There is an art to buying a vehicle in Jamaica. Buying a car on the island is much like planning a wedding – frustrating and painstaking, but fundamentally worth it. There are two different types of cars on the island; one that has been built in Jamaica; and the other has been shipped to Jamaica, normally from Japan.
Unfortunately, unless you live in Kingston, there aren’t many new car dealers. But thanks to the World Wide Web, you can now find and compare different makes and models online to find what you are looking for. Always be sure to compare across various websites because almost all of the best car dealers will say that their price is best, so you will need to validate their claim.
If you aren’t too worried about getting a new car, there are plenty of used car dealerships around the island, and you will normally find that buying an imported vehicle is your best bet for longevity.
Types of cars available on the island include Toyota, Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Honda, Mercedes Benz, and most other popular makes and models of vehicles. In fact, if you are looking for something a little bit more upscale, you could grab yourself a Cadillac, Jaguar, or Porsche.
There are a few things you should consider when you decide to buy a car. Let’s take a look at some of the top tips for buying a car in Jamaica:
- Financial check
Before you walk through the door of a dealership or open the web page of an online car compare site, check whether you can afford a car. This is very important, especially if you will be taking a bank loan. You will need to know how much you can spend before you choose what type of vehicle to buy.
- Research thoroughly
This is a fundamental step in the buying process. Once you know how much you can afford, you can then start looking at what types of cars are in your budget. You will then need to find out as much as you can about this car. Consider things like your lifestyle, amount of travel, fuel economy, and availability of replacement parts. If you are looking at a used car, don’t buy anything that is more than seven years old and do checks on the performance reviews for your vehicle.
- Shop around
Don’t buy the first car you see but instead, check what different dealers can offer within your budget. You may be tempted to buy the first car that is in your price range, but impulse purchases are rarely a good thing. Give yourself time to find the deal that suits your needs.
- Inspections and checks
When you have settled on a vehicle, perform careful inspections. Take a mechanic along, irrelevant to whether the car is new or used, from the owner or a dealer. Make sure that you test drive the vehicle to see that it is comfortable and has all of the features you are looking for. Be acutely aware of any smells or sounds coming from the car that seems to be unusual or troublesome.
- Negotiate a good deal
If the car is mechanically sound and suits your purposes, you may be tempted to pay the listed price so you can hop in the vehicle and get your life going. However, before you drive off into the sunset, try to haggle a good deal from the seller. If the seller seems unreasonable, walk away and find another dealer – you will almost always find a better deal somewhere else.
- After sales
You are now the proud owner of a new car. But you need to remember that with ownership comes responsibility, including the costs associated with owning a car. It is not just the bank loan that you will need to pay, also buy maintenance, insurance, upkeep, and fuel. If you have purchased the car used, you may also need to send it to another service just to get everything up to date.
Buying a car in Jamaica need not be a tooth pulling experience. If you follow the tips above and keep a clear mind throughout the process, you should be the proud new owner of a great vehicle in no time at all. Remember the most important tip: do not rush yourself.