Purchasing Hawaiian trailers within the State of Hawaii has evolved over the years. Your purchase can now be researched and made within the comfort of your own home. There are a few ways to make an educated decision, so please keep the following in mind;
Finding a reputable trailer dealer is sometimes challenging, yet there are some key points to takeaway. Make sure the supplier you choose is well established with a Google Business Profile, has a website and/or storefront, has upfront pricing including shipping costs, and locals recommend the business.
Understand shipping costs. Due to the inherent fact that we live on an island (Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kauai, Big Island, or Oahu), shipping is directly related to the price of your trailer. Some vendors hide the shipping expense but advertise an inexpensive trailer. Mainland vendors will tend to do this. The price seems almost too good to be true, and this is generally the case. Quotes for shipping can exceed $10,000, so be sure and ask your vendor right away. Reputable companies will disclose their shipping on their website without you having to waste time, effort, and angst to later find out the price of your trailer is exorbitantly high.
Taxes. Buying a trailer locally within the Hawaiian Islands will incur local and state fees around 4%. Some mainland states will not charge tax, but this tax will need to be later paid within the State of Hawaii. You will be taxed at your local county rate on the purchase price of your trailer even though it was paid for in full outside the State of Hawaii. You will also be taxed on the price you paid for shipping your trailer to Hawaii. The State of Hawaii takes the purchase price of your trailer and adds the entire shipping fee together where this amount is taxed at your local county rate. Ultimately, taxes paid with purchasing a mainland trailer will be higher than if purchasing a trailer within the Hawaiian Islands (Maui, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Big Island, and Kauai).
Local vs Mainland. There are many reasons why it’s best to buy local. Some of the reasons to buy local include; knowing you’ll actually receive your trailer, maintenance issues will be resolved more easily and quickly, and positively changing your local community for the better. Buying local will provide more jobs for Hawaii residents and will help contribute to a more sustainable and thriving Hawaii economy.
Expected wait times. If your trailer is not already in the State of Hawaii or is on a vessel to Hawaii, expect delays in excess of 6 months. There are times where this wait time can be longer, and sometimes the vendor will increase the price of your trailer even though you’ve already paid for it in full.
Quality. A lot can be said for the quality of your trailer. Does your trailer have a zinc epoxy primer underneath the topcoat, or is it just bare metal? Do you have a strong enough gauge steel floor and side walls? Steel is the most expensive part of your trailer, and it is the heaviest part. Steel prices fluctuate, and during these past years (2021-2022), prices have soared in excess of $1500 per ton. Find out how heavy your steel trailer weighs. If your trailer is 500 pounds lighter than another manufacturer, find out why. If your trailer is 1000lbs lighter, be very cautious in making the purchase. Lighter steel trailers are cheaper to manufacture than heavier ones. If you’re carrying skid steers, Bobcats, and heavy loads, it is critical that your trailer has the strength to pull the load.
Mahalo for taking the time and effort to read this trailer article. For more information or help, feel free to call, text, or email us. We are here for you.