Owning a car and driving is expensive in Hawaii. This is due not only to Hawaii imposing both the fifth-highest fuel taxes in the 50 states and District of Columbia and high, weight-based registration fees, but also Jones Act restrictions that make it more expensive to import vehicles as well as petroleum and gasoline from refineries located on the mainland.
Looking at vehicle expenses, it costs an additional $4.3 million to $9.7 million a year for cars sold in the state than it would if they could be shipped from domestic ports using market-rate services. Gasoline is between $19.1 million and $55.2 million more expensive due to the Jones Act, and even repair services are as much as $12.7 million greater because of the added shipping costs.
In total, it costs between $24.9 million and $63.2 million more per year for Hawaii’s drivers to own and operate their vehicles because of how the Jones Act limits the ability to import products from the U.S. mainland. In addition, there are as many as 780 fewer jobs in the automotive sector of Hawaii’s economy as a result of these higher costs.
These costs were the results of the groundbreaking independent new study produced by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, “Quantifying the cost of the Jones Act to Hawaii.”