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.