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Moving from California to Hawaii has its challenges, but shipping a car to the Aloha State doesn’t need to be a headache. In this article, we’ll run through the process of shipping a car from California to Hawaii so your experience can be as quick and easy as possible.
We’ve reviewed the best car shipping companies that serve Hawaii from California to help you make an informed decision. Compare quotes from auto transport providers before making a final decision on shipping, as it could save you money on your move to Hawaii.
5 Best Companies That Ship Cars From California To Hawaii
Not every auto transport company offers services for car shipping from California to Hawaii, so it’s important to consider the right options. The companies below all offer competitive rates and high-quality services for those hoping to move their vehicles to the Aloha State.
Montway Auto Transport: Best Overall
Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: A+
Cost of open car transport for 1,500 miles: $979
Montway Auto Transport holds a reputation for strong customer service and a relatively straightforward booking process. The company has delivered over 700,000 vehicles, so it knows what it takes to efficiently transport cars. Montway Auto Transport only offers door-to-port shipping, however, rather than the cheaper port-to-port service.
Read more in our Montway Auto Transport review.
AmeriFreight: Best Discounts
BBB rating: A+
Cost of open car transport for 1,500 miles: $884
AmeriFreight holds its car carriers to high standards, only working with licensed movers who receive high marks from customers. The company offers a wide range of discounts, including those for the following groups:
- Military members
- Senior citizens
- First responders
- Return customers
Read our full AmeriFreight review for more information.
Easy Auto Ship: Best For A Quick Pickup
BBB rating: A+
Cost of open car transport for 1,500 miles: $1,198
Easy Auto Ship offers guaranteed pricing along with some of the lowest rates for car shipping from California to Hawaii. It’s also known for its extensive array of car shipping services, with options such as expedited transport and shipping for motorcycles and boats.
Get more details in our Easy Auto Ship review.
uShip: Best Car Shipping Marketplace
BBB rating: A+
Cost of open car transport for 1,500 miles: $1,059
The uShip marketplace lets drivers request bids from multiple car haulers at once, leading to a wide variety of potential rates. It’s worth noting that some of the truckers on the uShip marketplace don’t carry insurance, so you’ll need to check that your provider is reputable.
The company also receives high marks for customer service, though, so you’re unlikely to face issues. It has a strong reputation and often offers competitive prices for car shipping from California to Hawaii.
Read more in our uShip review.
BBB rating: A+
Cost of open car transport for 1,500 miles: $945
Offering guaranteed pricing on its shipments, eShip has relatively strong customer reviews. When transporting your car with eShip, you’ll gain access to vehicle tracking tools and immediately get connected with a personal agent.
Keep in mind that eShip doesn’t provide terminal-to-terminal shipping, which is usually cheaper than door-to-door service.
Learn more about eShip on the company’s website.
How Much Does Car Shipping From California To Hawaii Cost?
Don’t expect any bargains if you’re looking into car shipping from California to Hawaii. While the companies listed above offer cheap car shipping, it will likely cost at least $1,800 to move your vehicle across the Pacific.
California To Hawaii Car Shipping Cost Estimates
Below, we’ve listed the average cost of car shipping from California to Hawaii based on some of the Golden State’s largest cities. Your prices may be slightly higher if you’re moving your vehicle to Maui, the Big Island, or Kauai rather than Oahu – the island where Honolulu is located.
|Los Angeles||Honolulu||2,560 miles||$1,800|
|San Francisco||Honolulu||2,400 miles||$2,043|
|San Diego||Honolulu||2,610 miles||$2,043|
*Average cost estimate combines instant quotes from Montway Auto Transport and uShip.
You can find lower prices than the rate estimates listed above if you are able to take advantage of military car shipping. These additional savings could reduce prices for those heading to one of the military bases on Oahu.
Factors That Affect Car Shipping Costs
Your final car shipping cost for transport from California to Hawaii will depend on a range of factors, including the following:
- Type of vehicle: Heavier cars like SUVs and trucks cost more to ship than smaller ones.
- Transport type: Enclosed auto transport is usually pricier than open carrier shipping since your car sits inside a car shipping container. Enclosed vehicle shipping is ideal for luxury and classic cars.
- Time of year: Certain times of the year are especially busy for Hawaii auto transport. Shipping rates and demand are highest in January and throughout the summer.
- Shipping route: More people ship vehicles to Oahu than to the neighboring islands, so you can expect to pay less for auto transport to Honolulu than to Kahului, Hilo, or Lihue.
You’ll find some of the lowest rates on shipping from the West Coast to Hawaii if you receive car shipping quotes online from various companies. Since the cost of shipping to the islands varies considerably, shopping around could save you money on Hawaii car transport.
What To Expect When Shipping A Car To Hawaii
Car shipping from California to Hawaii is different from shipping anywhere on the mainland of the United States due to the fact that you’ll have to get your car to a port, where it will be loaded onto a boat that’s headed for the Hawaiian islands.
Almost all vehicle shipments to Hawaii go through Honolulu first before making their way to the neighboring islands. There are auto shipping ports in these Hawaiian locations:
- Honolulu: serves the island of Oahu
- Hilo: serves the eastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii
- Kawaihae: serves the western side of the Big Island of Hawaii
- Kahului: serves the island of Maui
- Nawiliwili: serves the island of Kauai
- Kaunakakai: serves the island of Molokai
Routing your car from Honolulu to one of the outer islands via barge will add to your overall cost of car shipping from California to Hawaii.
>Process For Car Shipping From California To Hawaii
The basic process for how to ship a car to Hawaii involves reaching out for free quotes from providers before choosing a carrier. Once you’ve picked your auto transport provider, it’s time to book the car shipment.
As the scheduled car transport time gets closer, you’ll need to clean out your vehicle. Packing your car with personal items is rarely permitted. Also, keep in mind that car movers will likely require you to have less than a quarter tank of gas in your vehicle.
On the day of the auto transport, you’ll need to have your vehicle ready, along with the following items:
- Booking number
- Photo ID
- Proof of insurance
- Vehicle title and registration
You’ll also need to have a notarized letter of authorization from the car’s lienholder if your vehicle is leased or financed.
How Long Does Car Shipping From California To Hawaii Take?
You’ll need to be patient when shipping a car to Hawaii, as it can take between one and three weeks for your car to reach its port in the islands.
Many motorists drive their vehicles to California ports for transit to Hawaii, even if they live farther east in cities such as New York, Chicago, or Dallas. In that case, you’ll need to add in some additional time to get your vehicle to a port in the Golden State.
Add extra days onto your estimated transit time if your vehicle is headed to Maui, the Big Island, or Kauai since nearly all vehicles will first stop in Honolulu before being loaded onto barges headed to the outer islands.
What Is Roll-On/Roll-Off Shipping?
Roll-on/roll-off (RORO) shipping occurs when motorists drive to West Coast ports such as Long Beach, Oakland, and Seattle/Tacoma and load their cars directly onto ships headed for Hawaii. After someone checks that the vehicle is properly secured and that its emergency brake is on, the car makes the journey to the islands and is rolled directly off the cargo ship upon arrival.
While RORO shipping is often a cheap method of car shipping from California to Hawaii, it comes with risks. Your car isn’t a priority on the container ship it’s placed on, and there’s no guarantee of safety for your vehicle during transit.
Frequently Asked Questions
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of car shipping companies to formulate rankings of the best transporters. Providers receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Reputation: Shippers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
- Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of shipping routes, distances, and vehicles. Companies with lower prices and many discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Services: This rating is based on types of auto transport services available, insurance coverage, and the ability to guarantee pickup and dropoff dates.
- Customer Experience: We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each car transporter.