is one heck of a distance to travel if you want to ship your car.

Before we answer the question, there are some things to explain.

Drive times have to be considered

You’ve got to remember to factor in the time it takes to get to one of the California ports that are used for shipping private vehicles. For example, if you live somewhere like Seattle, it could take a week to get your vehicle to the port. It might take a little longer if you live in a northeastern state such as New York. 

When you talk to a shipping company, make sure to ask about the transit time to the port as well as how long the total shipping time is. The times are only ever going to be an estimate because many things can affect the car shipping time frame. Nevertheless, the estimate is generally a very accurate and reliable one. 

Consider where in Hawaii you want your vehicle shipped

The time it takes to ship your car to Hawaii is also going to vary depending on which part of Hawaii you want your vehicle shipped to. 

Transport from San Diego to Honolulu takes, on average, around 5-7 days from start to finish. If your car is going to Kahului, you can add a day to that time frame. If Hilo is the final destination, it could take up to 2 weeks from port to port. 

It’s important to factor in the area in Hawaii that your vehicle is being shipped to because it makes a massive difference. 

Ask for a quote

Now’s the time to get in touch with an auto transport company like SGT Auto Transport because they’ll be able to give you an accurate time frame. Ask the shipping advisor you speak with to give you a specific date if possible. If it’s not possible, ask for an approximation so you’ve got an idea of how long you’ll have to wait. 

Get in touch with SGT Auto Transport for your personalized quote

Factor in extra time

Once you’ve got your quote, it’s a good idea to add in a few additional days just to be on the same side, especially if it’s important that you get your vehicle on a certain day.

Try to arrange for your vehicle to be shipped a few days or even a week sooner than you need it. This will ensure it arrives on time and you’ll be able to get to the port in Hawaii to collect your car as soon as it arrives.

Things that can affect the shipping time

Some variables can affect the time it takes to ship your car from California to Hawaii. They include:

  • Distance: How long it takes a carrier to ship your car from your home to a port on the Pacific coast depends on the distance between the pick-up location and the port. The longer the distance, the more time it takes an auto transport carrier to deliver the car to the port. 
  • Pick-up location: A pick-up location in a metropolitan area is easier to access by the car shipping company compared to a more rural location. If the carrier only has to drive along main highways and interstates, it will take less time for them to transport your car to the port. 
  • Season: The peak season for car shipping companies is May to September. During this time, transit times are shorter because there are more car transport trucks to fulfill the orders. 
  • Weather: Rain, snow, thunderstorms, and strong winds can increase transit times and lead to delays. Because safety is a priority, auto transport drivers are forced to drive slower when the weather is severe. 
  • Road conditions: Road conditions are a very unpredictable factor. Roads can be closed with little warning because of construction work, traffic jams, and driving accidents. 
  • Extra stops: An average car transporter can transport up to 9 vehicles at the same time. What this means is that the driver may have to make several stops along the way, which in turn leads to an increase in the car shipping time.  
  • Driver’s hours: Driving regulations set by the Department of Transport mandate that truck drivers must rest for a certain amount of time before continuing their car shipping journey. 
  • Method of transportation: One of the fastest ways to ship a car across the country is using an open car carrier. They’ll likely have to make stops along the way, but it’s the most common auto transportation method so you should be able to book one much faster.  

You’ll find an approximation of average transit times in the table below:

Distance (from your home to a port on the East Coast)Average transit time (calendar days)
0-200 miles1-2 days
200-00 miles2-4 days
600-1000 miles3-5 days
1000-1500 miles4-6 days
1500-2000 miles5-7 days
2000-2400 miles6-8 days
2000+ miles7-9 days


Now you know how long car shipping takes, on average, it’s time to get in touch with our shipping advisors, request a quote, and book your Hawaii car shipping service. 

Call (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option.

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