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

5 min to read
Shipping a Car from Los Angeles to Hawaii (and Vice-Versa)

Shipping a car from Los Angeles to Hawaii is very common given the proximity of the two destinations. The opposite route (shipping a car from Hawaii to Los Angeles) is also popular; though there are some additional steps in the process due to oceanic cargo rules and regulations.

Keep reading to learn why you might want to follow suit and ship a car to Hawaii from Los Angeles, instead of renting or buying one once you get to the Aloha State.

Car Shipping 101: LA to/from Hawaii 

Hawaii is fun! Lots of fun, to be exact.

If you’re thinking about shipping a car from Los Angeles to Hawaii, you’ve found the right article. If you’re thinking about shipping a car from Hawaii to Los Angeles, don’t sweat, we’ve got that covered, too.

Shipping a car to Hawaii vs. buying a new car in Hawaii

There are some tradeoffs to living in Hawaii. For starters, the cost-of-living can be higher.

The cost of gas in Hawaii is also the second-highest among all states, according to AAA.com (as of December 10th, 2019, according to ). If you’re going to prefer an economic vehicle to battle the high gas price, you might want to consider buying it in So-Cal, where you’ll have more options and shipping a car to Hawaii from Los Angeles.

You’ll want to consider all the factors when deciding the cheapest way to ship a car to Hawaii. The average price of a new car in Hawaii is about $31,000.00, an amount most people will need to finance, according to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

How to ship a car from Los Angeles to Hawaii

If you decide to ship a car from Hawaii or ship a car to Hawaii, here’s a basic rundown of the process.

1. Get a quote and book

The first step to ship a car from Los Angeles 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 your 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).
  • The vehicle must be clean inside and out (and no dirt).
  • The vehicle must be in operating condition and have no leaking fluids.
  • The vehicle must have a working emergency brake.
  • No cracks or chips in windows or windshields.
  • The vehicle must have less than a ¼ tank of gas. Important to know: The port will turn your vehicle away if there is more than 1/4 tank of gas.
  • For electric vehicles only, the battery must be fully charged.

3. The vehicle is picked up

We arrange for your vehicle to be picked up from the mainland. After your car arrives in Hawaii and clears inspections and customs, you can pick it up from the respective port.

Your car can be shipped from Los Angeles to Hawaii to the following ports: Kauai, O’ahu, Maui or the Big Island of Hawaii. All you need to pick up your vehicle is the vessel booking number, which will be provided by Montway Auto Transport once the shipment is scheduled with the oceanic carrier or vessel company.

NOTE: We can help you ship to the smaller Hawaiian islands, but it’s important that you know the additional steps involved. Call our team today to answer your questions about this process. We’re happy to help.

How to ship a car from Hawaii to Los Angeles

If you need to transport a car from Hawaii to Los Angeles, you’ll have to drop your car at the port. Your car can be shipped from Hawaii to Los Angeles from the following ports: Kauai (Lihue), O’ahu (Honolulu), Maui (Kahului) and the Big Island of Hawaii (Hilo).

Remember: This is different than the process to transport a car from Los Angeles to Hawaii, where you would pick up your car from the port in Hawaii. In this case, you’ll instead be dropping it at one of the ports mentioned above and choosing between port-to-door or port-to-port shipping.

1. Book and prepare your vehicle

The first step to ship a car from Hawaii to Los Angeles is getting a quote and booking your order. Here are a few things you’ll want to have handy:

  • Vehicle year
  • Vehicle make & model
  • Vehicle color
  • Full vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • License plate number (if applicable)

Next, you’ll need to prepare your vehicle for shipping, no different than if you were shipping to Hawaii (see above checklist).

2. Drop vehicle at the port

The next step for you is to drop off your vehicle at one of the ports: Kauai (Lihue), O’ahu (Honolulu), Maui (Kahului) and the Big Island of Hawaii (Hilo).

Here are a few things you’ll probably need to bring:

  • The order confirmation number provided by the local auto transport company you booked with and the vessel booking number.
  • A set of keys. And if your vehicle has an alarm, the remote to unlock it and turn it on/off.
  • The vehicle title or lien holder authorization letter: this comes from the lender if your vehicle financed or leased. This item allows you to transport the vehicle overseas.
  • Power of attorney: you will only need this if the owner of the vehicle (on the title) is not the one to drop off the vehicle to the port.
  • The current registration.
  • A government-issued picture ID.

3. Delivery

The final step is delivery. Remember, there are two different options when you ship a car to Los Angeles from Hawaii.

A. Port-to-door

We offer Port-to-Door if you transport a car from Hawaii to Los Angeles. You simply drop your vehicle off at the port, and your vehicle is brought to your location on the mainland. The driver will deliver the vehicle as close to the door as safely and legally as possible, but if the delivery location is not accessible to a large truck, you will be asked to meet at a nearby location to load and unload vehicles.

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 the mainland ports we arrange shipping from. We recommend this option only if you live close to the ports on the mainland.

No extra paperwork is required if you ship a car from Los Angeles to Hawaii. However, if you want to ship a car from Hawaii to Los Angeles, additional paperwork and procedures are likely required.

Cost to ship a car to/from Hawaii

How much is it to ship a car to Hawaii from Los Angeles vs. the cost to ship a car to Los Angeles from Hawaii? Good question.

The cost to ship a car to Hawaii can fluctuate based on the time of year you book and how far in advance you schedule your auto transport booking. Additional factors include trip distance, car size (sedan, pickup truck, SUV, etc.), vehicle condition (must be operable when shipping to Hawaii), or if your car has modifications.

Check out our Hawaii auto shipping page for all the information, especially if you’re planning to ship a car from Hawaii to San Diego (where there’s some additional rules & regulations for oceanic transport).

Ready to transport your car with Montway?

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