Auto shipping to and from Hawaii takes some planning. Hawaii is about 2,500 miles off the coast of the mainland U.S., which is about the distance from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco (as the crow flies).
Simply shipping your car from a port on the West Coast is the easiest and quickest way, but if you live across the country, shipping a car to or from Hawaii can become a little more complicated. In this guide, we’ll break it all down.
We’ve reviewed the best car shipping companies, and many of them offer car transport services to and from Hawaii. To start the quotes process and compare prices from our top recommended auto transporters, click above.
What to Expect When Shipping a Car to or from Hawaii
Shipping a car to or from Hawaii involves an ocean journey between ports on the West Coast and ports in Hawaii. Here are the main West Coast ports for auto shipping to and from Hawaii:
- Alaska: Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Anchorage, Fairbanks
- Washington: Seattle, Tacoma
- California: Oakland, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco
When your vehicle gets to Hawaii, it will first arrive at the Honolulu port on the island of Oahu. You can then have it delivered by barge to the ports of Nawiliwili (on Kauai), Kahului (on Maui), and Hilo (on the Big Island). Because of this, auto shipping to Hawaii is quickest when the destination is Oahu.
For auto shipping from Hawaii to the mainland, the USDA will conduct a thorough inspection of your vehicle. Only the owner can ship the vehicle. You need to provide a copy of the title and registration with the vehicle, and you need to provide a photo ID and proof of ownership. Also, if your car isn’t clean (inside and out), it may fail the USDA inspection, and you’ll have to pay for the shipping company to wash and clean it.
For transit times between major port cities, you can expect Hawaii car shipping to take anywhere from 10 to 15 days. It can take up to 30 days in total for shipments to other Hawaiian islands or inland cities in the contiguous U.S.
Cost of Shipping to and from Hawaii
Car shipping costs depend on things like the type of service and total distance. For example, if you live in Texas, the trip will require land-based auto shipping to California and then an ocean shipment to Hawaii. There two main ways to ship a car to and from Hawaii:
- Port-to-port: This is the cheapest option. If you live near a port in the U.S. and can drop off your car there, you’ll just pay for the ocean voyage.
- Door-to-port: With this service, the company will pick your car up on the mainland from your door and then deliver it to a port in Hawaii. Going the opposite way, you’ll drop your car off at a port in Hawaii and it will be delivered to your door on the mainland.
Since most car shipping services go to Honolulu on the island of Oahu first, it will be more expensive to ship your vehicle to another island. Also, shipping a car from Hawaii to the mainland (eastbound) is less expensive than shipping a car from the mainland to Hawaii (westbound).
Below are a few sample quotes from Montway Auto Transport, our top pick for auto shipping to and from Hawaii. All of these prices are based on an operable 2020 Honda Civic. These quotes include open-truck transport across land if applicable, which is the most economical option. If you are shipping a large SUV or truck, you’ll pay more. You can find out more about this provider in our Montway Auto Transport review.
|City in the Contiguous U.S.||City in Hawaii||Cost to Ship to Hawaii (Westbound)||Cost to Ship from Hawaii (Eastbound)|
|San Diego, CA||Honolul||$1,709||$1,199|
|New York, NY||Honolulu||$2,719||$2,469|
Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Transport
How much does it cost to ship a car to Hawaii?
Depending on the origin location, it can cost between $1,500 and $3,000 to ship a car to Hawaii. Your best bet for cheap car shipping to Hawaii is to send your car directly from a southern port in California to the main Honolulu port on the island of Oahu.
How long does it take to ship a car from Hawaii to California?
According to our research, it can take anywhere from 10 to 20 days to ship a car from Hawaii to California. The shortest trip will be directly from Honolulu to a port city like Los Angeles or San Diego. If your vehicle needs to travel from another island in Hawaii or beyond a port in California, you should expect longer shipping times.
How much does it cost to ship a car from Hawaii to Texas?
It costs about $2,000 to ship a standard car from Hawaii to Texas. This price assumes the car is transported on an open trailer once it reaches the mainland U.S. If you need an enclosed trailer, or if you have a large or heavy vehicle, you’ll pay more for shipping.
How much does it cost to ship a car from Oahu to the Big Island?
According to Young Brothers, a local shipping company in Hawaii, it can cost between $400 and $650 to ship a car from Honolulu on Oahu to Hilo on the Big Island. This range applies to small vehicles and larger trucks or SUVs. When shipping between islands, you’ll most likely work with smaller local carriers, not nationwide moving services.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car shipping provider to formulate rankings of the best auto transport companies. Our in-depth rating system takes into account pricing, services, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each provider is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend car shipping companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best service.