With a population of 2.8 million people, Jamaica is a prominent Caribbean country. Though most tourists get around Jamaica on its fairly developed public transportation system, many locals travel in automobiles, just as they do in the United States. Buying a car in Jamaica requires you locate the specific make and model, either through an online classified website or through one of the numerous physical dealerships on the island.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Certificate of Fitness
- Certificate of Insurance
- Invoice from Motor Car Dealer/Customs Entry Document
- Identification, eg. National ID, Passport or Driver's Licence
- Taxpayer Registration
Identify several online consortia sites that specialise in selling used and new cars in Jamaica. Some examples include Jamaican Classifieds, Jamaica Auto Trader, Top 5 Jamaica and Auto Channel Jamaica. Sites such as these list only private sellers and dealerships which participate in the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica which includes the Small Business Association of Jamaica. Though purchasing from sellers that do not participate in the PSOJ is not technically illegal in Jamaica, it is highly regulated enough to be too much of a nuisance.
Search your selected sites using the search criteria they utilise. For example, Jamaican Classifieds allows you to search by car makers, while Jamaica Auto Trader allows you to specify vehicle type, make, manufacture year and even price. Cars are listed on Jamaican consortia sites in Jamaican dollars or JMD, so the price will often look inflated if you are originally from outside of Jamaica. Ten thousand dollars US is approximately £552,500 JMD.
Contact the private or dealer using the contact information provided by the consortia website. Some consortia sites provide private seller or dealer websites, while others simply provide a contact phone number and addresses. He or she will guide you through the purchasing process, including finalising a purchase price, securing financing and establishing insurance.
Change registration of your car at a Jamaican Inland Revenue office. Be sure to bring appropriate materials and identification (See Things You'll Need).
Tips and warnings
- Search for new car dealerships in the phone directories of your locality. For example, residents of Kingston can contact the Kingston Ford Industrial Garage by visiting 381 Spanish Town Road in Kingston or by calling (876)978-4931.
- Haggle with the seller or dealer over the price of the car you're after before settling on a purchase price. Costs such as registration and insurance are quite high in Jamaica, making it imperative for you to save money wherever you can.
- Given the purchase market in Jamaica, there are far more smaller model sedans, particularly Japanese-made sedans, than there are larger American-made vehicles such as trucks or vans in Jamaica.
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