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7 Things to Know About Auto Transport from Hawaii to Mainland


Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

According to researchers at the University of Hawaii, just over 60,000 people choose to pack up their belongings and move to one of the many mainland states. There are no figures to say how many of those people choose to take their car with them, but it’s safe to say that some of them do. More people would probably choose to ship their car along with their belongings if they realized how simple it was.

If you’re contemplating a move from Hawaii to the mainland, this post is going to give you all the necessary information. Armed with that you’ll be able to decide whether shipping a car from Hawaii to the mainland is the right thing to do.

How to transport a car from Hawaii to the mainland

If you want to know more about Hawaii car transport, a good place to start is to find out how it works. If you want to ship your car from the Aloha State to the mainland, it takes just three steps:

Step 1: Get a quote and make a booking

Your first step should be to find an auto transport company that can help transport your car from Hawaii to the mainland. Look for one you feel comfortable with and then get a few different quotes and compare prices. If you spend some time shopping around, you’ll likely get a better rate for car transport from Hawaii. 

If you’d like to know how much it costs to ship your car from Hawaii to the mainland with SGT Auto Transport, get your quote today. 

Once you’re happy with the company you’ve chosen and you like the price, it’s time to place your order. 

We have agents waiting to speak with you, so pick up the phone or use our Live Chat option.  

Step 2: Your car is picked up from the port

You make arrangements for your car to be picked up from a pre-arranged Hawaiian port. 

Step 3: Receive your car

While your car is being transported, you’ve got the time to make sure you’re ready at the final destination to receive it. As long as it is safe and legal to do so, the carrier will deliver your car as close to the location as possible. 

Hawaii ports that ship cars to the mainland

The ports most frequently used for shipping a car from Hawaii to the mainland are:

  • Hilo, Hawaii (Big Island)
  • Honolulu, Oahu
  • Kahului, Maui
  • Kawaihae, Hawaii (Big Island)
  • Nawiliwili, Kauai

Vehicles being shipped from Hawaii to the mainland usually reach one of the following West Coast port:

  • Oakland, California
  • Tacoma, Washington
  • LongBeach, California

What paperwork is needed

As well as handing over your keys and any control for your car’s alarm system to the Hawaii auto transport company, you’ll also need to provide some paperwork. The following are required when you’re shipping a car from Hawaii to the mainland:

  • The shipping order confirmation for your car
  • The booking number for the vessel that’s transporting it across the ocean
  • Your vehicle title
  • Any liens on the vehicle
  • Government ID that corresponds to the owner listed on the car’s title
  • Current registration for your car

There are occasions when it’s not always possible to drop your car off at the port yourself. In such situations, the person dropping off your car will need a power of attorney. If they don’t have this legal document, they’ll be unable to complete the process. The power of attorney letter should contain details of the vehicle. It should also be notarized. 

If there are two owners listed on the title, both owners have to be present. If that’s not possible, the owner who is not present has to give a notarized consent that the vehicle can be shipped. 

License, plates and insurance

Aside from the documentation listed above, registration, license, insurance, and plates have to be in order before you ship your car. Ideally, you should try to get the following done at least a month before you ship your car. You need to:

  • Purchase auto insurance coverage from your new mainland state and receive your insurance card
  • Undergo a vehicle inspection
  • Get your new license plates
  • Receive a new inspection sticker in the state where you plan to reside 

Reasons to ship your car from Hawaii to the mainland

There are five very good reasons why you should use auto transport from Hawaii to the mainland. Selling your car before you leave and buying, renting, or leasing a new one on the mainland is not always the best option. Ship your car and you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

  • It’s very convenient: There are lots of things to worry about when you move from Hawaii to the mainland. Ship your car with an auto transport company like SGT Auto Transport and that’s one less thing to worry about. You can fly from Hawaii to the mainland and be there to receive your car when it’s delivered. 
  • It’s very safe: Letting a professional Hawaii auto transport company ship your car is much safer than driving yourself. The company will have reliable and experienced drivers, you don’t have to worry about breakdowns, accidents, treacherous road conditions, or having to accompany your vehicle across the ocean. 
  • You save miles: No unnecessary miles are put on your vehicle, so there’s no unnecessary wear and tear. 
  • It’s often cheaper: Compare car shipping with selling your car and buying a new one and you’ll find auto transport is a more affordable option. In addition, you won’t have the expense of leasing or renting a car for a long period. 
  • You save time: When you transport your car from Hawaii to the mainland you won’t be spending weeks sailing across the ocean and then on the road. You’re also saving time on finding a new vehicle.  

Preparing your car for transporting from Hawaii

Before you send your vehicle away across the ocean, there are some things you need to do to prepare. 

The gas tank should be no more than 1/4 full. You must make sure there’s as little as possible in the gas tank because gas is a hazardous material. 

Secondly, make sure to clean your car thoroughly, both inside and outside. Also remove any personal belongings from the car.

Next, you should take out removable car components, such as GOS, antenna, bike rack, and any other gear or gadgets you’ve installed in your car.

Final step is to disable the car’s alarm. If this isn’t possible, give the auto shipper your car’s factory alarm controls when you drop your car at the port. 

How much does it cost to transport a car from Hawaii to the mainland?

There are a number of things that have to be taken into account when a Hawaii auto transport company calculates the cost of shipping a vehicle from Hawaii to the mainland. For example:

  • The distance between the locations of the pick-up and delivery
  • The type of car you want to ship and its age
  • The time of year
  • Supply and demand for your chosen route

How long does car transport from Hawaii take?

From Hawaii to the mainland is a distance of more than 2,400 miles. The time it takes for your car to cross the ocean can be between one and two weeks. Then you’ve got to factor in the time it takes for your car to be transported across mainland USA. 

Here are some examples of how long it might take:

From City/State

To City/State

Shipping time (in days)


Houston, TX



Boston, MA



New York, NY



Tampa, FL



Miami, FL



These average transit times can be affected by weather conditions, road conditions, traffic, etc.If you want to know more about shipping your car from Hawaii to the mainland, our shipping advisors are always available to help. Speak with them directly by calling (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat.

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