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Guide to Shipping a Car to Hawaii

car transporter

You just bought a brand new car out of the US Mainland. You’ve got the title in your name but now you have to get the vehicle to you in Hawaii. No need to worry. Shipping a car overseas is more common than you think; and with uShip, vehicle transportation is easier than ever. uShip is the number one transportation marketplace of its kind in the United States and a top-competitor around the globe.

With a continuously updated network of transporters reaching into the hundreds of thousands, it has never been easier to get your vehicle transported locally or internationally. Simply build a listing for your vehicle shipment needs and you’re empowered to decide which vehicle transporter will be best for you.

From Alaska to Hawaii and everywhere in between, get your car shipped with ease and confidence on uShip.

PLANNING FOR CAR TRANSPORT TO HAWAII

Shipping a car to Hawaii, or anywhere overseas, involves a few more logistics than a transport inland. Sea transport will be added between ground transports. Meaning your shipment will now have a pickup and drop off point on each side of the pond.

A container ship arriving in port on a very calm day.

Before you vehicle boards the ship to head out for its journey, you will need to arrange for a truck or trailer transport to haul your vehicle to sea port if you (or the seller) cannot get it there yourself. On the other end of the line, you will need to arrange pick-up at port or truck transport to its destination.

Note: Over-sized vehicles may be charged more for storage on the ship and transport to and from the ship.

Make sure to go over any necessary permits or special requirements your particular vehicle transport shipment may have with your transporter. The Federal Maritime Commission, US Customs and Border Patrol, or your chosen transporter are great resources for any insurance, permit, or regulation questions you may have.

uShip Cargo Insurance

Note: Verify with your car insurance provider that you are covered during overseas vehicle transportation. If you are not covered by your provider, we strongly suggest obtaining cargo insurance ahead of time. Visit the uShip cargo Insurance page to learn more.

PREPARING FOR YOUR CAR TRANSPORT TO HAWAII

Planning and budgeting for a large transport, of any kind, is important. Car transport costs can run from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. Visit our cost to transport your vehicle page for further insight into actual shipments costs through our marketplace.

Once you have a car shipping budget lined out you will want to plan out your shipment. From your listing date to delivery date, know how flexible or firm your date requirements are ahead of time will allow transporters to bid more accurately on your shipment.

Next, you will need to start preparing the vehicle itself for the long journey ahead. Complete the below transport preparation suggestions to help ensure your vehicle is as safe as possible on the open sea.


  • Take high-quality photographs of your vehicle before transport and photograph damage (if there is any) before you sign off on the shipment at delivery.
  • Wash your car fully inside and out.
  • Apply a full coat of wax to the exterior of the car to serve as a bug and debris barrier during transport.
  • Check all fluids in your car
  • Empty your gas tank—leaving a quarter-tank to allow for transport to the final destination if applicable upon delivery.
  • Consult with your transporter on what fluids may be left in your vehicle and which need to be emptied completely
  • Check your battery charge and tire pressure—you don’t want to wait until you hit land on the other side to find out these things are lacking.
  • Remove all ornaments (roof racks, spoilers, antenna, etc) from the exterior of the car.
  • Remove things like toll tags and EZ passes from windshields to prevent possible damage.
  • Remove all personal belongings but leave behind a spare tire and jack, just in case.

Note: For more car shipping preparation tips and trick check out USA Today’s Travel Tips.

CREATE A DETAILED LISTING

Being as detailed as possible when creating your FREE vehicle transportation listing will ensure that only the most capable transporters will bid for your business.

A detailed Car Transport Listing includes:

  • Quality photos of your vehicle(s)
  • Measurements, make, model, and year
  • Dates- are you flexible or needing transport right away?
  • Is the vehicle in running condition?
  • Any specific or specialized transport requirements you may have
  • Drop off and pickup locations— along with vehicle loading and unloading capability. Will you be able to meet your transporter for loading and unloading purposes?

From there, you will decided whether you want to book instantly with live quotes or if you want to introduce your transport listing into our marketplace to be bid on. While booking an instant quote is the faster of the two options, listing your car shipment for auction-style bids can be easier on your pocket in the end.

IN THE END

Shipping your car or truck from the US mainland to Hawaii does not have to be a hassle. Build a detailed listing, choose the pricing method that works best for you, compare your transporter options and book— it’s just that simple!