Whether for business, leisure, or a permanent relocation, shipping a car from the mainland to Hawaii can be a daunting, but necessary task. After all, you are going to need a vehicle to get around in. This process can be a little intimidating if you are not familiar with how car shipping overseas works. But before we get into how it all works, you’re going to need to hire a reputable car shipping company. And let’s face it, there are many out there to choose from. Given that you are already busy enough with other aspects of your move, the following step-by-step guide can help make your decision easier.
Step 1: First things First.
Choosing a car shipping company to ship a car to Hawaii takes some careful considerations. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
- What is your budget? What type of car do you have? Luxury and larger vehicles can cost more than just a typical sedan.
- Are you interested in enclosed or open carrier shipping? In addition, luxury or larger vehicles might need special considerations like being carried in closed containers. These closed containers will make sure the vehicle is secure and not exposed to the elements. On the other hand, open carrier shipping is the most popular choice and is a very safe option as well.
- What is your location? Knowing your location will determine if you qualify for door-to-port or port-to-door shipping. If you live on the East Coast you will need a door-to-port service. If you happen to live on the West Coast consider saving time and money by driving your car to a port yourself. Also, know where you will be located once in Hawaii. When your shipment arrives on Hawaii soil, you will have an assigned Port for your vehicle pickup.
Step 2: Research.
Start your research online for some reputable car shipping companies. Take your time reading customer reviews on their website, or other sites like Yelp, Google Reviews and BBB.org (Better Business Bureau). Here are some tips on what makes a good shipping company and things to look out for:
- Good Reviews
- High company ratings
- Many years of service
- Specializing (particularly important that they specialize in Hawaii or overseas shipping)
- Transparency- beware of extra charges or hidden fees. Also, a good company should be ready and able to answer all of your questions. If they appear skimpy, move on.
Step 3: Compare quotes.
Once you have selected a few companies- start taking some quotes. I recommend comparing quotes from at least 3-4 top companies of your choice. Comparing quotes is easy since many companies will have a quote generator right on their website. Usually located front page.
Step 4: The First Call.
If you have your quotes ready, go ahead and start making some phone calls. Nothing will give you a better idea of the shipping company than a customer service rep. You can take the opportunity to dig deeper into the company, get a feel for their customer service, and confirm the quotes you received from their quote generator. This is your chance to ask all the questions you have.
Step 5: Book Your Order
Congratulations! You have reached the final step and are ready to book your order. Your customer service rep has likely informed you of what documents you need to provide in order to process the shipment. Once all is said and done you will receive a Booking Number. You will use this number to track your shipment.
Preparing Your Car for Pickup
Once you have booked your order you can begin to prep your vehicle for pickup.
- Make sure you clean your vehicle inside and out
- Repair chips or cracks on windshield
- Ensure vehicle is in drivable conditions
- Run gas tank down to ¼ tank or less
- Empty the car out of personal belongings