Category Archives: Buy Cars

An Expats Guide to Buying a Car in Jamaica

carsMost American expats living in Jamaica find it is easier to buy a car in Jamaica than to ship their car to the island from the U.S.  


Once American expats settle into their new homes in Jamaica, and get used to driving on the left side of the road, they want to secure a car so they can explore their new island home. Cars for sale in Jamaica makes more sense than shipping their car from the United States. In addition to shipping costs, the tariffs for importing a car into Jamaica range from 67 percent to 180 percent of the car’s value and the government does not allow cars more than three years to be imported into the country.


The Options for Buying a Car in Jamaica


Purchasing a Car at a Dealership


Just as in the United States, buying a car in Jamaica at a dealership has both positive and negatives. One of the advantages purchasing a new vehicle at a dealership is that the car comes with a warranty that covers the part of the expense of many common repairs. Additionally, the service departments at most dealerships keep most of the parts in stock needed to maintain and repair the cars that sell. Since it can take weeks for a mechanic to receive the parts he has to order from overseas, repairs done at dealership take comparative less time than at independent repair shops. Even if you want a used car, dealerships are good options since they inspect the cars they sell and some even offer limited warranties.


Even though buying a car in Jamaica at a dealership has many benefits, there are a few drawbacks. Similar to the United States, dealers add a significant markup to the cars they sell, which means the car depreciates the moment you drive the car off the lot. Additionally, dealers add the cost of the tariffs to the price of the new cars they sell, which adds significantly to the price of the car.


Buying a Car in Jamaica from a Private Party


A less expensive option than purchasing a car from a dealership is to buy a used car from an individual. By looking through classified ads, you can easily find cars for literally thousands less than the prices advertised by dealerships. The downside of buying a car in Jamaica from a private individual is that you need to be careful that you are not being taken for a ride that you do not want.


Some ways to protect yourself when buying a car in Jamaica include:

  • Meet the person at a public place to see the car.
  • Ask to see the cars title and other documents and note the cars vehicle identification number. Make sure this is the same number on the chassis and engine.
  • Verify the title of the car is in the name of the seller.
  • Find a reputable and skilled mechanic to check the car
  • Pay for the car in the local currency to avoid problem with anti-money laundering