Hawaii car transport: Everything you need to know

Hawaii car transport: Everything you need to know


Every year, thousands of people move to Hawaii, buy a home, and begin to live their dream. Many other people also choose to move there for the winter to enjoy the sunshine in this island paradise. Moving to any new location can be challenging, but when your destination is 2,400 miles out in the Pacific Ocean it takes careful preparation and a lot of detailed planning if you want to avoid any unnecessary problems. The same applies if you’re moving in the other direction, from Hawaii to the mainland. 

One thing that will make settling in much easier is to have a car to get you around. But how do you go about getting your car to Hawaii or the mainland? In this guide you’ll find everything you need to know, including how to get your car to Hawaii or to the mainland.

What are the OPTIONS if you want to ship your car to or from Hawaii?

If you’re planning to move to Hawaii, whether it’s just for a few months to escape a cold winter or because you want a more permanent change, you’ll be able to take your vehicle with you if you book Hawaii auto transport. Having your own car is more affordable than buying a new one and far more convenient than relying on other people to drive you around or renting a vehicle. And of course, the same applies if you’re moving in the other direction, from Hawaii to the mainland. But what are the options if you want to ship a car from the mainland to Hawaii or from Hawaii to the mainland?

1. Ship to and from Hawaii with an auto transport management company

If you’re shipping your vehicle to Hawaii you have to get your vehicle to the port on the mainland. If you’re shipping your vehicle in the other direction you have to get your car from the port on the mainland to your home. 

The most obvious option is to drive yourself. This might seem like the cheapest and easiest thing to do, but there are other factors to take into consideration. You have to factor in the cost of your time, hotels, and a return flight. There’s also the additional wear and tear on your vehicle to think about.

More often than not, it’s much cheaper, faster, and easier to partner with an auto transport management company like SGT Auto Transport. You make arrangements with the company to pick your car up from your home on the mainland and deliver it directly to the port in Hawaii. All you’ve then got to do is make sure you’re available in Hawaii to collect your car from the port

If your car is being shipped from Hawaii to the mainland, you first have to get your car to the port in Hawaii. Then make sure you’re available when your car is delivered to your home. We will take care of the rest.

The pros of choosing Hawaii auto transport company

  • No wear and tear on your car;
  • It’s always the cheaper;
  • No extra miles are added to the odometer;
  • It’s completely stress-free;
  • It saves time;
  • You can ship more than one vehicle at the same time;
  • Choose enclosed auto transport and you get extra protection for valuable vehicles.

The cons of choosing Hawaii car transport company

In order to secure the best service possible, it might take a little time to find the best partner. You might also need to be flexible with your pick-up and delivery dates. Auto transport to and from Hawaii is a popular route which means the demand is high. But don’t worry! Our shipping advisors work as quickly and efficiently as possible to secure the best deal for our customers.

An auto transport management company like SGT Auto Transport can handle everything for you, from start to finish. From the mainland to Hawaii we offer a door-to-port service and from Hawaii to the mainland the service is port-to-door. Learn more about our Hawaii car transport services.

2. Make your own arrangements

The second option you have is to take care of everything yourself. That means driving it to the port on the mainland and shipping it directly with a ferry, if you want to ship your car from the mainland to Hawaii. If you’re traveling in the other direction, you’ve got to drive it to a Hawaii port and then drive it across the country when you arrive on the mainland. Whichever way you do it, that’s a lot of organisation and plenty of stress, not to mention the extra cost of accommodation, gas, food and drinks, additional insurance, and the added wear and tear on your car.

Pros and cons of driving yourself

On the plus side, you can make the journey at your own pace, stop along the way wherever you want to and experience the countryside you’re driving through. There are also going to be interesting places you can visit along the way. Another plus, if you’ve got the time to spare, is that you can enjoy a road trip with the family. 

There are, however, some disadvantages you must consider:

  • The cost can be quite high when you factor in accommodation, meals, wear and tear, and the cost of fuel;
  • Driving long distances is very dangerous;
  • Driving for long periods of time is stressful and tiring;
  • How your journey progresses depends on traffic conditions and the weather;
  • You’ve also got the stress and worry of making the arrangements yourself.

How shipping a car from Hawaii to the mainland works?

Hawaii car transport

It’s your responsibility to get the car to a port in Hawaii, whether that’s Honolulu, Hilo, Nawiliwili, Kahului, or another port. There are several things you have to take with you to the port. They include:

  • Order confirmation for your shipping service;
  • Keys or remote for the alarm if your car has one;
  • A set of keys for the car;
  • Title and current registration documentation, if you’re the owner of the car;
  • A letter of authorization or power of attorney from the lien holder if you’ve leased the car or it is financed;
  • A government-issued ID.

You can appoint someone else to drop your car at the port if you’re unavailable. They must be over 18 years of age and provide proof of power of attorney permitting shipment of the vehicle.

When your vehicle arrives on the mainland, you can pick it up from the port yourself. When you collect your car from the port, you’ll need to provide:

  • A letter from the lien holder, if the car is financed or leased
  • A copy of the current registration and title deed, if you’re the owner of the car
  • Proof of ownership
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • If the car is owned jointly with a partner or spouse, you both have to be present to collect the car, or a notarized consent from the absent owner

This all sounds very complicated, however, there is an easier option. A Hawaii car transport service is far more convenient. Your only responsibility is to get the car to the port in Hawaii and be there at the final delivery location.

How shipping a car from the mainland to Hawaii works?

The first step is to get a quote and book your order. You can use an instant online quote calculator to work out the cost, or speak directly with a customer advisor.  When you’ve found a price that you’re happy with, you make your booking and get your car ready for shipping. 

On the pre-arranged date, your car is picked up and transported. When shipping a vehicle to Hawaii, you need to provide the current title and registration, a notarized letter of authorization from any non-present part and a valid ID in order to pick up your car from the port in Hawaii. As you can see the process is much simpler than shipping a car from Hawaii to the mainland. 

What are the rules for shipping a car from and to Hawaii?

When you’re shipping a car to Hawaii or the mainland, there are rules you have to follow. 

One important example is the shipping of personal items in your vehicle. You might think you’ll be able to save a few bucks by packing the trunk full of your possessions. However, you run the risk of having to reschedule your shipment or be left stranded at the port with boxes of possessions you don’t know what to do with.

There’s also a temptation to misrepresent your vehicle or its condition in order to cut the cost. It’s not the most sensible thing to do because you could end up having to pay an unexpected premium because your car is larger or heavier than you said when booking.

How to get your vehicle ready for shipping to and from Hawaii?

Hawaii auto transport

There are a number of things you can do to get your vehicle ready for shipping. The list includes:

  • Remove all personal items: You must remove all personal items from the vehicle before shipping. The only items allowed in your car are a spare tire, a jack, jumper cables, floor mats, and infant car seats.
  • Fuel: You must run the gas tank down to a maximum of one quarter full.
  • Clean the inside and outside of the vehicle: While you’re doing this, make a note of the condition of your car. Take photographs of any dents, dings, or scratches, for future reference.
  • Check your vehicle: Your vehicle must be in an operable condition. Also check and repair any leaking fluids, the emergency brake must be operational, the windows must be intact, and the wheels move.
  • Alarms: You must disconnect all alarms.  

How much does it cost to ship my car from Hawaii to the mainland or vice versa?

An auto transport management company takes several factors into account when calculating the cost of shipping a vehicle to Hawaii or the mainland. They include:

  • The distance between the pick-up and delivery locations
  • Whether you’re shipping from a metropolitan or rural area
  • The make and model of the car and how old it is
  • Whether the vehicle is running or not
  • The time of year
  • Supply and demand for your chosen route

How long does it take to ship a car from/to Hawaii and the mainland?

2,400 miles across the ocean is a long way to travel, but you can reasonably expect your car to be crossing the ocean for a period of between one and two weeks. When you request a quote or use the online calculator you can also check the transit time. Alternatively, give us a call on (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat to speak with our shipping advisors.  

What are the most popular destinations?

There are several different ports you can choose, in Hawaii and on the mainland, depending on your location. Those on the West Coast include Long Beach, CA, Oakland, CA, San Diego, CA, and Seattle, WA and Tacoma, WA.

The most popular ports in Hawaii include:

  • Honolulu: Oahu
  • Hilo: Big Island
  • Kawaihae: Big Island
  • Kahului: Maui
  • Nawiliwili: Kauai

If you ever need to ship a car to Hawaii or the mainland, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at SGT Auto Transport. You can get an instant quote online or speak directly with our shipping advisors on (864) 546-5038. Alternatively, use our Live Chat option. 

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