Shipping a Car from California to Hawaii (and Vice-Versa)

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Shipping a Car from Hawaii to California & from California to Hawaii

Car shipping to Hawaii is less complicated than most people imagine. And yes, car shipping from Hawaii to the mainland pretty much works the same way. The key is to find a vehicle transport company with years of experience shipping to and from the Hawaiian islands. For example, like us here at Montway Auto Transport.

Keep scrolling to learn how do shipping a car from California to Hawaii and shipping a car from Hawaii to California work.

How to ship a car from California to Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are one of the most geographically isolated places on earth, with over 2,400 miles and nearly 4,000 km to the closest landmass, which you might know as the mighty state of California.

Here is a basic breakdown of the process you can expect when booking car shipping from California to Hawaii.

1. Get a quote and book

The first step in shipping a car from California to Hawaii is getting a quote and booking your order. You can get an instant price quote and book your order directly through our online calculator, phone or live chat.

Ready to transport your car with Montway?

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

2. Prepare vehicle

Next, you’ll need to prepare your vehicle for shipping. To help get you started, here are a few things you might need to do beforehand:

  • No personal items (can ship spare tire, jack, floor mats,
    child car seats, drivers owner manual).
  • Vehicle must be clean (inside and out, no dirt if possible).
  • The vehicle should be in operating condition.
  • Vehicle must have a working emergency brake.
  • No cracks or chips in windows or windshield.
  • The car must have less than a ¼ tank of gas.

3. Pick up your vehicle

We pick up your vehicle, but when we deliver your vehicle to Hawaii, you’ll be required to pick it up from the respective port, once the vehicle has cleared inspection and customs. All you’ll need to pick up your car or truck is the Matson booking number, which will be provided by a Montway representative post-booking, once scheduled with the port.

We can ship a car from California to Hawaii to the following ports: Kauai, O’ahu, Maui and Big Island of Hawaii.

How to ship a car from Hawaii to California

You might notice that the first two steps for how to ship a car from California to Hawaii are pretty much the same as the steps for how to ship a car from Hawaii to California. However, the final two steps are quite different, so make sure to read carefully.

1. Book and prepare your vehicle

The first step in shipping your car from Hawaii to California is getting a quote and
booking your order. Next, you’ll need to prepare your vehicle for
shipping, no different than if you were shipping to Hawaii.

2. Drop vehicle at the port

The next step is for you to drop off your vehicle at the port. Here are
a few things you might need to bring:

Your Montway Order Confirmation and Vessel Booking Number.

  • A set of keys and if your vehicle has an alarm, the remote
    to unlock it and turn it on and off.
  • The vehicle title or lien holder authorization letter
    (power of attorney) if your vehicle is financed or leased.
  • 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.

3. Delivery

The final step? Delivering your vehicle. And when you are shipping your vehicle from Hawaii to California, you have the following two options.

A. Port-To-Door

We offer Port-to-Door service for shipping a car from Hawaii to California. You simply drop your vehicle off at the port, and we will bring your vehicle to your location on the mainland. We deal with the hassle, and all you have to do is make sure somebody is at the delivery location on the mainland to receive your vehicle.

B. Port-To-Port

If you prefer Port-to-Port service, here’s how it would work. You drop off your vehicle at one of the ports in Hawaii. Then, depending on where you live, you may have the option to pick up the vehicle from one of our mainland ports. We recommend this option only if you live close to the ports on the mainland.

No extra paperwork is required if you want to know how to ship a car from California to Hawaii. However, if you want to know how to ship a car from Hawaii to California, this is something that you’ll need to be aware of.

When shipping a car from Hawaii to California, owners must provide the following paperwork:

  • If the vehicle is financed or a lease, the drop-off party must have a letter from the lien holder releasing the vehicle for transportation to the mainland on official letterhead and this
    must be notarized. Note: All notarized letters will only be valid for up to 30 days from the issue stamp date.
  • For cars and trucks that are owned outright, a copy of the title
    and current registration must be with the vehicle for it to ship.
    The owner listed on the title of the vehicle must be the shipper,
    and they will be required to show a photo ID and proof of ownership.
  • If there are two owners listed on the title of the vehicle, both
    of the vehicle, owners must be present with a photo ID or notarized
    consent from the owner who is not present.

How much to ship a car to Hawaii from California vs. how much to ship a car to California from Hawaii

Determining how much does it cost to ship a car to Hawaii from California and how much does it cost to ship a car to California from Hawaii are relatively similar. First, you’ll need to determine what type of transport service you’d like.

1. Open carrier auto transport

This is the option most people choose because it’s priced lower and in many
cases faster, too. Because there are more spots on more trucks moving across
the country, most cross-country car auto shipping happens on open carriers.

2. Enclosed auto transport

If your vehicle requires extra protection, is particularly
valuable, is an antique, or is a specialty car or truck — you might want to go
with enclosed auto transport.

Here are the specifications we used to calculate how much to ship a car to Hawaii from
California and how much to ship a car to California from Hawaii:

  • 2019 Hyundai Elantra
  • No modifications
  • Running (or ‘operable’)
  • Open transport
  • Booked 30 days in advance of the first available pickup date
  • Prices accurate as of August 2019

With Montway, Your vehicle will be picked up as close as legally and safely possible from your door
and will arrive at the port in Honolulu.

Southern California 

Honolulu (96819) to Long Beach, CA (90805): $1339 (port-to-door), $1100 (port-to-port)
Long Beach, CA (90805) to Honolulu (96819): $1100 (port-to-port), $1339 (door-to-port)

Northern California 

San Francisco, CA (94112) to Honolulu, HI (96819): $1679 (door-to-port)
Honolulu, HI (96819) to San Francisco, CA (94112): $1689 (port-to-door)

The delivery date depends on your estimated transit time. Once your order is dispatched, you receive an estimated arrival date. Know that it is difficult to pinpoint an exact day and time for delivery. Factors such as weather, traffic and other carloads can affect it.

In general, however, shipping a car from Hawaii to California takes about 7-14 days. And, on the same page, shipping a car from California to Hawaii takes about the same time. Again, keep in mind that traveling over the Pacific could lead to some additional delays to make sure your car is kept safe during transit.

Montway Auto Transport ships over 85,000 cars per year and takes special care of each one of them. If you’re looking to ship your car from Hawaii to the mainland, or from the mainland to Hawaii, give us a shout.

Ready to transport your car with Montway?

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