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It’s a dream come true! You’re going to Hawaii! And you’re taking your car with you! True, it’s a long trip across the Pacific. You can’t very well drive there. And good luck fitting your car in an overhead compartment! It’s unlikely anyone’s going to build a 2,000-plus-mile bridge from California to Hawaii, so read more to find companies that perform car shipping to Hawaii and learn the process as well. 

Pick a Place, Then Prepare

The first step is to pick a quality transport company that can get your car to Hawaii at the port of your choosing. They’ve got a boat they can put your car on. Take everything out of your car before handing it over, such as the first aid kit, tools, spare tire windshield screen, and portable music. (If you’re a hundred) It is not fair to use your car as free transport for more baggage!

If your car is going in a cargo container, you may be able to put something else in it. Ask first, though. The car needs to be in working condition. For safety reasons, the car can hold no more than a quarter tank of gas. Get all the required documents prepared, such as title, registration, and government-issued ID. You will need a letter of authorization or power of attorney for a leased or financed car. A notarized letter is required if more than one person is on the title in order to drive the car from the port.

Getting Your Car to the Coast

If you don’t already reside on the West Coast, you might want to look for a firm that can transport your automobile door-to-door. You do not have to use the same company that will take you to Hawaii for this portion of the journey.

However, choose a reputed, fully insured provider. Determine if they utilize open or closed transportation ahead of time. You should also research pickup, delivery, and scheduling. If you’re utilizing two different firms, make sure your automobile arrives at the port in plenty of time for the ship’s departure.

How Much is this Going to Cost?

Yes, filthy lucre has reared its head. The answer to your question is going to vary. The first consideration would be how far you live from the cost to start with. If you live on the West Coast, you could’ve skipped the above paragraph, and don’t worry about that part.

Otherwise, distance is going to factor into the cost. Whether you have a classic or luxury model will also factor in. Open transport can save you money, but you might have to give your car a good scrub down when you get to Hawaii. There’s a wide range of costs, so get some quotes from different companies so that you can comparison shop. For an average sedan, the shipping costs can be anywhere from $ 2,000 to $ 8,000.

How Long Will This Take?

This depends on how far from the West Coast you were to start with. That will add travel time accordingly. If you’re all the way over on the East Coast, that could be a week of travel time, more or less. Winter weather and other unforeseen obstacles can add more time. It can take anywhere from one to three weeks to ship a car across the ocean to Hawaii. Bad weather conditions can slow things down.

Is All of This Really Worth It?

Think about your individual circumstances. If you’re just going to be a week or so in the Paradise of the Pacific, you may just want to get a rental. There’s no real reason to buy a new car when you get to Hawaii unless you were planning to do so anyway. Cars cost about as much in Hawaii as they do anywhere on the mainland. Taxes can vary, though. These fluctuate, so do some research if you’re thinking about buying a new car in Hawaii. You’re in luck if you’re in the military! The government will cover the cost of transporting one vehicle. Do some research as there are some limitations.

Important Do’s and Don’ts

DO take the time to compare quotes. This way, you won’t pay more than you should. It is a bit of an effort, but it will be well worth it.

DO perform a thorough background check on the company before choosing. The company, of course, is going to do all they can to impress you so that you’ll choose them. Ask them if they use their own carriers. If they don’t, ask what checks and safeguards are in place to ensure the reliability of the carrier and ask about the credentials of the driver(s). A reputable company won’t mind answering your questions. After that, you can go to third-party platforms to get word of mouth on how trustworthy this company is.

Don’t be penny wise, but pound foolish. You get what you pay for. Don’t make a decision merely on the price you were quoted. Someone who quotes you at a low price may be cutting costs somewhere along the way. If your car is damaged at some point along the way, you want someone who can cover the costs.

DO prepare your vehicle. Do a full maintenance check. Get the tires properly inflated, top off the fluids, check the brakes, and see that no fluids are leaking. Your gas tank should be no more than a quarter full. Remove the toll passes and disable the alarm. Clean out the interior and exterior of your car and take note of any damage.

DON’T be unavailable at the delivery or pick-up location. When the car gets dropped off, someone’s got to be there to take it. If you can’t be there, you can appoint a third-party adult to claim the car for you. Putting a lei on the hood ornament is optional.


No matter where in the lower 48 you are, Autostar Transport would be delighted to help you get your vehicle to Hawaii. Click here to contact us and make all the necessary arrangements. Now that you know what to expect, you can help us help you. A big Mahalo in advance!


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