If you’re moving to Hawaii then it probably makes sense to ship your current vehicle from the mainland to one of the Hawaii port destinations.  The cost of shipping a vehicle will most likely be a value compared with the option of coming to Hawaii and needing to buy one here.  First, you’ll have a transportation cost of taxis and rentals until you actually get a car and, secondly, cars-like everything else in the islands-cost more in Hawaii.

While many people will laud the Hawaii public transportation system (and it is great) it can only do so much for you.  If you’re moving alone or with a family there are just certain places that you’ll want to go, and on your own schedule, that Hawaii public transportation won’t be able provide.

Here are some things to consider:

Shipping Your Car to Hawaii Tips

Shipping Companies: 

You’re going to be dealing with 3 companies that ship and handle incoming vehicles to Hawaii;

If you are approached, research or work with another “company”, keep in mind that those people are just brokers and they are going to ship your car through Pasha, Matson or Horizon.  The broker will just cost you more money, probably, because they’ll be handling it all.


Depending on where you are in the US, the price will different.  For instance, to ship from a West Coast destination, vehicle shipping costs range from $1,100 to around $1,350.  To ship from the East Coast, then the price will run around $2,200 to $2,400.

Shipping from non-US mainland origins will cost you more as well as larger vehicles like some trucks, RV’s, campers, and larger boats.  The bigger the shipment the bigger the bill.  The non-standard shipping size for a vehicle is anything more than 21 feet, 8 inches in length.  Also included in the over-sized capacity is anything wider than 8 feet and/or taller than 7 feet.


Check the Kelley Blue Book value of your car.  If it’s not worth the money to ship it, then don’t.  While new cars are more expensive in Hawaii, you can usually get a used car fairly cheap.

Leasing or Lien Holders:

It’s very possible that you will need permission to ship your car to Hawaii from the mainland if you currently have a lien holder or the car is being leased.  Hawaii is considered an overseas destination and you may or may not receive permission to ship your car from the lien holder depending on who it is.  Ask first prior to hiring a shipping a company because depending on the company they may or may not require this.  If they do, then it is a simple letter from the lien holder with VIN number, make model and mileage as well as a statement indicating permission to ship the vehicle overseas.

Vehicle Shipping to Hawaii Do’s and Don’ts


DO make a reservation for drop off with your shipping company.

DO clean your vehicle (inside, out and undercarriage) as well as ensure that is not leaking fluids prior to the drop off date.

DO remove everything from the vehicle that wasn’t factory installed.  You can leave emergency kids, child safety seats, spare tire and spare tire changing kits.  Some companies will allow for a cardboard of floor mats etc, in the trunk or back of the vehicle.

DO disconnect your car alarm.  If it starts going off you’ll have a dead battery at pick up.

DO NOT arrive at the shipping terminal with more than a ¼ tank of gas.  You’ll be made to come back when the gas is at ¼ tank or lower.

Items to Bring with You at Drop-Off and Pick Up

Drop off:

  • Driver’s License
  • Registration
  • Proof of Lien Holder/Lease holder to ship vehicle
  • Proof of Insurance
  • 2 sets of keys to all locks on car.  (One to ship with the company and the other to keep.)
  • Contact information and Power of Attorney for person allowed to receive vehicle if other than you.


  • Driver’s License
  • Vehicle shipping documentation from drop-off point.

Registering your car in Hawaii will need to be completed within 30 days of its pick up from the port.


  1. It is really very great website…shipping of vehicles is really very great business and it is a business where heavy load things and another goods or houses etc can take one to another places. Thanks for sharing this informative post with us.

  2. shipping of cars can improve our business at any condition it can be depend on shippers that how they shipping cars. By cars an shippers team can take heavy load one to another place. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is very interesting information. My husband and I just bought a car and then he got word that he was being transferred. We have decided to look into international car shipping since the car is still so new. We will take note of the other strict laws that Australia may have. Thanks so much for all this great information.

Comments are closed.