Auto Shipping To Hawaii

By: Nir Dotan

Hawaii poses a unique set of challenges to shipping an automobile. The import procedure is the same as anywhere else in the United States but the actual physical delivery of the vehicle requires some additional work.

Hawaii, even though it's considered one state, is made up of five separate islands that all have a different port of call. If you are moving to one of these islands you can't just tell a shipping company that you need auto shipping to Hawaii. It's necessary to be more specific.

The main port of entry for imports is Honolulu at the island of Oahu. This harbor services the capitol city and is the normal import point for most goods that are brought into Hawaii by ship. If you are auto shipping to Hawaii and you have your vehicle sent to Honolulu it is possible to transport it to another island by ferry without having to pay another duty or import tax.

Other available ports are Hilo on the island of Hawaii, Kahului on Maui, Kawaihe on Hawaii, Nawiilwili on Kauai, Kaunakakai on Mologai and Kaumalapau on Lanai. If you are going to Hawaii for the first time check with your shipping company to make sure you send your car to the port nearest to where you will be staying.

Taxes and fees for auto shipping to Hawaii differ based on the point of origin. If you are shipping from another state and have already paid excise tax in that state there will be no additional duty when you reach Hawaii. The exception to this is a purchase of a vehicle made less than ninety days before shipping. If your car is a new acquisition you will have to pay a Hawaii use tax unless you can prove that it was purchased to be used elsewhere and the auto shipping to Hawaii is incidental.

If you are importing a car from another country into Hawaii you will be subject to duty tax assessed by the United States Customs office. As with any other international import, remove all personal items and anything that might be considered a taxable or contraband item from the vehicle before shipping. Your auto shipping company should be able to tell you what the import tax will be when you reach Hawaii.

Car dealers and military personnel are the only people not subject to a use tax in Hawaii, but they may be subject to import or duty tax depending on the number of vehicles being shipped. This is the area where it becomes crucial to have a reliable auto shipping company handle your affairs. Find someone with experience and knowledge in the area of fees and services when you ship a vehicle. It's going to be expensive no matter what you do, but a quality shipping company can help you avoid unnecessary costs and headaches.

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