How to ship a car to Hawaii

A cousin of mine is preparing to move to Hawaii, and she asked me if I had any recommendations on how to get her minivan shipped over the islands. "Is it worth it to ship a car to Hawaii," she asked. "Should I instead just sell it and buy a new vehicle when I get to Honolulu?"

Well, the answer to those questions really depends on the type of car we're talking about. For example, if the vehicle in question is a clunker that already is on its last legs, then it would be wise to leave it (or sell it) and then just buy a vehicle once you arrive to Hawaii.

On the other hand, of the vehicle is a new minivan, like my sister's, then it very well might be worth your while to have it shipped to Hawaii.

Here are some pointers on how to ship a car to Hawaii

  1. Find a reliable Ocean shipping service, like Matson.
  2. Determine if the shipping company ships to the correct Hawaiian island
  3. Plan ahead so you have someone there to pick it up upon arrival, which might take up to 24 days after leaving port in Los Angeles.


Shipping a car isn't hard if you're connected with the right service. Depending on the company, e.g. Matson, you'll have different costs and different time-tables. However, with a high-value item, such as a vehicle or a Steinway piano, you definitely don't want to be a penny-pincher. You'll be grateful you did your due-diligence when your car arrives safely to the Hawaiian Islands.