The cost of shipping your car to Hawaii


To ship or not to ship, that is the question. Depends. How much money you have, and how attached you are to your things. I became a lot less attached once I found out the costs involved. Lets talk about your car.

This info is easy to find, and actually very simple. There is a Port to Port cost for the ship, and a truck shipping cost if you have to get it from your house to the Port. First, to ship a standard size vehicle (car, Suv, Pickup) costs from $900 to $1000 from Port to Port, one way of course. You can either drive it to the West Coast Port yourself, or have a transportation company do it for you. Working for a car dealership, we had a website that you posted the job, and got bids from various truckers who needed to fill a load, or were heading that direction and wanted to pick up a paying job. To ship a car to the West Coast from Minnesota was around $800. You can visit your local dealer, and a lot of them will be glad to arrange this for you. Otherwise, if you do it yourself you will probably pay a couple of hundred bucks more. Obviously less if you live closer to the Port, and more if you live farther away. You can also have your car put into the container with your household goods, if you get one big enough.

In order to ship your car by boat, it has to be completely empty of personal belongings, and very little gas, or they will not take it. You will also need a copy of the title, and if you owe money on the car, you will have to have a letter authorizing that you have been approved to take the car off the mainland by the lender.

It take a couple of weeks to get it here, then once you pick it up from the Port, you have 30 days to register the vehicle with the state. You will need to have the car inspected at an independent repair facility before you are able to register it. Most cars, no problem, if you are shipping a junker, then maybe a problem.

Here are the fees right off the Hawaii DMV website:

Vehicle Registration Fees in Hawaii

Vehicle registration fees in Hawaii are based upon your county of residence, vehicle weight, plus taxes and other county/state fees.

You will need to contact your motor vehicle registration office to find out exactly how much you will owe.

Below are some example registration fees for Hawaii County:

  • State fee: $45.
  • County fee: $12.
  • Transfer fee: $5.
  • State weight tax:
    • 0 to 4,000 lbs.: 1.75 cents per lbs.
    • 4,001 to 7,000 lbs.: 2 cents per lbs.
    • 7,001 to 10,000 lbs.: 2.25 cents per lbs.
    • Over 10,001 lbs.: $300 flat rate.
  • County weight tax:
    • Passenger vehicles & trucks up to 6,500 lbs.: 1.25 cents per lb. (minimum of $12).
    • All vehicles over 6,500 lbs.: 2.5 cents per lbs.
  • Beautification fee: $1.
  • Sticker renewal/replacement: $0.50.
  • Plate replacement: $5.
  • Duplicate registration: $5

Let’s figure out what this means. If you are shipping a small SUV or midsize sedan, your vehicle will weigh about 3800 pounds. So here is what it will cost:

State fee-                $  45

County fee-                 12

Transfer fee                 5

State weight tax-       76

County weight tax     47.50

Total                       $185.50

Big vehicles more, small vehicles less.

So now you have about $2000 to ship your vehicle, give or take a few hundred bucks depending on where you live. The plus is that you will have the vehicle you are comfortable driving and won’t have to shop for a new one, the negative is that you will have to do a bit of work, and maybe have to rent another vehicle to drive while yours is being shipped, which will end up costing you more.

We will talk about buying a new or used vehicle in another blog.


Paia Secret Beach (Clothing Optional)

Located between Baldwin Beach Park on the north side, and Paia Bay on the south, this small beautiful beach is a nude beach. The day, and only day, I went there were two people  (weather wasn’t perfect) and both were reading books, one in a hammock and one in the sand. Both were fully clothed. I was actually relieved. At the Paia end, there is an old WWII pillbox that local artists use for creative endeavors. On the north end there is a wooded area with a fair number of homeless people living in tents.(Maybe 25 to 50). The only way to access the beach is through the woods, or by 4X4 through a locked gate, or walk up the beach from the Paia end.

Wooded path to the beach from Baldwin.

There is a manmade rock wall on the Baldwin side that always has a lot of Sea Turtles swimming near it. That is also where the homeless live.  From what I have witnessed and read about, the homeless pretty much stick to themselves, and have never bothered me on many, many trips to the beaches. The waves are fairly substantial here, no reef protection, so not the best for the average swimmer. There are no facilities at this location, you would have to carry all your beach stuff. No lifeguard either. If you have kids that like the water, Baby Beach on the north end of Baldwin is the place to take them, not here. But if you are looking for letting loose, this would be a great place to do it. The other popular nude beach is on the west side of Maui at Makena Beach (the nude part is called Little Beach). That one is a lot busier, so what ever makes you comfortable.

                                                                       Beachfront condo on Paia Secret Beach.


Thoughts about turning 64

Today is my birthday, turning 64 years old. I would like to share what it feels like for me.

When I was young (in my teens and early 20’s), I never thought I would live to be old. Old at that time was anyone over 30. Dying didn’t scare me, too dumb to know I guess. In my 30’s through 50’s I was way too busy with life, work, family, relationships to think about the aging process. My biggest worry was making money. Turning 64, money is and always will be an issue of course, but now it has softened and I realize it isn’t the be all and end all I thought it was. Now I worry about health, and the fact that I have a limited number of years left, unknown of course. I could live 1 more year, or maybe 40. I take less chances, watch more of what I eat, pay attention to how I feel on the inside. My biggest worry now is to be around as long as possible for my kids. I know the pain of losing a parent, I have lost both of mine. I want to delay that pain for as long as I can for them.

I have done and learned a lot of things in my 64 years. Some good, and some not so good. That doesn’t mean that advise will pertain to anyone else. I have finally learned that what I know may or may not work for me, but not for everyone else. If someone asks my opinion about something, I will gladly give it, but I no longer feel the need to try to direct someone else’s life. That is their responsibility.

Physically, I feel the same as I did when I turned 30, or 40, or 50, or 60. Not much has changed, except my appearance. My teeth are all still there, I still have the same glasses prescription, I can still lift the same amount of weights at the gym, my back is still sore getting out of bed in the morning, I drive the same speed as I always had, I get up and go to bed at the same time, and don’t consider myself old. (Maybe 64 is the new 24). I am more aware of the consequences an injury might have, so I do take less chances of getting hurt.

I am more patient, or at least I think I am. It comes in handy with a teenage daughter and a son under 10.

I care less about what others think of me. I try to be the real me with everyone, including my kids. I want them to know their real Dad. That doesn’t mean I don’t care, but you are being unfair to yourself and others by pretending to be someone you are not.

I am more grateful for the things I have, and less worried about the things I don’t. I am so grateful for my kids. I can’t imagine my life without them. I am grateful for all of the ups and downs in my life, for it has made me the person I am today. Sure, there are lot’s of regrets, but that’s life. The big lesson there, let it go…

Finally, I see the value in living every day 100%, even though I still have a lot of work to do in that area. Life was meant to be enjoyed, each and every minute that we are here. I enjoy sunsets. I only have 365 of them this coming year, and I hope to enjoy each and every one of them.


Why Maui

Why move to Maui. Beyond the obvious of great weather and gorgeous scenery, there are many factors that go into moving from the known to the unknown where ever that may be. My first trip to Maui was back in 1993, on a trip I won with Chevrolet while I was working at a dealership. All expenses paid, staying at a beautiful resort in Wailea, the upscale part of the island. I remember walking along the paved ocean path, looking at the resorts and condos overlooking the ocean. I was here for 8 days. One day as I was walking, there was a condo that stood out from all the others, being closer to the ocean and having the best view. As I walked , there was a nurse pushing an elder gentleman in a wheelchair out on the covered veranda overlooking the ocean, and I could see (maybe 40 feet away) that he didn’t have a lot of time left on this earth. I vowed right then and there that would not be me. I was not going to move here when I could no longer enjoy living.

Over the years, as I got married (in Maui) and my family grew, Maui was always the dream. So when I got the chance to move here, it was if a manifestation dream came true.  Is it perfect, of course not. There are bugs, and spiders, lots of traffic, high cost of living, people different than me, too hot, too muggy, blah blah blah.  Was life perfect back home in Minnesota? Absolutely not. So now it comes down to the age old question of choices. I am still facing that choice.  Back in Minnesota I still have a wonderful 3200 square foot home, which the kids can’t wait to go back to this summer, and I have to make a decision. Sell and move on, or move back, or take the in-between route and rent my house, having the backup plan to move back if it doesn’t work out in Maui.

So right now it is 8:30 PM at night. Temperature is 75 degrees.  On my deck I am listening to a band, might even be Santana, practice in the home across the jungle from me. They sound great. I just got done watching a beautiful sunset, and getting ready to view a starry night unparalleled anywhere on earth. Maui is living up to all the expectations I have placed upon her. So why am I so torn. What is causing the anxiety in me?

Change. When I was 20, I could change my life on a dime. Then life happened. By life I mean responsibility. Now I fight change like a fish fights the hook and line. I was never like this. I want to be like the person I was at 20, open to everything and anything.

What are you trying to say? There is a place for you. Whether it be beach or iceberg, it is your destiny. My destiny is Maui, no matter how I may try to fight it. I hope that you find yours. It took me a lifetime to find mine.


My first blog post

Hi, my name is Burl Johnson. I am starting this blog as a way to document the move from my home state of Minnesota 4 months ago to Maui , and also my journey in starting from scratch and becoming an author, not rich or famous for sure, but self published. I won’t go back in my life too far, I’m just about to turn 64, but will start my story when my life took a huge change. Eight months ago I left my stressful, high paying corporate job to retire. I will start there.