How expensive is it to own a car in Hawaii?

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What does it cost to own a car in Hawaii each year?
Why it costs what it does
Advice for keeping your car costs low


What does it cost to own a car in Hawaii each year?

According to recent data from this article it costs $14,516 on average, to own a car in Hawaii over a typical three-year span. So, this breaks down to $4,839 each year. This puts Hawaii towards the top of the list at number eight out of the fifty US states in terms of overall expense to own a car.

Why it costs what it does

The cost of owning a car involves several variables and these variables will vary depending on where you live in the United States. These variables include insurance premiums, the cost of gas, registration, fees, taxes, and the cost of repairs.

In Hawaii’s case, the cost of owning a car is more expensive than it is in most states. This is partially because the cost of gas in Hawaii is significantly higher than other US states due to how much extra it costs for the gas to get shipped to Hawaii. As this post is being written, Hawaii has the most expensive gas prices in the United States at $3.60 per gallon. That is over a dollar more than the national average which is currently $2.59.

Then there are the costs of the registration in Hawaii which are $45 plus 1.75 cents per pound of the vehicle up to 4,000 pounds. The fee per pound increases beyond 4,000 pounds to 2 cents per pound. In 2018 the average American car weight was just over 4,000 pounds. That weight fee is for the state, there is an additional weight fee for the county as well. This fee is 1.25 cents per pound up to 6,500 pounds.

So, let’s say you have a car that weighs 4,100 pounds. Your annual registration fee would be $176.25 in total ($45 plus $80 for weight from the state and $51.25 for weight from the county). This is one of the more expensive registration fees in the entire country.

Thankfully, the average annual cost of insurance is considerably lower in Hawaii than the national average according to recent data. On average, annual insurance costs in Hawaii are $764.72 per year. This is 13% and over a hundred dollars less than the national average which is $889.

The cost of maintenance and repairs is much harder to estimate because every car is very different in this regard. However, AAA estimates that the national average monthly cost of maintenance and repairs is about $100. So, that is $1,200 per year. This can change greatly depending on both how well or poorly you drive as well as how old your car is.

Then there are the more miscellaneous costs such as parking costs and any toll fees. These will vary too much to estimate, so you can easily figure these costs for yourself by adding any annual parking fees to the total cost you pay for tolls (cost each week multiplied by 52 weeks).

Advice for keeping your car costs low

If you want to keep the cost of owning a car in Hawaii low each year, there are several things that you can do to save money.

  • Drive safely and cautiously – If you get into an accident, you have the obvious expense of getting your car repaired. However, if you are at fault, your insurance costs will go up and likely quite a bit.
  • Take your car in for regular maintenance – You might be thinking “How can taking my car to the mechanic more often SAVE money?” Well, this will ensure that all small issues get fixed and that they simultaneously do not become big issues. This can end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. We recommend you take your car in for a mechanic to check at least twice a year.
  • If you are in the market for a car consider something smaller – Due to the weight tax from both the state of Hawaii and your individual county, if you have a lighter car you will end up saving a few bucks each year.
  • Do not drive if you do not have to – We are not saying that you should actively avoid driving if you do not have to but if you can walk somewhere instead that will help keep the cost of gas down. You should also avoid idling in your car as this will drain your gas tank.
  • Pay attention and avoid traffic and parking fines! – This should be pretty obvious but if you do not violate traffic and parking laws you will not need to worry about the added expense of traffic and/or parking tickets. These are completely unnecessary expenses in terms of owning a car.



Unfortunately, owning a car can be fairly expensive in Hawaii. The cost of fuel and registration is higher than most other places in the united states. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do in order to keep that cost down.

Either way, you will likely need a car to get around in Hawaii if you are moving there or even staying for an extended period or vacation. So, if you need your car shipped there the vehicle transport experts at Roadrunner can help, just give us a call today at (888) 777-2123.

Category: Hawaii Car Shipping.