White Car on the Hawaii coastline

How Much is It to Transport A Car to Hawaii?


Every year, hundreds of people take the plunge and move to Hawaii. How many of them take their cars with them? Probably more than you think. While it might be very tempting to leave your car behind when you move to the Aloha state, there’s a lot to be said for transporting it across the ocean. You’ll have your very own car to drive around in and won’t have the stress of trying to buy a new one when you get there.

You might be thinking it’s going to cost an arm and a leg, but it’s more affordable than you think. In this post, we’ll explore the cost of shipping a car to Hawaii and a few more things that will be useful to know if you’re moving to Hawaii sometime in the future. 

The cost to ship a car to Hawaii

When it comes to the average cost to transport a car to Hawaii, a range of different factors have to be taken into consideration. These include the following:

  • The type of car you want to transport to Hawaii
  • The distance between the pick-up and delivery location on the coast
  • Whether you’re shipping your car from a rural or metropolitan location
  • What type of transport service you choose
  • The time of year
  • How popular your chosen route is

How to ship a car to Hawaii

If you want to transport a car to Hawaii you’ll be pleased to learn that it’s a very straightforward process. If you choose SGT Auto Transport for your Hawaii car shipping, all it takes is three steps.

Step 1: Get your quote and book your order

Your first step is to get your quote using our instant quote calculator

If you want to know the cost to transport your car to Hawaii get your quote today

All you’ve got to do is input a few basic details, such as:

  • Pick-up and delivery locations
  • Whether you want open car transport or enclosed auto transport
  • The year, make, and model of the car you want to ship to Hawaii
  • First available pick-up date

You’ll also be asked whether your car is running or not. However, it’s not possible to ship an inoperable vehicle to Hawaii.

You do have another option if you don’t want to use our online quote calculator. You can speak directly with one of our shipping advisors by telephone or via Live Chat.

Once you’ve received your quote, you should check if all the information is correct. If you’re happy with the price, go right ahead and book your Hawaii car shipping service.   

Step 2: We pick up your vehicle

You will be contacted by your carrier shortly before the pre-arranged pick-up date. They’ll schedule a time and convenient location. 

When the carrier arrives, you’ll inspect your vehicle along with the driver and note its condition on the Bill of Lading. The driver will give you a copy of this important document. Keep it safe because you’ll need to take it with you when you collect your vehicle from the port in Hawaii. 

Step 3: You collect your vehicle

We will contact you and so will the port to let you know that your vehicle is ready to be collected. This is just a courtesy call to confirm that you’re available to collect it. 

When you arrive at the port to collect your vehicle, make sure you inspect it very carefully. The Bill of Lading can be used for comparison. If everything is in order, sign the Bill of Lading to receive the car and drive it away.    

Is car transport to Hawaii worth it?

If you’re wondering whether transporting your car to Hawaii is worth it, let's take a quick look at the benefits.

Competitive rates and discounts

You can expect to pay very competitive rates when you ship your car to Hawaii with a top auto transport company. 

There are also likely to be some very attractive discounts, particularly if you’re a snowbird who spends the winter in Hawaii. Military personnel, both active and retired may also be eligible for discounts. 

Reliable and professional service

Choose the best Hawaii car shipping company and you’ll be working with fully vetted carriers that have passed various background checks. You can be certain your car will be shipped safely and securely. 

The carrier will use the right equipment and treat your car with the respect and care it deserves. You can be confident your shipment will arrive on time and you’ll enjoy an auto transport service that’s smooth and hassle-free. 

Saves time

If you’re thinking about driving your car to Hawaii, don’t forget to take into account the time it will take you to drive across the United States. Then you’ve got to add on the time it takes for the ocean part of the journey, which could be as long as two weeks.

Have you got several weeks to spare? If you leave the transporting of your car to a Hawaii auto transport company, you could be enjoying the sunshine on the island in just a few hours because you’ll be able to fly there, 

Saves money

Driving your car such a long distance can work out to be very expensive. As well as the cost of gas, you’ve also got to pay for accommodation, food, and drinks. In addition, you’ve got to take into account the unnecessary wear and tear on your car.

If you’re wondering whether it’s worth buying a new car in Hawaii instead, remember you can expect to pay more than you’re used to paying on the mainland.  

Less planning and stress

Choose to ship your car to Hawaii and the auto transport company will take care of all the arrangements.

Here at SGT Auto Transport, for example, we’ll make all the arrangements on your behalf from your first communication with our shipping advisors to the final delivery of your car. We’ll walk you through the process, check on the progress of your shipment, and our trusted carriers will transport your car safely. 

It’s a very safe and convenient option

Shipping a car to Hawaii is a much safer and more convenient option than driving it all the way there. You’ll struggle to find a safer way to move your car from point A to point B. 

As soon as the carrier has picked up your car, all that’s left for you to worry about is finalizing the arrangements for your relocation to Hawaii and making sure you’re there at the port to accept delivery of your car. 

The service is door to port

When the carrier picks up your vehicle on the mainland they will get as close as possible to your front door. Your car will be delivered to a port in Hawaii that’s closest to your final destination. 

Your vehicle is protected

If you were to drive your vehicle between your mainland home and Hawaii it involves a journey of thousands of miles. For your car, this means considerable wear and tear on the engine and other parts such as the suspension and tires. 

All that additional mileage reduces the eventual resale value of your car and also means additional repair and maintenance costs. Ship your car to Hawaii and you’ll avoid all those costs. 

You can ship more than one vehicle

According to the latest information, more than half of American households own more than one vehicle. When it comes to shipping your vehicles, it’s possible to include more than one car in the shipment. 

How long does it take to transport a car to Hawaii?

Between the West Coast of the United States and Hawaii, there are around 2,400 miles of ocean. Crossing such a vast expanse of water can take up to two weeks. Then you’ve got to add into the timeline the time it takes to ship your car from your US home to a port on the west coast. 

Auto transport drivers can cover around 500 miles in one day, plus there are several other factors to consider when determining the timeline. For example:

  • Distance: The greater the distance, the longer it takes to transport your car.
  • Location: Pick-up locations that are in or near metropolitan areas or along major interstate highways tend to make it easier and quicker for the carrier to collect your car.
  • Issues on route: Detours, heavy traffic, and road construction will hamper the driver's progress.
  • Weather conditions: Weather conditions along the route can impact the speed at which a carrier transports your vehicle. Ice, snow, hail, thunderstorms, tornados, and hurricanes all affect the traffic flow.  

How to prepare your car for shipping

Once you’ve booked your Hawaii car shipping service, there are some things you can do to get your vehicle ready for shipping.

  • Carefully clean the inside and outside of your car. It means it’ll be ready to drive straight away as soon as you collect it from the port. You’ll also be able to check the condition of your vehicle.
  • Photograph and document any damage: You’ll be able to use the information for comparison when it’s delivered. 
  • Perform some basic maintenance such as checking the tires are correctly inflated, the battery is fully charged, and the fluids are topped up.
  • Secure or remove any removable parts. This might include after-market DVD or video players, custom stereos, car chargers, and your GPS.
  • Deactivate parking passes, toll tags, and the alarm system. 
  • Run the gas tank down to a maximum of one-quarter full. 

What you need to do when your car gets to Hawaii

When your car arrives in Hawaii there are several things you need to do. 

Register your vehicle through the Hawaii Department of Transportation

All vehicles arriving in Hawaii must be registered through the Hawaii Department of Transportation within 30 days of arrival. The process is a little different than on the mainland. Before you can start the registration process, you must obtain a safety inspection certificate. 

To complete the registration, you’ll have to provide the following as well:

  • Completed application for registration of the motor vehicle
  • Recent out-of-state certificate of vehicle registration
  • Out-of-state title
  • Bill of lading or shipping receipt
  • Vehicle’s weight, as provided by the manufacturer
  • A motor vehicle use tax certification form
  • Registration  fees

If you’re not staying long enough to register your car, you can apply for an out-of-state permit. This must also be completed within 30 days of arrival. For an out-of-state permit, you must provide the following:

  • Current registration card
  • Vehicle inspection certificate
  • Out-of-state vehicle permit application
  • Bill of lading or shipping receipt
  • $5 for the permit fee

Counties in Hawaii have slightly different registration processes. It can also differ depending on whether you’re moving from one county to another, purchasing a vehicle from a private seller, or buying the vehicle from a dealership.  

Licensing requirements

The minimum (fully licensed) driving age in Hawaii is 17 years old. Hawaii has a three-stage graduated licensing program for drivers under the age of 18. There is the initial Instructional Permit phase, which is valid for 12 months. After which there is the Provisional Licence stage, followed by the Full Driver’s Licence.

You can drive in Hawaii using an International Driver’s Licence, but it depends on the type of foreign driver’s license you have.

Learn some of the basic rules of the road

Before you head out on the highway in Hawaii, it might pay to learn a few of the basic rules you need to follow.

  • Hawaii’s speed limits and traffic rules are strictly enforced. The basic speed limit rule for the islands is that you have to drive reasonably and prudently, depending on the traffic and weather conditions. Hawaii has the lowest maximum speed limit of any state in the US. 
  • Signs are posted and easily visible across the islands.
  • You must wear seat belts at all times in private vehicles.
  • You must signal 100 feet before making a turn or stopping.
  • A right turn on a red light after stopping is permitted unless indicated otherwise.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way at any intersection.
  • Hawaii law requires the use of hands-free devices when talking on a cell phone while driving.
  • GPS or mapping services are permitted.
  • All children have to wear seat belts, with those weighing less than 50 pounds secured in a child safety or booster seat.
  • If you find yourself driving too far below the minimum speed limit, you must pull over and let the traffic pass.
  • By driving a Hawaii vehicle, you have legally consented to blood, urine, or breath tests for alcohol.

Now you know a little bit more about the cost to transport a car to Hawaii and a few other important things, you might be ready to get in touch and make your booking. You can speak with our shipping advisors directly by calling (864) 546-5038 or by using Live Chat.   

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