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Shipping your car to Hawaii can seem like a daunting task. With an ocean between the mainland and the islands, getting your wheels to paradise might seem impossible.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The average cost to ship a car to Hawaii ranges from $1,200 to $1,800 for a standard sized sedan. Costs vary based on car size, time of year, and type of shipping service used.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about shipping your car to Hawaii. You’ll learn about the different car shipping options, costs for different car sizes, tips for saving money, required paperwork, and timelines. We’ve done the research so you can ship your car to Hawaii with confidence.

Select An Auto Transport Method

When it comes to shipping a car to Hawaii, there are several auto transport methods to choose from. Each method has its own advantages and considerations, so it’s important to select the one that best suits your needs and budget. Here are three popular options:

Roll On/Roll Off Transport

Roll On/Roll Off (RORO) transport is a widely used method for shipping cars to Hawaii. With RORO, your vehicle is driven onto a specialized ship and secured in a designated parking area. This method is cost-effective and efficient, as multiple vehicles can be transported at once. However, it’s important to note that you won’t have access to your vehicle during the shipping process, and it may be exposed to the elements.

Container Shipping

Container shipping offers a higher level of security and protection for your vehicle. Your car is loaded into a shipping container, which is then sealed and placed onto a cargo ship. This method provides extra protection from the weather and potential damage. However, it is generally more expensive than RORO transport, as you are renting an entire container for your vehicle.

Air Freight

If you’re looking for the fastest way to ship your car to Hawaii, air freight is the way to go. This method involves transporting your vehicle by plane, ensuring prompt delivery. However, air freight is significantly more expensive than other methods and may not be practical for everyone.

When choosing an auto transport method, it’s important to consider factors such as cost, speed, and the level of protection you desire for your vehicle. It’s also a good idea to research and compare prices from different shipping companies to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Websites like and can provide valuable information and price quotes to help you make an informed decision.

Calculate Your Costs

Size Matters – Cost For Different Car Sizes

When it comes to shipping a car to Hawaii, the size of your vehicle plays a significant role in determining the cost. Generally, the larger the car, the higher the shipping cost. This is because shipping companies consider the dimensions and weight of the vehicle when calculating the transportation fees. For example, compact cars and sedans are usually cheaper to ship compared to SUVs or trucks. It’s important to note that the cost may also vary depending on the specific shipping company you choose.

If you’re unsure about the size category your car falls into, you can easily find this information in your vehicle’s manual or by consulting with the manufacturer. Alternatively, you can measure the length, width, and height of your car and use online shipping calculators provided by reputable auto transport companies to get a more accurate estimate of the cost.

Seasonal Price Changes

Another factor that affects the cost of shipping a car to Hawaii is the seasonal price changes. Like many other industries, the auto shipping industry experiences fluctuations in prices throughout the year. Typically, the demand for car shipping services is higher during peak moving seasons, such as summer and holidays. As a result, shipping rates tend to be higher during these periods.

If you’re looking to save some money, consider scheduling your car shipment during the off-peak seasons when demand is lower. This could potentially help you secure a better deal and reduce your overall shipping costs. It’s also worth noting that booking your shipment well in advance can sometimes lead to discounted rates, so be sure to plan ahead.

Extra Fees

In addition to the base shipping cost, there may be additional fees associated with shipping a car to Hawaii. These extra charges can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your shipment. Some common additional fees include:

  • Terminal handling fees: These fees cover the costs associated with handling your vehicle at the port of departure and arrival.
  • Insurance fees: It is highly recommended to insure your vehicle during transportation. The insurance fees will depend on the value of your car and the coverage you choose.
  • Customs fees: When shipping a car internationally, there may be customs duties and taxes that need to be paid. These fees will vary depending on the value of your vehicle and the specific regulations of Hawaii.
  • Storage fees: If you’re unable to pick up your vehicle immediately upon arrival, storage fees may be charged for keeping it at the port or storage facility.

To get a comprehensive understanding of the potential extra fees involved, it’s advisable to consult with the shipping company directly or refer to their website for detailed information. Each company may have its own fee structure and policies, so it’s essential to clarify any questions you may have before finalizing your car shipment.

Remember, calculating the cost of shipping your car to Hawaii is not just about the base price. By considering factors like the size of your car, seasonal price changes, and extra fees, you can better estimate the total expenses involved and make an informed decision.

Tips For Saving Money

Avoid Peak Season

One of the best ways to save money when shipping a car to Hawaii is to avoid peak season. The demand for car shipping services tends to be higher during certain times of the year, such as the summer months or around holidays. During these peak seasons, prices for car shipping can be significantly higher. By scheduling your car shipment during off-peak times, you can potentially save a great deal of money. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead and check with different car shipping companies to compare prices and availability.

Book Early

Another tip for saving money when shipping your car to Hawaii is to book your shipment early. Car shipping companies often offer discounted rates for customers who book in advance. By reserving your spot early, you can take advantage of these discounts and potentially save a substantial amount of money. Additionally, booking early allows you to secure a spot with the car shipping company of your choice, ensuring that your car will be transported on your preferred date.

Consider Open Auto Transport

When it comes to shipping your car to Hawaii, you have the option of choosing between open auto transport and enclosed auto transport. Open auto transport is typically the more affordable option. With open auto transport, your car will be transported on an open carrier along with other vehicles. While this means that your car will be exposed to the elements during transportation, it is a safe and cost-effective method for shipping your car to Hawaii. Enclosed auto transport, on the other hand, provides additional protection for your vehicle but comes at a higher cost.

By considering open auto transport, you can save money while still ensuring the safe delivery of your vehicle. However, it’s important to note that the choice between open and enclosed auto transport ultimately depends on your budget and preferences.

For more information and detailed pricing, you can visit the website of reputable car shipping companies such as Ship a Car Direct or Montway Auto Transport. These websites provide useful tools and resources to help you calculate the cost of shipping your car to Hawaii and offer competitive rates.

Required Paperwork

Shipping a car to Hawaii requires certain paperwork to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process. Here are the key documents you’ll need:

Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading is a crucial document that serves as a contract between you and the shipping company. It outlines the terms and conditions of the shipment, including the type of vehicle being transported, the pickup and delivery locations, and the agreed-upon price. Make sure to carefully review and sign this document before handing over your vehicle for shipping.

Power of Attorney

When shipping a car to Hawaii, it may be necessary to grant the shipping company power of attorney. This document gives them the legal authority to act on your behalf during the shipping process. It allows them to handle customs documentation, pay any required fees, and take care of other necessary procedures. Granting power of attorney simplifies the shipping process and ensures that all necessary tasks are completed efficiently.

Customs Documents

Shipping a car to Hawaii involves passing through customs, and you’ll need specific documents to comply with the regulations. These documents typically include:

  • Proof of ownership: This can be your vehicle title or a notarized bill of sale.
  • Valid photo identification: Ensure you have a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Vehicle Registration: You’ll need to provide proof that your car is registered and roadworthy.
  • Customs declaration form: This form details the contents of your shipment and is used to assess any applicable duties or taxes.
  • Insurance documents: It’s important to have proof of insurance coverage for your vehicle during the shipping process.

Be sure to gather all the necessary paperwork well in advance to avoid any delays or complications when shipping your car to Hawaii.

For more detailed information on shipping a car to Hawaii and the required paperwork, you can visit the official website of the Hawaii Department of Transportation:

Timing and Logistics

When it comes to shipping a car to Hawaii, timing and logistics play an important role in determining the overall cost and convenience of the process. Here are some key factors to consider:

Booking in Advance

One of the first things to keep in mind is that it’s advisable to book your car shipment well in advance. This allows shipping companies to plan and allocate resources more efficiently, which can result in cost savings for you. Additionally, booking in advance helps ensure that you secure a spot on the desired vessel, especially during peak seasons when demand is high.

Many shipping companies recommend booking at least two to four weeks in advance to allow for proper scheduling and preparation. If you have a specific timeline in mind, it’s always a good idea to reach out to different shipping companies to compare their availability and rates.

Pickup and Delivery

The cost of shipping a car to Hawaii also depends on the pickup and delivery locations. If you are located near a major port or shipping hub, you may have more options and potentially lower costs compared to someone who lives in a remote area. In such cases, the shipping company may need to arrange for additional transportation to pick up or drop off your vehicle, which can increase the overall cost.

It’s important to discuss the pickup and delivery logistics with the shipping company beforehand to understand any additional fees or requirements. They can provide you with a detailed breakdown of costs based on your specific location.

Transit Time

The transit time is another factor that can affect the cost of shipping a car to Hawaii. The longer it takes for your vehicle to reach its destination, the higher the overall cost may be. This is because the shipping company incurs additional expenses for fuel, crew, and maintenance during the extended voyage.

On average, the transit time from the West Coast of the United States to Hawaii is around 5-10 days, depending on the specific route and weather conditions. Keep in mind that unexpected delays can occur due to factors such as inclement weather or mechanical issues. It’s always a good idea to factor in some buffer time when planning the shipment of your car.


Shipping your car to Hawaii can seem complicated, but breaking down the process step-by-step makes it more manageable. With an understanding of the different shipping options, costs, paperwork, timing and logistics, you can ship your car to Hawaii smoothly.

The key things to remember are booking early, being flexible on transport methods and timing, and having all your paperwork in order. Use this guide to make your Hawaii car transport simple, affordable, and stress-free!

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