How to Travel to and from Hawaii with Your Car

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This is a guest post by Matthew Osborn.  

If you are venturing to the great state of Hawaii for vacation or an extended stay, you probably assume that your only options to get from place to place while you’re there would be to rent a car, use a ride-share app like Uber or travel by public transport.

However, did you that you can actually take your own car to Hawaii?   You are probably wondering, how? And, yes, Hawaii has interstate highways but those obviously do not connect with mainland USA. Well, believe it or not, you can take your car to Hawaii by shipping it there.  

Shipping your car to Hawaii
Photo by Lo Sarno on Unsplash

The benefits of shipping your car to Hawaii

As you might imagine, the shipping process for your car is a bit different from shipping a package. It is more involved, but when you consider the trouble that you are saving yourself when you actually get to Hawaii, it shows you how great of an option it really is. First of all, you won’t be at the mercy of cab drivers. You also won’t have to abide by ridiculous clauses in rental car agreements such as not being allowed to take a rented off-road vehicle like a Jeep off-road.  

Another great benefit of having your car shipped to Hawaii is that most carriers offer pickup at your home. You likely won’t even need to bring your car anywhere to have it picked up.  

Shipping your car to Hawaii
Photo by Marifer on Unsplash

What it takes to ship your car to Hawaii

The car shipping process might seem a little intimidating when you first think about it, but it is much simpler and straight forward when you have all the steps broken down.  

Step 1  

The first thing that you will want to do is to get free quotes from a few different auto transport companies. Check that the quotes you get are ‘instant’, meaning that you can visit a company’s website and enter your shipping details and get a quote right there. If a company says they will contact you later with your quote, you may want to avoid using those companies.  

Step 2  

Once you have your quotes, research the companies to see what past customers have to say about their experiences. You can see some reviews directly on a company’s local Google listing. You can also cross reference this by using a site like Transport Reviews. If the reviews are mostly positive, then you know that you can trust that company.  

Shipping your car to Hawaii
Photo by Olga Subach on Unsplash

Step 3  

Contact the company that you chose and book your shipment. There are a few things that you should be aware of. First, the times that you choose to have your car picked up and delivered are windows of about three days, depending on the particular company. So, make that you are available during those times. The reason that any reputable car carrier cannot give one specific delivery date is because there are too many unpredictable factors that may affect long distance vehicle shipments, such as traffic and weather delays.  

You should also be aware that some dates might not be available because many other people might have already booked that time. So in order to avoid this, book your shipment at least a month in advanced.  

When booking your shipment, you will also be prompted to choose whether or not you want to pay for insurance. It is recommended that you choose to ship with insurance. If your car gets damaged during the shipping process and you aren’t insured, you will be responsible for paying for all of the repairs.  

Don’t worry though, 99% percent of car shipments are made without any damage. It just makes sense to protect yourself just in case.  

Photo by Natasha Miller on Unsplash

Step 4  

Once you have your car shipment booked you will need to start thinking about the preparation for your shipment. On the day that your car is picked up, you will need to make sure that your car’s exterior has been cleaned, that it has no more than a quarter tank of gasoline, and that it is properly running and operational (as long as the car starts, drives and the brakes work – you’ll be fine).  

The reason you need to have it clean is because your auto transport driver will need to perform an inspection of the car to check for any existing damage so they won’t be held liable for it later on.  

The car should only have a quarter tank of gasoline because there are strict fire regulations that stipulate any cars traveling on a ship can’t have any more gas than that.  

Make sure you have the above tasks complete before the delivery window. You will also need to check that you have a copy of your car key to give the driver and a valid and unexpired license to present.  

Step 5  

Once you meet your driver and your vehicle is picked up, you will just need to make sure that you are ready to pick up your car at the port in Hawaii during the delivery window. You will get a call from the port when your vehicle is ready for pickup. Keep the port’s hours in mind when you are heading there to get your car. Most ports close by 3pm in Hawaii.  

Photo by Michael Olsen on Unsplash

What else you need to know about shipping your car to Hawaii

There are a couple other things that you should know about having your car shipped to Hawaii. For example, you can have someone else present to have the car picked up, they just need to be eighteen or older and have a valid government issued license.  

Some carriers may allow you to ship personal items in your car. However, this is not recommended because any insurance that you get on your shipment will not cover these things if they are lost or damaged. You will also be charged an extra fee for shipping stuff in your car.  

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Daniela Frendo

Daniela Frendo

Hi! I'm a Maltese blogger based in Scotland. I created Grumpy Camel to help travellers connect with places through culture, history and cuisine.

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