It can be tempting to sell your old car once you’ve decided to move to Hawaii, but many classic or luxury vehicles are truly priceless. It costs $2,000 to $3,000 on average to ship a car from the US mainland to Hawaii. We can guarantee your classic or luxury car is worth more than that.
But even if the transportation costs are worth it, it doesn’t mean shipping your car to Hawaii will be easy. However, our tips and tricks will make moving less stressful for you and your family.
Our Top 10 Tips on Shipping Your Car to Hawaii
Shipping a car to a Hawaiian city or countryside can be complicated and daunting—but it doesn’t have to be! With the right tips, you can make the process much more efficient.
1. Choose the Right Shipping Method
It’s common for businesses to hire a shipping company to transport goods, but did you know you can do the same for your car? Individuals can hire transport brokers or carriers, or shipping companies that will deliver your vehicle to a Hawaiian port and/or directly to your front door.
Keep in mind that the standard charge to ship a car will change depending on your shipping method. But regardless of the shipment method, you’ll receive your car in two to seven weeks.
2. Choose the Right Shipping Provider
When selecting a shipping provider, always research the quality of their services as well as their reviews. Make sure they’re reliable and check that they offer insurance and tracking services to guarantee the quality of transportation. Try to get a referral from a friend or family member.
Referrals are the best way to avoid car shipping scams, but if this isn’t an option, look for too-good-to-be-true estimates. No company will ship your vehicle for less than $1,000 USD.
3. Get the Necessary Permits
Before shipping, check if any special permits are needed and make sure to acquire them in advance to prevent any delays. To ship to Hawaii, you’ll need a valid license and current registration for the vehicle, proof of ownership, bill of lading, and certificate of safety inspection.
If you’ve leased the vehicle, you need to provide authorization from the lien holder that you can ship it. If someone else other than you is picking up the car, the shipper needs their information.
4. Insurance and Registration
It is important to have your vehicle insured throughout the shipping process to protect yourself from any financial burden if something goes wrong. While your car should be registered in your current state, you must switch your registration over to Hawaii within 30 days of its arrival.
To get your car registered in Hawaii, you’ll need many of the necessary permits mentioned in the previous section, but you’ll also need a filled-out motor vehicle use tax certification form.
5. Prepare Your Vehicle
Before shipping, be sure to properly prepare your vehicle by giving it a full inspection. Have documentation of any pre-existing damages or wear and tear that the vehicle has. After inspection, you should carefully clean the inside and outside of the car and take pictures.
During transportation, all removable parts must be secured or removed, alarm, passes, and toll tags must be deactivated, and your gas tank should be down to a minimum of a quarter full.
6. Secure Your Vehicle
Make sure to secure your vehicle in plastic wrap or a blanket and attach a copy of all the paperwork inside the vehicle to prevent it from getting lost. Remove any materials or chemicals that could be explosive, flammable, poisonous, radioactive, or corrosive before shipment.
Vehicle shipping companies will check that your vehicle is secured before shipping it, but you may be charged an extra fee. To avoid fees, we recommend securing the vehicle yourself.
7. Remember Vehicle Restrictions
Many shipping companies have specific restrictions when it comes to shipping vehicles, such as size, weight, and type of vehicle. Some shipping companies won’t ship classic or luxury cars because of their high value, while others simply won’t ship vehicles above a certain age.
This gets more complicated if you’re shipping internationally. For example, if you’re shipping a car from Canada, you need to make sure your vehicle meets American safety standards.
8. Arrange Transportation in Hawaii
Once your vehicle reaches Hawaii, you will need to arrange transportation to your destination, so plan ahead. You may need to contact a local auto transporter or rent a trailer. You can get someone else to pick up your vehicle as long as the company is made aware of their arrival.
Before the company ships the vehicle, they’ll hand you a bill of lading. We recommend making a copy of this document, as you’ll need this if your car is damaged in transit and you want to sue.
9. Stay in Touch with the Shipping Company
Once you have shipped your vehicle, stay in touch with the company to be updated on its progress and make sure that everything is going smoothly. Shipping companies typically have a window where you can contact the people shipping your car, so only do so for emergencies.
If the company gave you an estimate for when your vehicle will arrive, try to plan your move around this date. That way, you won’t have to spend extra money to rent another vehicle.
10. Inspect Your Vehicle
Shipping a classic or luxury car to Hawaii can come with hefty fees, so be sure to keep an eye on all your expenses to avoid any financial surprises. One of those surprises could be your car being damaged in transit. That’s why it’s important to inspect your vehicle when it arrives.
If you followed our advice from the previous sections, you should already have photos of your car. Cross-reference your photos with your car and contact the company if there’s a problem.
Following these 10 tips and tricks will help you ship your classic or luxury car to Hawaii successfully and safely. With a move this big, you should make sure to properly research and prepare for the process to avoid any unnecessary complications. Good luck!