Shipping Your Car to Hawaii

Estimated read time 3 min read

Dreaming of cruising along the scenic coastal roads of Hawaii in your own vehicle? Shipping your car to the Hawaiian Islands opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to explore the tropical paradise at your own pace and on your own terms. While the idea of transporting your vehicle across the Pacific Ocean may seem daunting, with careful planning and the right approach, you can navigate the process with ease. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about shipping your vehicle to Hawaii.

1. Understand the Logistics

Shipping a vehicle to Hawaii involves unique logistical considerations due to its remote location and oceanic transport. Unlike domestic auto transport, which typically involves trucking, shipping a car to Hawaii requires transportation by sea. Vehicles are loaded onto cargo ships and transported from the mainland United States to one of Hawaii’s major ports, such as Honolulu or Hilo.

2. Choose a Reputable Shipping Company

Selecting a reputable auto shipping company is crucial to ensuring a smooth and hassle-free transportation experience for your vehicle. Look for companies with experience in shipping vehicles to Hawaii, proper licensing and insurance coverage, and positive customer reviews. Obtain quotes from multiple shipping companies to compare services and pricing before making a decision.

3. Determine the Transport Method

When shipping your vehicle to Hawaii, you’ll have two main transport options: roll-on/roll-off (RORO) or container shipping.

    • RORO: With RORO shipping, your vehicle is driven onto the cargo ship and secured in a designated area. This method is typically more cost-effective but offers less protection against potential damage during transit.
    • Container Shipping: Container shipping involves loading your vehicle into a shipping container, providing added protection against external elements and potential damage. While container shipping is generally more expensive, it offers greater security and peace of mind.

Choose the transport method that best suits your budget and preferences.

4. Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipping

Before shipping your vehicle to Hawaii, take the following steps to prepare it for transport:

    • Remove all personal belongings from the vehicle.
    • Perform a thorough inspection and document any existing damage.
    • Ensure that the gas tank is no more than a quarter full.
    • Secure or remove any loose or aftermarket parts.

5. Coordinate Pickup and Delivery

Coordinate the pickup of your vehicle with the shipping company, ensuring that it arrives at the port of departure on time. Provide accurate contact information and coordinate the delivery location and logistics at the destination port in Hawaii.

6. Complete Customs and Documentation

Before your vehicle can be released at the port in Hawaii, you’ll need to complete customs clearance and provide the necessary documentation, including:

    • Vehicle title and registration
    • Bill of sale or proof of ownership
    • Valid photo identification
    • Shipping documents provided by the shipping company


Shipping your vehicle to Hawaii opens up a world of adventure and exploration in one of the most beautiful destinations on earth. By understanding the logistics, choosing a reputable shipping company, determining the transport method, preparing your vehicle for shipping, coordinating pickup and delivery, and completing customs and documentation, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free transportation experience for your car. With your vehicle safely transported to the Hawaiian Islands, you’re ready to embark on an unforgettable journey of discovery and relaxation in paradise.

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