What is the Cheapest Way to Ship my Car to Hawaii?

What is the cheapest way to ship my car to hawaii

When you have your vehicle on the islands, traveling is much more convenient and affordable than buying a new vehicle upon arrival. The trick is finding an affordable shipping method to get your vehicle out to Hawaii.

The following article offers all the advice you need, breaks down your options, and describes the cheapest way to ship a car to Hawaii.


Key Highlights

  • The cheapest way to ship a car to Hawaii is to drive it to a port on the West Coast and have it transported by a RORO (roll-on, roll-off) ship. This typically costs between $800 and $1,500.
  • When choosing a method to ship a car to Hawaii, consider if you need the most affordable option or the most secure option for your vehicle.
  • Before shipping a car to Hawaii, you should clean it thoroughly inside and out and ensure it is in good running condition.


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The Cheapest Way to Ship a Car to Hawaii

Driving a car to a port on the West Coast and having it transported by a RORO (roll-on, roll-off) ship is the cheapest way to ship a car to Hawaii.

Let’s explore some of the different options for car shipping and see which best matches your preferences.

Cheapest Way to Ship a Car To Hawaii

1. Drive Your Car to any Port and Pick the Car Up Yourself in Hawaii

This is exactly what it sounds like you drop your car at the port, your car is rolled onto a ship and secured for marine transport, then the car is rolled off and parked at the ship’s destination port for pick up.

It’s the cheapest way to ship a car to Hawaii., but only if you live near one of the main ports in Long Beach, California, Oakland, California, or Tacoma, Washington. However, if you do not live near one of these ports, You can hire a company like Autostar Transport Express to transport your car to the port.

2. Hiring Someone to Transport Your Car to a Port

Although the DIY option might seem cheaper, your actual costs may increase significantly and often exceed most benefits after factoring in the cost of your time, gas, hotel, and return flight. This is especially true if you live on the East Coast of the United States.

Did you know that some auto transport companies like Autostar Transport Express include this door-to-port service in their quotes for moving your car to Hawaii? Be sure to clarify with any vendors you speak with.

In this case, your car is driven to a port city on the West Coast and loaded onto a ship. Customize your transport to arrange a home or business delivery instead of having to pick the car up a the destination port.

You can find out the cost of shipping a car to Hawaii or from Hawaii by using our online quote calculator or by calling 888-802-8250 and speaking with our shipping advisors.

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3. Small Private Boat vs Large Carrier

To send a car from the mainland to Hawaii, you generally have two options. One method is to place it on a large cargo ship with many other cars and send it over. A second method requires the utilization of a smaller company with limited ship capacity that carries just a few cars.

When you choose a reliable company, both options can work well. However, a larger ship is usually more affordable. If you use a large carrier ship, your vehicle will likely be more secure during transit, and you’ll likely receive a slightly discounted rate since many other vehicles are also traveling at the same time.

4. Ship a Car to Hawaii in a Container

Special items need special handling. When you have a high-value car – measured in dollars or sentimental value – you need to make sure it’s protected properly with a container.

While many RORO ships are specifically designed for cars and won’t expose your car to Pacific sea spray, a container will offer the most protection.

You’ll also need a container if you’re doing a restoration job that doesn’t drive or has a tricky starter motor.

Even though that is the right decision for many people, there are a couple of things you should consider before you make that decision.

This can affect the overall price of your move

Your car must be packed carefully into the container. The container, which sits four feet off the ground, must be braced and blocked during transit.  This can add to the overall cost of shipping a car to Hawaii.

Exclusive vs. Shared container

If you choose container shipping, the cost of shipping your vehicle overseas will depend on whether you select an exclusive or shared container. An exclusive container is more expensive than a shared container. Furthermore, it is the most expensive shipping method, compared to Roll-on/Roll-off shipping.

When you need reliable car shipping services in Hawaii, Autostar Transport Express is here to help you. For a quick quote and information about Hawaii car transport from us, call 888-802-8250. We have more than 20 years of experience transporting cars to Hawaii.

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Rules for shipping a car to Hawaii

It’s much easier to ship a car to Hawaii. There is no extra paperwork required. However, if you are only staying for a short time, you will need to apply for an out-of-state permit.

Make sure the vehicle is registered within 30 days if you plan to become a resident in Hawaii.

Rules for shipping a car from Hawaii

It is highly recommended that you clean your car from the inside and outside before shipping it from Hawaii. You must also ensure that your vehicle is in good running condition if you choose a roll-on and roll-off Hawaii car shipping service.

You should also perform standard maintenance checks before shipping a car from state to state or shipping a car across the country. Verify the battery, fluid levels, and leaks in the car.

Shipping a car from Hawaii requires certain documents and clearances. Find out which document you need to ship a car from Hawaii to the mainland in our “rules for shipping a car to Hawaii” guide.

Should You Ship Your Car To Hawaii?

Taking a car to Hawaii can be expensive, so carefully consider whether it is worth the expense. If you have an older car that you plan to replace soon, consider selling your car and purchasing a new car in Hawaii. Shipping your car to Hawaii may cost more than its value, depending on its age and mileage.

If you plan to live in a city with public transportation, you should also research these options. For instance, Oahu has some of the best public transportation in the U.S., so driving is not even necessary.

It is a good idea to know the affordable and best places to live in Hawaii before moving there

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The cheapest way to ship a car to Hawaii is to drive it to a port on the West Coast (Long Beach, California, Oakland, California, or Tacoma, Washington) and have it transported by a RORO (roll-on, roll-off) ship. This option allows you to drop your car off at the port, and then pick it up at the destination port in Hawaii. However, if you don’t live near one of these ports, it can be more economical to hire a company to transport your car to the port for you.

Useful Resources About Hawaii Car Shipping


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Mark Dugger

Mark Dugger

Born and raised in Southern California, grew up in an athletic environment where he excelled at football, baseball, wrestling, golf, skiing, and water skiing. He chose computers as his professional calling, accepting the position of Systems Officer for a prominent cruise line. For the next ten years, he would circle the globe multiple times, visiting over 100 countries. Mark joined AutoStar Transport Express just 1 year after it was created. He is one of the pillars the company was built on. He started off as a coordinator, he excelled though the years with his hard work and dedication. His job performance not only grew his career but our company and as a whole. Mark now holds the position of operations manager overseeing the engine that makes our company run.
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