Traveling around the Hawaiian Islands can be exciting, but it adds some complexity if you want to drive your own personal vehicle. Shipping your vehicle to Hawaii, or in this case, between Hawaiian Islands, isn’t as simple as driving across state lines like the continental US, especially if you’re relocating to a new island or going on an extended vacation.

Fortunately, there are convenient and affordable options, whether you choose to send your car from one interisland port to another or have it delivered to your door. If you’re looking into shipping a car from Maui to Oahu, Honolulu or Hilo, or anywhere else across Hawaii, here’s everything you need to know about Hawaii interisland car shipping.

Understanding Hawaii Interisland Car Shipping

Hawaii interisland shipping allows you to ship your car to a new island from another island. While the distance between Hawaiian islands is relatively short, the logistical challenges and expense of transporting vehicles across the Pacific Ocean make interisland shipping a bit more complex.

Fortunately, auto transporters and carriers can deliver your vehicle to the closest port, and, in some cases, directly to your door or at a nearby location. The big difference is that at some point your vehicle (or vehicles) will be on a large carrier ship floating across the ocean.

Popular Routes for Interisland Car Shipping

There are several shipping ports in the Hawaiian Islands. The primary ports are:

  • Honolulu on Oahu

  • Kahului on Maui

  • Nawiliwili on Kauai

  • Kaunakakai on Molokai

  • Hilo and Kawaihae on the Big Island

Oahu is the state’s most populated island, so there can be high demand to ship cars there vs. other Hawaiian ports. A few of the most popular routes include:

  • From Maui to Oahu and vice versa

  • From Honolulu on Oahu to Hilo on Big Island and vice versa

  • From Honolulu to Kauai and vice versa

How to Prepare for Interisland Car Shipping

Hawaii interisland auto shipping is convenient and the shipper does most of the work for you, but you still have to prepare your vehicle to ship. Here’s how:

Gather Your Documents

Shipping your vehicle interisland in Hawaii requires a bit more paperwork than mainland auto shipping. Here is a checklist of the paper you will need:

If you’re the owner:

  • The certificate of registration proving ownership of the car

  • Identification

  • Proof of insurance

If you’re not the legal or registered owner:

  • Identification

  • Proof of insurance

  • A certificate of registration proving the ownership of the car

  • An authenticated letter from the registered owner, legal owner, or lien holder authorizing shipping with the vehicle make, model, year, VIN number, weight, and name of the person authorized to ship

Take Pictures and Videos

Photo and video documentation prove your vehicle’s condition before shipping. If it’s damaged in transit, your documentation is the proof you will need to make a claim. Make sure you take photos and videos of the interior and exterior from multiple angles. You can never have too many photos.

Remove Any Personal Items

Personal belongings can’t be shipped inside your vehicle. Make sure you remove any loose items inside your car, including car phone chargers, loose change, documents, tools, air fresheners, and dash ornaments.

Don’t Refill the Tank

There’s no need to have a full tank of gas for car shipping. Just a ¼ tank or so is needed to drive your vehicle on and off the trailer. In addition, having a full tank adds weight to your shipment, and by extension, cost.

Get the Bill of Lading

A bill of lading is a contract between you and the car carrier and serves as a receipt of your shipment. It should include:

  • The name of the auto transport company

  • The type of vehicle being shipped

  • The pickup and delivery locations

  • The price for the service

  • The condition of the vehicle before it’s turned over to the shipping company

  • The VIN number of the vehicle

Once you get a quote from your preferred carrier and schedule a date, you may need to bring your car to a pickup location at the carrier’s terminal. Arrive early to provide your shipper with the documentation, watch the pre-shipping inspection, and sign your bill of lading.

Your auto shipper will load your car onto the trailer and be on the way. You should have an estimate of how long shipping can take, but keep in mind that shipping between islands may be longer because of loading and unloading onto ocean containers and trucks.

Choosing the Right Interisland Shipping Partner

The experience you have with interisland shipping depends on selecting a reliable auto transporter who specializes in interisland car shipping in Hawaii.

Here are some things to look for:

  • Licensing and insurance: Make sure your auto shipping broker is properly licensed and insured. You can find information on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website.

  • Do research” Look into the company’s history and customer track record. Read reviews on third-party sites like TrustRadius and the Better Business Bureau. Check for negative views and see how the company responded to complaints. No one is perfect, but how they handle problems can tell you a lot about their commitment to customer service.

  • Review their policies: Look into the company’s policies for cancelation and payment methods. Everything should be clear and transparent with no hidden fees.

Cost Considerations in Interisland Car Shipping

Interisland shipping in Hawaii can fluctuate based on many factors, including:

  • Season: The summer months and holiday season tend to have the highest car shipping demand and the most expensive rates.

  • Shipping distance: Generally, shipping distance is the biggest factor in the total cost to ship a car. However, shipping between island ports can be more complex, so it may be more expensive per mile than equivalent mainland shipping.

  • Delivery method: Port-to-port shipping is often cheaper than delivering to a home address.

  • Transport type: Shipping in an enclosed trailer has more protection for your vehicle, but it’s also more expensive than shipping open air.

  • Vehicle size: Small cars and motorcycles are lighter and cheaper to ship between islands than large SUVs and trucks.

  • Vehicle condition: If your vehicle doesn’t run, it takes more equipment and effort to load it onto a trailer and may have higher costs.

For example, shipping a car from Maui to Oahu is around $450, but the same trip for a diesel truck is around $920 because of the extra weight.

Consider Interisland Shipping for Car Shipping in Hawaii

Whether you’re relocating to a different Hawaiian Island or you need to ship multiple vehicles to your business in Hawaii, interisland shipping is a convenient option.

While interisland shipping can be complex and expensive, choosing a reliable, professional shipper can make the process smooth and stress-free. Working with an auto shipping broker who specializes in Hawaii interisland car shipping ensures you have the right shipping company to deliver your car quickly and safely.

Looking to ship your car between the Hawaiian Islands?Get in touch for more information, to request a quote, or to schedule your interisland car shipping service today!


Can You Ship a Car Between the Hawaiian Islands?

Yes, you can ship a car between the Hawaiian Islands using interisland shipping. There are options for port pickup or door-to-door service, depending on your needs.

How Are Cars Shipped Between Islands in Hawaii?

With Hawaii car shipping between islands, you can use a large ship that’s carrying multiple cars or a small boat or ferry with just a few cars. The larger carriers are often more affordable, but it’s important to get multiple quotes to compare.

Can I Ship Personal Items in My Vehicle?

Generally, no, personal items are not allowed inside your vehicle when you ship it. While some shipping companies may allow you to keep a few items inside in transit, most require that you remove all unsecured belongings before your car is picked up.

How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car from Honolulu to Hilo?

The time to ship your car can vary, but the general estimate for shipping between Honolulu and Hilo is about 10-14 days.

Is Interisland Shipping More Expensive?

Shipping your car to Hawaii from the mainland or shipping between islands can be expensive for different reasons. The distance from the mainland to Hawaii can add to the costs, but there’s more time and complexity involved in shipping between islands which can be expensive.

Does Hawaii Interisland Shipping Take Longer?

Yes, interisland shipping may take longer than shipping a vehicle between states on the mainland. Once the car arrives at the port, it will need to be unloaded and reloaded onto a truck to be shipped to the final destination.

Can I Ship Non-Highway Vehicles Like Quads, Dirt Bikes, or Golf Carts?

Some non-highway vehicles are considered vehicles, but it can vary. Your shipping broker or shipping company can help you determine if your non-highway vehicle is eligible to ship and what documentation you may need.