A Guide to Minimizing the Cost of Shipping a Car to Hawaii

If you plan to move to Hawaii, you will need a vehicle to get around the islands, whether it’s only for a short period or long-term. However, shipping your car to Hawaii can be costly, especially if you’re from a distant state. With that said, in this article, you’ll learn more about

A short trip or a long stay?

Before deciding, you first need to decide whether you will stay a short while in Hawaii or be there for the long haul. If your stay in Hawaii will be short, it may be less costly and better to rent a car during your stay.

However, if you will be in Hawaii for a long time, it may be better to ship your car to the islands with the help of a Hawaii car shipping company.

Alternatively, you could even think of leasing a car on the islands. Aside from this, you can also check out this checklist when you decide to move to Hawaii.


What does shipping a car to Hawaii entail?

If you decide to ship your car to Hawaii, doing so would entail the following steps:

1. Getting quotes from shipping companies

First, do a bit of research to find out which car shipping companies ship vehicles to Hawaii. You can get information about them and ask them for a quote. However, make sure you collect the essential details.

These include things like the ports from where you can ship and where it will be delivered, whether or not they have door-to-door or port-to-port services, the delivery times, the approximate costs, documentation required, and any other relevant details.

2. Select a shipping agent and set a shipping date

Once you have zeroed in on a shipping company, you can now set up the shipping date and other details.

3. Clean and prep your vehicle

Once you have the date set, the next step is to clean your car and remove any material not part of the car. In this case, make sure to empty your car and prepare it for shipping.

Moreover, prepare the necessary paperwork so that you won’t experience issues regarding the documentation when shipping your car.

These include copies of the registration, ID, title, and authorization letters from the lien holder if your car is leased or financed, as well as the co-owner of the vehicle if they cannot be present when handing the car over.

Additionally, make sure your car batteries are recharged, the vehicle is serviced, and the gas tank is just about a quarter full. Lastly, have two keys handy, one for you and one for the shipping company, just in case one gets lost.

4. Hand over your vehicle for shipping

Next, you need to hand your vehicle to the shipping company with the necessary documentation and the car keys. In this case, the shipping company may have only port-to-port shipping or door-to-door shipping.

You will have to drop off your car at the port before shipping and pick it up when delivered in port-to-port shipping.

In contrast, with door-to-door shipping, the shipping company will pick up your car from your home or office and drop it at your home or office when it gets to Hawaii. Door-to-door shipping will cost more.

5. Receive your vehicle in Hawaii

Lastly, you may have to pick up your vehicle or have it delivered to your door when it reaches Hawaii.


Minimizing shipping costs

Now that you know what to expect when shipping a car, let us look at ways to minimize the shipping cost.

First, decide if you need to ship your car to Hawaii.  If you are there for a short period, it may be more affordable to lease or rent a vehicle in Hawaii. Moreover, suppose you have an old vehicle. In that case, it may be better to sell the old vehicle and buy or lease a new vehicle in Hawaii.

However, keep in mind that vehicles cost a bit more in Hawaii than on the mainland. With that said, considering all of this, if you still feel you need to ship, then check the following few tips to save money.

  • Instead of choosing door-to-door shipping, it’s best to select port-to-port shipping. With port-to-port shipping, you will have to deliver your car to the port and arrange to pick it up at the port in Hawaii. On the other hand, choosing port-to-port shipping will save you quite a bit of money.
  • If the port from where you will ship your vehicle is too far away for you to drive your car there, you could still save some money by getting someone to drive your car to the port. Alternatively, you could use an overland shipper to take your car to the port.
  • If you choose an overland shipper to deliver your vehicle to the starting port, you could save money by selecting open transport rather than closed transport. However, keep in mind that open transport exposes your vehicle to the elements and dust.
  • Another way to minimize shipping costs is by being flexible with your delivery dates. If you are keen on a particular date, that may cost more. It could be less costly to be flexible with your delivery dates, and you may get discounts or better rates.
  • Moreover, if possible, try shipping in the “off-season” or during the slow time in the shipping industry. That way, you get better shipping rates.
  • Another way to minimize costs is to select a company with a larger transport ship compared to one with a smaller vessel. Since more vehicles are being carried across on bigger vessels, the rates are better than with smaller vessels since only a few vehicles are transported.



With that said, hopefully, some of these tips are useful and will help you save on costs while shipping a car to Hawaii. Enjoy your stay on the lovely islands.


Wise Business Plans

32 Blog posts