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Why Importing Cars From Hawaii Makes Sense

When you're searching for classic cars to buy from the United States, the state of Hawaii should not be overlooked. Despite being located over 2,000 miles away from mainland US, Hawaii holds an extensive inventory of classic cars.

Importing cars from Hawaii can make sense for several reasons:

  1. Unique Selection: Hawaii has a distinct automotive market compared to the mainland United States. Due to its isolated location, the vehicle selection in Hawaii often differs from other regions. Importing a car from Hawaii can provide access to unique models, variants, or configurations that may not be as readily available elsewhere.

  2. Condition and Climate: Hawaii's mild climate with minimal exposure to harsh winter conditions and road salt can be beneficial for the overall condition of vehicles. Cars in Hawaii generally face less rust and corrosion issues, making them potentially more attractive for importation to regions with harsher climates.

  3. Lower Mileage: Hawaii's relatively small land area and limited driving distances mean that vehicles in the state typically accumulate lower mileage compared to cars in mainland regions. Importing a car from Hawaii may result in obtaining a vehicle with lower mileage, which can be desirable for some buyers.

  4. Rarity and Collectibility: Hawaii's unique automotive market can include models or editions that are rare or sought-after among collectors. Importing a rare or collectible car from Hawaii can provide an opportunity to acquire a vehicle with a unique history or specification.

  5. Personal Import and Shipping Convenience: For individuals moving from Hawaii to another location, importing their existing vehicle can be more convenient and cost-effective compared to selling and repurchasing a car in the new location. This option allows them to maintain familiarity with their vehicle and avoid the hassle of finding a suitable replacement.

  6. Export Incentives: Some dealerships or sellers in Hawaii may offer incentives or special deals for customers willing to export vehicles to other locations. These incentives can include discounted prices, favorable financing terms, or other benefits that make importing a car from Hawaii financially advantageous.

  7. Exotic and Luxury Cars: Hawaii attracts a significant number of tourists, including those with higher disposable incomes. Consequently, the state's automotive market can include a variety of exotic and luxury vehicles that cater to the affluent visitor demographic. Importing an exotic or luxury car from Hawaii may provide access to unique offerings and a wider selection of high-end vehicles.

It's important to consider the logistics and costs associated with importing a car from Hawaii, such as shipping fees, import duties, taxes, and potential modifications required to meet local regulations. Conducting thorough research and working with reputable importers or shipping companies can help ensure a smooth and cost-effective process.

What's stopping most buyers from entering the Hawaiian market?  It's the distance.

Many buyers believe that if they purchase a car from a dealer, auction, or classifieds in Hawaii, shipping costs will quickly become prohibitive. But that not the case in today's logistics market. Container ships and Roll-on/Roll-off ships run weekly routes between Hawaii and California.

Cars shipped overseas from Hawaii tend to first make a stop in an export facility on the West Coast. This is done because the car can be consolidated in a shipping container. This speeds up the export process, because there's more volume of car exports from the mainland US vs Hawaii. This also can ultimately be a cheaper solution then exporting the car by itself in a 20ft container directly from Hawaii.  

Hawaii also holds some of the most original classics to be found, and there's less of a competition to buy them.

Don't get us wrong, you can still find plenty of classic cars for sale within the United States, but you may be missing out on what's available in Hawaii.