Hawaii Auto Shipping Open Carrier

Answering Your Questions About Shipping Your Car To & From Hawaii

Shipping a car to Hawaii can be easy and cost effective, especially in comparison to using public transportation or renting a car. Here are straight-forward, plain English answers to the most often asked questions about auto transport to Hawaii.

• How long does it take to ship my vehicle?
• What information will you need from me?
• Is your shipping service door to door?
• How far in advance should I schedule to move my car to Hawaii?
• What about ports? 
• Do I need insurance coverage on my vehicle?
• What forms of payment are accepted?
• Can I leave personal belongings in the vehicle during shipping?
• What is the difference between an open or enclosed carrier?
• What about shipping ATVs, golf carts, dirt bikes, etc.?
• What if I can’t pick up my vehicle right away?
• How much gas can I have in my vehicle?
• Are there size restrictions when I ship my car to or from Hawaii?

How Long Does It Take to Ship My Vehicle?

Here’s a handy chart with estimated delivery times.These times should not be considered as guaranteed.

East coast to Hawaii is approximately 20 to 30 days
West coast to Hawaii is approximately 10 to 20 days

East coast to west coast or west to east approximately 7-14 days
Central US to east coast or central to west coast approximately 5-8 days
Southern states to northern states or north to south approximately 5-8 days
Within your state pickup and deliveries are approximately 1 to 3 days

Once a vessel has departed, typical transport times between San Diego and Hawaiian ports are: 

Honolulu, served weekly – 5 days
Kahului and Hilo – served bi-weekly – approximately 6-7 days

These times are averages and can change based on different situations. For example, if your car isn’t being picked up in or delivered to a major city, we may have to use a 2nd truck to get it to its destination. This can add days (or even weeks) to a delivery. 

What Information Will You Need?

To Book Your Transport:

In order to give you an accurate quote, we will need: 

• Year, make and model of the vehicle
• Vehicle color
• VIN number of the vehicle
• License plate number (if it has one)

The Day of Shipping:

• Copy of booking documents
• Set of keys for all locks (including dash board, doors, trunk, etc.)
• Vehicle title or lien holder authorization letter to move it to or from Hawaii (if your vehicle is financed or leased)
• Current registration (if it is available)
• Photo ID
• Remove personal belongings from your vehicle with the exception of child seats and jumper cables. There are sometimes exceptions for automobile parts, but please confirm this before shipping. 

Is Your Shipping Service Door to Door?

Yes, the truck driver will get as close to your door as he can legally and safely. Many cities have restrictions on large trucks that prohibit them from driving into some residential areas. Auto transport trucks are big and need lots of space to maneuver and turn around. If your home is restricted by narrow streets, low-hanging trees, low bridges, speed bumps or tight turns, the driver may ask you to meet the truck at a nearby destination.

How Far In Advance Should I Schedule My Hawaii Transport?

Next-day shipping is available at a premium price, but we recommend that you schedule your car transport as far out as you can. This ensures we have time to plan the smoothest pick-up and delivery possible.   

If you can ship your car in winter or fall, you may save a few bucks since it’s off season for tourists. 

What About Ports?

When you ship your car to Hawaii, you will have the option of shipping to one of several ports. Figure out which port is closest to your Hawaiian destination and choose that port. The ports are as follows:

  • Honolulu
  • Hilo
  • Kahului
  • Nawiliwili

Do I Need Insurance Coverage?

Our transporters provide coverage for your vehicle when it is in their care, but if something happened and the insurance company denied the claim for any reason, you wouldn’t want to be stuck with the bill or fighting the insurance company. Never hurts to call your insurance agent and make sure you’re double-protected during your move to Hawaii.  

What Forms of Payment Are Accepted?

Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover are all acceptable forms of payment. Sorry, but we can’t accept personal checks or business checks.

Our drivers cannot accept cash on delivery due to issues in the past. Payment arrangements must be made prior to pickup. We do not require a deposit (beware of companies that do) and we won’t charge your card until the day of pickup, unless pickup is on the weekend and then we will charge your card the Friday before. 

Can I Leave Personal Items In My Car?

The US Department of Transport prohibits the carrying of personal items on a truck licensed only for carrying automobiles. By violating this federal law, our company could be fined up to $10,000. All personal belongings that are left inside the vehicle aren’t covered by insurance and our company is not responsible for missing or damaged items. 

Understanding this liability, if you place belongings in the trunk, we do not recommend you exceed 100 pounds. More than that and the driver will be subject to increased costs when they drive over the scales at each check point and will have to pass that expense on to you.  

What Is the Difference Between Open and Enclosed Carriers?

If you are transporting your vehicle across several states or to the port for ocean transport, you will need to select how you want it moved initially.

Open Carrier 

An open carrier is the most commonly seen on the road. Cars do not travel within a semi trailer, but are loaded on rails that allow multiple vehicles to be transported simultaneously. The most common has two levels of cars and can often move 8-10 cars at a time. 

This means of car shipping will not protect your vehicle from the many elements of travel. It’s no different than when you’re out driving it on the road. Your vehicle is exposed to the weather, debris, bird poop, etc. as it is moved.

The benefit of open carrier? We can fit more vehicles on our truck and this lowers the cost of transport for each customer. Damages from the elements are rare, but can occur. Most people are willing to take the small risk to save a considerable amount of money. 

Enclosed Carrier 

This is shipping that protects your vehicle from the elements. Selecting an enclosed carrier will protect your vehicle from weather, rocks and theft. In most cases an enclosed carrier will cost double of what it would cost to ship on an open carrier. These drivers have more experience with high-end vehicles. 

What About Shipping ATVs, Golf Carts, Dirt Bikes, Etc?

To ship other non-highway vehicles like golf carts, ATVs, dirt bikes and quads, you’ll need several documents. These include:

• Copy of your booking confirmation
• A set of keys to every locked compartment
• A set of ignition keys
• Title or a Bill of Sale or a document that shows your proof of ownership
• Lien holder letter of authorization if moving from Hawaii to US
• Your Photo ID

What If I Can't Pick My Vehicle Up Right Away?

Each port has an allotted amount of time determined to let a vehicle remain on site without an additional charge. The allowable time may vary port to port. Storage charges and any additional charges to transport your car to storage will have to be paid before they will release your car. 

Talk to your customer service rep to determine when your port will begin charging for your car and what your options are for on-site storage if you’re not able to pick up on the day it is delivered. 

How Much Gas Can I Have In My Vehicle?

Coast Guard regulation #176.905 requires vehicles to contain less than 1/4 of a tank of gas during transport. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule. 

Are There Size Restrictions When I Move My Car To or From Hawaii?

Your quote will reflect the cost to move a standard-sized vehicle. The measurements are not to exceed 21′ 6″ (L) x 8′ (W) x 7′ (H). If your vehicle is larger than the standard dimensions, please call us to get an accurate quote. 

If your car will be departing from Seattle, the dimensions for standard transport are slightly different. Your car can not exceed 21’6″ (L) x 7′ (W) x 6’3″ (H). 

For the most accurate shipping quote please call
(800) 268-0370

Vehicle Pick up Location

Vehicle Delivery Location

HAWAII Auto Shipping Reviews

We found a great company

5.0 rating
May 11, 2019

I work for a high-end car dealer and we have been using Hawaii Auto Shipping for some time now. Every time we shipping a car we get quotes from a few different companies, but we always seem to come back to these guys. They always have a good price and we know that they are going to do a fantastic job. Over the years we have had some minor issues, but the great thing about these guys is that they communicate well and solve the problems. I defiantly recommend these guys for shipping your vehicles.

Mike W.

First time shipping

5.0 rating
April 5, 2019

My husband asked me to look into shipping our cars. We were getting ready to move to Florida and we wanted to ship one car first, so that we had a car when we arrived and the second car after we left, so that we would have a car to use until we left. I called a lot of companies and just didn’t feel comfortable with what I was hearing. The last number I called was Hawaii Auto Shipping. Doug was very professional and went through the entire process. I had a lot of questions and not only did he answer all of them, he made me feel really comfortable about everything. The price was comparable to the other companies and the customer service was head over heels to the other companies I called. They picked up the first car when they said they would and the second car the day we left. When we got to Florida our car was sitting in the driveway of our new house. The second car showed up a week later. I have never shipped a car before and everything went as planned. GREAT COMPANY AND GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE!

Jenny F.

This review is long over due

5.0 rating
February 23, 2019

This review is long over due and this company is a lifesaver! I booked with a different company because they had the lowest price. They called me back a week later and told me they would need more money to ship my car. They wanted four hundred more dollars. When I asked them why, they told me that their instant quote generator was broken and quoted me the wrong price. I found out by reading their reviews that this was a common occurrence for this company. They sucked me in due to the great price and then after I had already given them a deposit they wanted more money. I called around to a few other companies and then called Hawaii Auto Shipping. I talked to Joe and he gave me the rundown on the other company and set me up to have someone to pickup my car the next day. I only ended up paying one hundred more and I found a company that has ethics. I don’t know how these companies get away with this stuff, but I guess most people just give in and pay the increase. Everything went smooth after switching companies. Next time I ship my car I will go right to Hawaii Auto Shipping and I recommend you do the same.

Steve J.

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