Hawaii Car Transport 101: Shipping To and From Hawaii

5 min to read
Hawaii car transport

Are you heading to Hawaii for the warmer months and looking to bring your car along? Or are you relocating to the islands permanently and need to ship your car there? No matter the scenario, we’re here to help familiarize you with everything that’s involved in Hawaii car transport and provide you with top-of-the-line auto transport services.  

And, we’ve got good news! Shipping a car to and from Hawaii is not a daunting a task. In fact, when you use a reputable auto transport company that’s trusted, highly rated and specializes in Hawaii car transport, it really couldn’t be easier. There are just a few little things we suggest that people keep in mind when shipping a vehicle to and from Hawaii.  

How to prepare for shipping a car to and from Hawaii 

After you’ve arranged your shipment with aauto transport company, it’s time to make sure that your vehicle is ready to set sail by preparing both the interior and the exterior. Properly preparing your vehicle for cross-water transport will only make the shipping process easier on both you and your car.  

First thing’s first, you’ll need to get any necessary paperwork together. If you are shipping a car to Hawaii, no documents or paperwork are typically required. However, if you will be shipping from the islands to the mainland, there are certain forms that will be necessary to release the vehicle for transport. For example, when you ship your car from Hawaii with Montway, this is what you’ll need to bring on the day you drop off your vehicle: 

  • Your Montway Vessel Booking Number & Order Confirmation   
  • A set of your vehicle’s keys  
  • If your vehicle has an alarm, the remote to unlock the alarm and turn it on and off  
  • The vehicle title or lien holder authorization letter (Power of Attorney) if your vehicle is financed or leases  
  • The current registration  
  • A government-issued picture ID  
  • When shipping a car from Hawaii to the mainland and the owner of the vehicle is not present at drop off, the drop-off party must show proof of power of attorney from the owner allowing the vehicle to be shipped. 
  • When shipping car from Hawaii to the mainland that is still being paid off, the drop-off party must have proof of power of attorney from the lien holder allowing the vehicle to be shipped. 

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary paperwork for your Hawaii car transport, it’s time to prep the vehicle itself. First thing’s first, make sure that your car is carrying no more than a ¼ tank of gas. This is a safety precaution that all marine vessels that ship cars are required to follow. In short, put the minimum you’ll need to get from the port in Hawaii to your final location without going over the ¼ mark. 

It is then recommended that you clean both the interior and exterior of your car thoroughly in order to prepare it for inspection by U.S. Customs. Your best bet is to get a professional cleaning done at an auto shop, but you can also easily do this yourself at home if you’re okay with putting in a little work yourselfWhen you clean your exterior before you ship, it’ll make it so much easier once you receive your car on the other end of the shipmentyou won’t have to worry about a car wash for the rest of your vacation! 

After you’ve dealt with the exterior, it is important that you give the interior of your car a good clean. It’s also required by law that all personal items are removed from the car except for those already installed, such as infant car seats, jumper cables, spare tires, a jack, and floor mats. Tidying up your interior and removing personal items will ensure smooth sailing for your vehicle as it makes its way through customs.  

Once your car is sparkling clean both inside and out, it is highly recommended that you take your car in for an inspection at an auto shop to check the function of the brakes, windows, and tires as well as the batteries. Also, make sure to get your auto professional to check the car for any leaks or drafty openings. If the vehicle is not able to be closed and sealed completely upon inspection at the port, the vehicle may be rejected for Hawaii car transport 

Arrange your pickup/drop off before shipping a car to/from Hawaii 

When it comes to picking up or dropping off your vehicle in Hawaii, there are a few options to consider, each with their own advantages. Most importantly, you’ll need an auto transport company, like Montway, that’s able to conveniently pick up and drop off your car whether you’re shipping to or from Hawaii. Make sure you double check what kind of pick up/drop off services your auto shipper offers and plan ahead to arrange your own pickups or drop-offs in advance when necessary.  

When shipping a car to Hawaii, you will typically have two options. You can drop your car off at the designated mainland port and then pick up your vehicle in Hawaii, once your vehicle has cleared inspections and customs. This option is usually more cost-efficient. Or, you can choose to have your auto shipper pick up your car at your home and drive it to the mainland port to get it ready to ship. The latter takes the stress away of driving to a port and then arranging for a ride back, but it all depends on your budget and what is most convenient for you. At Montway, we offer Door-to-Port service, meaning we can come to you to get your vehicle and then deliver your vehicle to the port of your choosing. We also offer port-to-port service so you can drop your vehicle at the port and save some money, while we handle the logistics of getting your car safely and securely to Hawaii.  

When shipping a car from Hawaii, you will most likely be required to drop your car off at the Hawaiian port. You will then typically have the option to either pick up your car at the mainland port or enlist an agent from your chosen company to drive the vehicle to your final location. Again, it all depends on your personal preference and budget. At Montway, we offer Port-to-Door service and at-port pick up for your vehicle. Regardless of which option you choose, both services allow us to take care of the hassle so you can save some much-needed time or money. 

But what if you won’t be available to pick up your car in Hawaii at the time it arrives? What do you do? Luckily, most auto transport companies allow any legal driver to pick up the transported vehicle in Hawaii as long as proper ID, documentation and a letter of permission are provided. More details on which documents are required when a friend or family member pick up your car can be found here. 

Protecting your vehicle during Hawaii car transport  

Making sure your vehicle arrives safely and in the same condition as you last saw it in is probably your biggest priority when transporting your car to Hawaii. Luckily, most shipping vessels store their vehicles under the main deck, so there’s really no chance of your car’s condition worsening from the elements.  

All that being said, it couldn’t hurt to give your car a fresh coat of wax before shipping, especially if you’re shipping a vintage or collector’s car. That extra layer of wax is a good way to protect your car’s surface as it makes its way through the shipping process.  

You’ll also want to make sure the auto transport company you are dealing with provides insurance with your shipment order. There are some independent contractors out there who don’t automatically provide insurance with their shipment orders and that could end up putting a damper on your auto transport experience, and even your wallet. Going with a company that provides insurance automatically and processes claims in-house is always the better choice. Choose a company that you trust, who has been in the auto shipping industry for a long time and who has great customer auto transport reviews 

Whether you’re taking an extended vacation or moving permanentlyshipping a car to/from Hawaii is not as complicated as you might think, especially when you enlist a professional, seasoned auto transport company that has ample experience in Hawaii car transport. 

As long as you keep the above information in mind when shipping your car to and from Hawaii, your experience should be as easy as the island breeze itself. 

Ready to get your free quote on shipping a car to/from Hawaii?

Ready to transport your car with Montway?

Our car shipping advisors are available by calling (888) 666-8929 to answer all your questions.