Want to ship your vehicle all the way from California to Hawaii? No problem. American Auto Shipping will handle all the details and safely transport your car to the heavenly island. 

How to Ship a Car From California to Hawaii

The process of booking car shipping from California to Hawaii is very simple and straightforward with American Auto Shipping. It only involves 4 easy steps:

STEP 1 – Get your quote road in Hawaii

Through our simplified quote request system, you can get an instant price quote. It is completely FREE. No further obligations on your end. Liked the offered price? Feel free to go to the next step.

STEP 2 – Book your order

Go ahead and book your order directly via our LiveChat function or by giving us a call at  (800) 930-7417. Or you could just use our online calculator!

STEP 3 – Prepare your vehicle

Before shipping your car, it is advised to ensure that:

  • You remove all personal items from it (for liability reasons). You can leave a child car seat, if installed, the floor mats, a jack, a spare tire, and the driver’s owner manual. 
  • The car is clean both inside and out. 
  • The vehicle is in operating/running condition.
  • There are no chips or cracks in the windshield or windows. 
  • The emergency brake is working properly. 
  • No more than ¼ of the tank is filled with gas. 

STEP 4 – Pick up your car 

A company representative will come and pick up your vehicle as close as safely and legally possible from your door and transport it to the port. As soon as the car reaches the respective Hawaii port and has cleared customs and inspection, you will be required to pick it up. Remember to bring the American Auto Shipping booking number. You will receive it once one of our shipping experts schedules your booking with the port. 

Shipping Your Car From California to Hawaii – What You Will Need

For vehicles shipped from California to Hawaii, no extra paperwork is required, which is not the case in the opposite situation (you ship a car from Hawaii to California). 

When it comes to shipping options, you may choose any of the following:

Option 1: Roll On Roll Off (RORO) Shipping

We roll your vehicle into the carrier vessel and then secure it. When it arrives in Hawaii, it is rolled off. It’s as simple as that. A great, cost-effective way to move a vehicle by sea. A superb option if you are on a tight budget or timetable.  

Option 2: Container Shipping

Give your vehicle extra protection from the elements and its environment with container shipping. The car is safely shipped in a container with several other vehicles. Plus, you get to pack items in the interior of the trunk if you go with this option. The only downside is that the container has to be 100% filled before it ships. So, it may take a while before your car is loaded onto a vessel sailing to Hawaii. We will let you know when it is ready to ship.

Option 3: Private Shipping Container

Your car has a shipping container all to itself, which is a fantastic solution if you own a high-end or otherwise unique vehicle. It will also serve you if you need to move a lot of items from California to Hawaii as you are able to fill the container with other stuff besides your vehicle. Of course, it is the costlier shipping option of all three. 

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car From California to Hawaii?

To get an estimate of the cost involved to ship your car from California to Hawaii, you will need to take into consideration factors like:

  • The type of transport service you want (i.e., open carrier auto transport or enclosed auto transport).
  • The condition of the vehicle (running or inoperable). 
  • Any vehicle modifications. 
  • The destination port (southern or northern California). 

In general, shipping a car from California to Hawaii costs anywhere from $1,300 (Port-to-Door) to $2,200 (Door-to-Port). The best way to know how much it will cost you to ship your vehicle to Hawaii is to use our Auto Transport Calculator. This way, you will also be provided with the first available date for shipping. 

How Long Will It Take to Ship a Car From California to Hawaii?

The estimated transit time to have your vehicle transported from California to Hawaii (approx. 1,000 miles in total) is 2-3 days. The average carrier typically travels about 500 miles a day. However, pinpointing an exact timeframe for delivery is quite challenging. Factors like traffic and weather can affect the delivery day and time.

In general, shipping a vehicle from California to Hawaii takes around 7-14 days. Again, factors not controlled by us (the Pacific can be unpredictable) may cause slight delays, in some cases. Rest assured, though, that we will ensure your vehicle is kept safe throughout the transit. As soon as our operators dispatch your order, we will provide you with the estimated arrival date. 

What Kind of Vehicle Should You Drive In Hawaii?

open road in MauiHawaii has a unique way of living, which is why the most common cars are a bit different there than in the rest of the world. Although rumors say that having a 4×4 is a must if you want to visit the island, this may not be the case. In fact, you may find owning a 4×4 in Hawaii, and any island so to speak, a waste of money. There are merely a handful of places in Hawaii that require you to have a 4×4 to reach them, such as Mauna Kea on the Big Island.  So if you’re looking to go off-roading or climb steep hills and mountains, then you should get a 4-wheel drive vehicle.  But if not, then a 2-wheel drive vehicle will suit you just fine.

The most used types of vehicles in Hawaii are actually 2-wheel drive vehicles such as the Toyota 4Runner or pickup trucks. With the roads being completely driveable, nearly any regular car would do. Some of the vehicles you will notice cruising around Hawaii the most often are the:

  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford F-150
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Toyota Tundra
  • Nissan Frontier

Should You Ship Your Vehicle or Buy Another Vehicle in Hawaii?

That’s a good question and here are some factors to consider:

The duration of your stay.  Hawaii is one of the most expensive states due to its geographical location. If you are planning to move to Hawaii for the short term, say, a couple of months, then, perhaps, renting or leasing a car might be an option worth considering. Some dealerships will let you lease a car for as little as six months. In this case, make sure you compare prices between renting, leasing, and shipping your car before deciding what to do. If you intend to live in Hawaii for longer (a couple of years, maybe), shipping your current car could be a handy solution, depending on your answer to the next question.

The condition of your current vehicle.  If you have given your car lots of love and attention, chances are you enjoy a vehicle in good, operating condition. This means lower maintenance expenses over the long run. But, if you have not been meticulous about its maintenance, the needed repairs will probably be quite costly. 

Your willingness to invest in your car. Before you decide to ship your vehicle off to Hawaii, think about how willing you are to do some work on it. For example, is your mechanic knowledge base sufficient to enable you to fix something yourself? If yes, then moving your car to Hawaii is not a bad choice at all. You can also consider giving your vehicle a good wash on the mainland and apply a generous layer of wax coating. This will help protect it from the salt particles in the island air that boost rusting. That way, you prolong the life of your car, too. 

How valuable your car is to you.  For many people, their vehicle is a significant part of their lives. More than often, they have a strong emotional attachment to their car, which is totally understandable. If this is your case, then shipping your car to Hawaii will most likely help you deal with moving to a new place and an entirely different environment. Having something that gives a homey sensation helps many people adjust to new situations faster and easier than without it. 

Why Ship Your Vehicle to Hawaii With Us

American Auto Shipping ships thousands of cars per year. We know how much your vehicle means to you. For that reason, our shipping professionals make sure it receives all the special attention it deserves to reach the intended destination safely. We have not acquired an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau by accident. We stand by vehicle owners’ side, fulfilling their auto transportation needs for over 20 years

We give you at least 5 reasons why you can trust your valuable asset with us:

  1. Competitive prices – We have an entire team of shipping experts working 24/7 to ensure we can give the lowest price possible.
  2. World-class carriers – We partner with highly esteemed carriers that meet our high standards to ensure your vehicle is treated and transported with due respect and care. 
  3. Locked-in pricing – Our deals have no fine print, hidden fees, or small letters. The FREE price quote you receive from our FREE Auto Transport Calculator is the price you will pay. Not a penny more. 
  4. Damage Protection – We take all necessary precautions and measures to deliver your vehicle in exactly the same condition we picked it up. If, for any reason, it gets damaged (unfortunately, we cannot control all aspects of a transit – especially the weather conditions), we will help pay for the damage. 
  5. Personal concierge – Expect a personal contact working toward your peace of mind, informing you of all the details of your transport from the moment we provide you with a price quote and until the final delivery. 

Want FREE car rental for excessive delays? We hear you. Although we do everything humanly possible not to deviate from the given timeframes, we are only humans. Don’t worry. We won’t leave you with no transportation means! Plus, we will give your car a good wash inside and out before it is shipped – this one is also on the house.  

Just give a shout if you are looking to ship your car from California to Hawaii. American Auto Shipping is open 24/7. 


Ready to get started? Get your price with our online car shipping quote calculator now to find out your price and when you can get your vehicle shipped from California to Hawaii.

Dave Armstrong
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