One thing that visitors often notice when visiting the islands is a high-population of abandoned vehicles on the roadside. As someone who has been to nearly every state, it seems Hawaii sees more abandoned cars than anywhere in the nation.
Why is it so common to see cars abandoned here? In this post, we are going to first talk about what other states are doing that Hawaii is not. Next, we will discuss what Hawaii is doing, that other states are not.
People in Other Places Call the Police When New Cars are Parked Overnight at Their Street
I lived in California for over 15 years. If a car was abandoned, for even a night most residents would call up the police to make sure the car isn’t stolen. This leads to the first reason why abandoned cars are common here on Maui.
Maui is a Transient Community
No place in the country sees more people come and go than Hawaii. On Maui, nearly half of our population comes from tourism. Thus different cars are all over the place. It’s not unusual to see a car here you’ve never seen before on your street. People don’t typically call the police if a new car is parked overnight.
High Registration Cost
In Maui, registration cost roughly 200 dollars a year for a small car. This price increases for large vehicles and electric vehicles. If vehicle owners wish to sell their vehicle they are required to backpay expired registration to transfer a title. For a car with a three-year expired registration and the need for a duplicate title, the price of selling a car can become more than a thousand very quickly.
Safety Checks are unique in Hawaii. As a Hawaii driver, I’m not exactly sure what they are checking but I know to have all of the external lights working correctly. Safety checks can further complicate the process of registering a vehicle and obtaining a title. Safety Checks add an additional complication when trying to register an unregistered vehicle.
Minimal Consequence for Late Registration
In California, even a six-month late registration will make the vehicle owner in danger of being impounded. Here in Maui, I’ve never heard of a person having their vehicle impounded due to registration. It may happen but it’s certainly rare. A ticket for late registration usually costs around 100 dollars. Comparatively the same ticket in California would cost 300 to 400 dollars.
Many Come to Maui but Do Not Stay
Even if they stay for a long time, most people will leave eventually. Maui does not lend itself to a car-free lifestyle. Having a working vehicle is fairly important here. Many come to Maui and leave a vehicle behind.
We hope you enjoyed this discussion, feel free to read some of our other posts to get a local take on some of Maui’s lighter issues.