Shipping a car to Hawaii is a natural step for all who wish to relocate to the Aloha State. And it may be well worth the time and money spent, especially if you need to travel around the islands frequently for work, or just want to explore their natural wonders.
Gathering the Documents Required for Shipping a Car to Hawaii Is the First Step
Living in Hawaii is a great experience, but as with most other things, there are special regulations for importing cars from the mainland US. First, you’ll need the original title and bill of sale. You’ll also have to present current vehicle registration and an ID with a picture. In case that more than one person owns the vehicle, all owners must authorize auto transport. Authorization can be given in person, or via a notarized letter.
If you wish to ship to Hawaii a vehicle that has still not been paid in full, the shipping has to be authorized by the lender or lienholder, too. If there are any additional answers you may need, for example, if the size of your car will be an issue, feel free to contact the Hawaiian Department of Transportation and Vehicles.
What Are the Costs?
The cost of overseas vehicle shipping services depends mostly, but not exclusively, on distance. For more detailed information, you’ll need to contact the shipping service provider and ask for a quote, as different companies calculate their prices differently. Once you get it, you’ll have some idea about the price. If you have a pickup or a van, keep in mind that big cars usually cost more to ship.
The Methods of Shipping a Car to Hawaii
Unless you choose the much more expensive auto transport by air, your vehicle will be sent by ship. On the vessel, your car may be in its own container (more expensive), or it may be transported using the so-called roll-on roll-off method, or RoRo, which is the cheaper and more common option.
When it comes to containers, they are the preferred method if the shipment contains luxury or vintage cars, or brand new ones. Classic models cost more to ship in every instance.
The RoRo Service
The first thing you’ll hear when you contact the moving service providers for a quote will be the price estimate for roll-on/roll-off auto shipping. With it, you simply drive your car up the ramp and into a designated slot on the vessel. There, it is secured for the trip. At the destination, the car is driven down the ramp. And that’s it, much like with an open trailer on a truck.
More Cars Mean Lower Price
With Sunset International Moving and many other carriers, the shipment of more than one vehicle means that the price will go down. So if, for example, you’re planning to have two four-wheelers shipped, don’t just double the amount you’ve been quoted for one of them. The actual amount on the final bill will be lower than that.
Logistics of the Auto Transport Services
Here are some of the details regarding the logistics of auto transport services that you should know after getting a quote and booking.
Empty Your Vehicle Before You Ship It
To properly prepare your car for the vehicle shipping service, you’ll have to empty it of all your stuff. Hawaii won’t let it in if there is anything inside. Also, the fuel tank can be filled one quarter at the most. It is recommended to disconnect the alarm, so as to avoid the risk of it sounding off and draining the battery.
Port-to-Port Auto Transport Service
Port-to-port vehicle shipping means that you or an authorized representative gets the car to the loading dock on the mainland and picks it up at the destined Hawaiian island. If you live near the West Coast, you can drive yourself. A piece of conventional wisdom says that if you’re located east of the Rockies, you should hire a driver. In case you’re not able to pick up the car right after unloading, it will be parked in storage and wait for your arrival.
Which Ports Are Available
If you choose to send your car to Hawaii with Sunset, there are several ports that the company ships vehicles from. On the West Coast, those are ports in Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, while New Jersey serves the East Coast.
Available destination ports are Honolulu on the island of Oahu and Hilo, on the Hawai’i island. Both Honolulu and Hilo have enough parking spaces for vehicles to wait if the owners are still on the mainland.
How Much Time Does It Take
The usual time frame for a vessel’s arrival to an island in Hawaii is four to eight weeks. That mostly depends on the distance. The trip from Los Angeles is naturally much shorter than the one from New Jersey. The time estimate is given when you ask for a quote for services.
Ask Yourself a Question: What You Can Do With a Car in HI
Once you’re in Honolulu or Hilo, new life on a paradise island can begin. With a car, it may be immeasurably richer. And not only that you’ll have the chance to live out of town and drive to work since all larger islands are covered with highways and connected with ferries.
But the real Hawaiian gems are its national parks. Haleakala National Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park both include volcanoes, dormant and active. Besides the protected areas, there is mountain Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano and the highest mountain in the world, if you measure it from the base underwater. All the natural wonders of the Aloha State present an opportunity for a lifetime of exploration, but they are more easily reached on wheels. So, even when you count on a bit higher fuel prices, shipping a car overseas is just the right choice.