Best Ways To Transport Car To Hawaii

Best Ways To Transport Car To Hawaii
What are the best shipping options to Hawaii? The two options are large carrier or RORO. The best way to ship a car to Hawaii is to drive it to a port on the West Coast and transport it by a RORO (roll-on, roll-off) ship. We’ve compiled this guide to help you decide right with other tips.

In our guide to moving to Hawaii, we discussed all things to know before moving to the great city. Today, we want to talk about an important aspect of your move – shipping your car to Hawaii.

Regardless of your location, transporting vehicles to the Hawaiian Islands is very much possible. Moving to another location involves a lot of tasks, such as setting up your utilities, changing your address with postal service, and so on, and most especially, transporting your car.

If you are planning to make a longer trip to Hawaii or want to relocate to the islands for the long term, shipping your car is a great idea when you move. With this option, getting around Hawaii will be easier.

Travel becomes much more convenient when you have your car to drive around on the islands and the cost to ship it is even cheaper than buying it new after your arrival.

The solution is to find yourself an affordable method of shipping to transport your vehicle to Hawaii. We have all your answers ready. However, before we enter deep into the discussion, let us begin with the first question you need to provide an answer to before you start the process: 

Should I Ship My Car To Hawaii?

As previously discussed in our article – Top 10 Activities To Reduce Your Moving Cost, there are many things that you may want to sell and not transport to Hawaii. This may include your car. To assist you in this important decision, we suggest you ask yourself few important questions, like:

  • How old is my car? Do you plan to use this car for years to come? If you will soon get a replacement, say a couple of years, you may want to look into selling it before you relocate to save yourself from the moving cost.
  • What should I expect on the Island I’m moving to? To make your decision, you likely will want to conduct some research on the cost of cars at your selected destination. There are major dealerships in most of the islands that sell used and new cars, and you can get access to their prices through phone calls or online.
  • What kind of vehicle will I want after my move? The car may have been the best for you in your previous state of Texas, but might not be the ideal car for you on your new Island home. What kind of driving are you planning to do? Home to work? Driving on paved roads as you head to the beach? Off-roading during weekends?

Even though the majority of the islands offer some car driving adventures, especially if you have visitation to Mauna Kea located on the Big Island on your list or if you’d prefer to hike on the Poli Poli Spring trails located in Miami, there is proper maintenance to the state’s road system, so you might not need 4WD capability for your daily drives. 

Select from Many Options of Shipping

1. Large Carrier or Small Private Boat

Shipping a car from the mainland over to the Hawaiian Islands is generally done in two ways. The first is to load it on a large cargo ship together with several other vehicles and transport it over.

The second method is the use of a reliable smaller company with a ship that transports just a few cars. The two options are perfect if you carefully choose a trustworthy company, but in general, the large ship is cost-effective.

  • Why should I ship using a Large Carrier? A large carrier ship will load your car in a protective way that prevents it from the elements and you will get a more discounted rate since a lot of other cars are traveling at the same time.

In general, you will be required to travel to California to ship your car, or you will need to schedule for your car to be shipped out to a Californian port. Driving your car to the port yourself and then shipping it from there is however affordable.

Read How Much Does It Cost To Transport A Car?

2. Roll On and Roll Off Shipping

If you choose to rent a large ship, be sure to trust a RORO ship or roll on roll off the ship if you can. This type of shipping means that your vehicle must be operational and it will be driven onto the carrier with the use of a special winch, and it will be rolled back off once the trip is completed. This is way cheaper than shipping with cranes that loads vehicles into place.

If you are looking to determine how to transport a car over to Hawaii without breaking the bank, you must handle all the driving so that you can only pay to ship your car over the ocean itself.

Ship with a large company that makes use of boats and will ship many vehicles at once. You may need enough patient when working with a larger company since they will only move out once a week to travel across the sea.

That implies that you will want to arrange your shipping date and ensure your vehicle is there in time to be transported out. Transporting a vehicle using this method is surprisingly cheaper and the best option if you want your car with you on the island. Choose a large RORO off the ship and you will so much enjoy some of the cheapest rates available.     

Read Tips to Hire the Best Shipping Services Near You

3. Hire Someone to Move Your Vehicle to a Port

Usually, the DIY option may seem cheaper, but when you consider the cost of your gas, time, hotels, and a return flight, it sometimes can be more expensive than to hire someone to transport your car to the port for you, especially if you reside in the East Coast.

Some companies will just add this service in their shipping quote to transport your car to Hawaii. Others may provide an improved a la carte method that requires you to handle this service on your part.

Make sure you clear this out with any vendors you contact. In this option, the outcome is similar: your vehicle is driven to a port city located on the West Coast and loaded onto a ship. You can schedule for it to be sent to your new house at the destination or schedule a pick-up at the port. Are there other options to ship your car to Hawaii?

Read 7 Cheapest Ways To Transport My Car Cross Country

Should I Keep My Car In My Container?

If you’ve chosen to ship a container, including your car might seem like a good decision. Even though that decision is the right one for a lot of people, there are some factors you should consider before you choose to follow that path:

  • It can affect the price of your entire move: Your vehicle needs special care when packing it into your container. It needs to be loaded into the container, which is positioned 4 feet off the ground. It must be blocked and secured to make sure it doesn’t slide around during transit. This can cause additional charges that may increase your overall prices.
  • It can also affect the price of your container move: If you add a vehicle to your container, a lot of shipping companies will charge you for it. This is because there are many hazardous materials in a car, such as gas, oil, a battery, and so on. This is why special treatment is required for a container loaded with a car. It must be loaded in a special part of the ship, and it may also attract some shipping tariffs. So, after everything, with your car, the price of your container shipping can increase.
  • It lowers the number of spaces you have for your household goods: The average length of a car is about 17 feet, bumper to bumper. If you load your car in a 40-ft container, there is only one other 20-ft of container space available for any other items you want to move. You will need to evaluate the space you have left.

What Is The Cost Of Shipping A Car To Hawaii?

Transporting a car to Hawaii from the mainland provides different options at varieties of prices. In general, the cost starts from $1,400 to $2,400. There are many factors to consider, like:

  • The type and size of the car
  • Where the car is being shipped to in Hawaii
  • Where is the car is being transported from Hawaii?
  • How soon you want to get delivery of the car

The cost will possibly be somehow expensive than transporting your vehicle in the continental United States. Just the distance can affect the costs, but other factors, like the cost of fuel and the available transport options, make a huge difference.

Your shipping location will make a huge difference. If you can go for the port-to-port shipping, the cost will be less expensive than transporting your car to the port and then to Hawaii.

If you live closer to a port in California, transporting a car to Hawaii will be less expensive than if you live in Nebraska. If you require ground transportation to the port, the price will cost more than driving the car to the port yourself.

For instance, if you are transporting a car from Santa Barbara, CA to Kauai, the shipping cost will possibly be around $1,500. However, shipping the same sedan from Boston to Honolulu will cost more than $2,350.

What Is The Duration To Ship A Car To Hawaii?

Compared to the cost of shipping a vehicle in the Continental States, it takes more time to ship a car. It involves traveling farther distance and usually requires beyond one mode of transportation.

Only fewer carriers are available unlike when shipping a car in the Continental United States, too. Based on your location of shipping arrival in Hawaii, it will take 1 – 3 weeks.

Prepare to take delivery of your car in about 8 – 12 days when shipping from Los Angeles or another port from the west coast. Many other locations in the United States will need about one other week to complete the transport process.

 It is based on the number of times it requires to transport your car from your current address to the port before being loaded and shipped to the Aloha state.

Port-to-Port shipping is fast, unlike door-to-door, port-to-door, or door-to-port shipping. Prepare to accept delivery of your car from 14 to 19 days if you are shipping from New York City, or 13 to 18 days for shipping from Chicago.      

How Do I Get My Car Prepared?

Shipping companies have some requirements to make sure your vehicle is safely transported:

  • Your gas tank must not be more than ¼ full at the time of shipping.
  • You will need to disconnect your car’s alarm system or disconnect the battery before shipment. If the alarm gets triggered while shipping the car, the battery may be drained.
  • If your car is to be loaded straight onto a ship, it must not contain any personal items.
  • You must get rid of accessories that are not bolted to the vehicle, like portable radios, bike racks, skis, and stereos, steering wheel locks, and tailgate nets.
  • If you are loading your car in your container, you can leave few personal belongings in your car. However, your movers will need much space to sit in the passenger seat and see the window clearly so they can safely drive your car in and out of the container.
  • Also, don’t forget that things can shift on the move, so it is important to clear as much as possible space to allow for safe transit of your car and belongings.

We also suggest that you make sure you have two separate sets of keys. One will travel by car and the other to remain with you. For those that love their cars, we have one more answer to your next question.


After completing thousands of moves per annum, we understand that everyone has a different situation. So, it is only natural for you to have more questions.

Contact our certified moving consultants today and we will be glad to discuss the specifics of your situation and hook you up with the car shipping solution that is perfect for you. We also can recommend the best out-of-state moving companies to get you to Hawaii.