A friend of mine recently wanted to buy a car but he had no idea about how to go about it. I walked him through the process and now he has his 2009 Honda Fit. Nice little car but this article isn’t about the Fit.

Instead, it’s about the process of buying a car in Jamaica. Generally, it’s the same in any country but the resources I link to are specifically for Jamaica.

Shopping Around

Before you take your money and give it to anyone, you have to take your time and shop around to see what’s available on the market. It helps if you have an idea of what type of vehicle you’d like to get. You can look in the newspapers, search in Google, Shop in Ja, or the many local marketplace groups on Facebook. On fb, I came across a site advertising vehicles for sale in Jamaica. It seems to be fairly new but gaining traction very quickly.

There are also quite a few dealers with Facebook groups online as well. The point I’m trying to make is that it helps to look into some resource, preferably online first so you can see pictures of any vehicle you’re interested in.

Contact The Buyer

After you’ve narrowed down your choice, contact the buyer(s). Try to narrow it down to about 3 different buyers/cars just in case one or two fall through. But contact the buyer to organize a meeting so you can examine the vehicle. Sometimes pictures don’t tell the full story and you don’t want to pay for something then can’t get a refund because if someone is willing to sell you faulty merchandise, you can bet they’ll be stingy with refunds.

Bring a Mechanic

Unless you’re a car savvy person who’s able to look for signs of a faulty vehicle, you should bring an experienced mechanic with you when you go to inspect the vehicle. Your mechanic will be able to tell you if the car is in good shape and if the price is a reasonable one.

It may be tempting to just buy the car once it’s driving but please take the advice of your mechanic on this. It can save you from endless headaches down the road.

Make the Payment

If you can, try to avoid paying by cash. Pay instead by cheque or bank transfer and SECURE A RECEIPT.

Organize Transfer

The final stage is to get the transfer underway. The process of transferring registration of a car in Jamaica is very simple and Tax Administration has outlined the process in simple terms here in an article on the Gleaner website.