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Barbados – Buying or Importing a Car

Barbados is a beautiful island country located in the Caribbean Sea known for its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant culture. If you are planning to move to Barbados or stay there for an extended period, you might want to consider buying or importing a vehicle. In this article, we will discuss the procedure for buying a new or used car in Barbados, importing a vehicle, and selling a car.

Buying a Car in Barbados

If you are a foreign national planning to buy a car in Barbados, you need to have a valid work permit or a visa. Once you have met these requirements, you can start looking for a car.

Procedure for Buying a New Car

If you are buying a new car in Barbados, the process is relatively straightforward. You can visit a car dealership and choose the model that you want to buy. The dealership will provide you with a sales contract, and you will have to pay a deposit. The deposit is usually 10% of the car’s price.

Once you have paid the deposit, the dealership will order the car from the manufacturer. The delivery time depends on the model and availability. When the car arrives, you will have to pay the remaining amount and sign the sales contract. The dealership will register the car in your name and provide you with the necessary paperwork.

Procedure for Buying a Used Car


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Buying a used car in Barbados requires more effort than buying a new car. You can find used cars for sale online, in newspapers, or at car dealerships. When you have found a car that you are interested in, you should arrange a meeting with the seller to inspect the car.

When inspecting a used car, you should check the car’s condition, mileage, and history. You should also take the car for a test drive to see how it handles. If you are satisfied with the car, you can make an offer to the seller.

If the seller accepts your offer, you need to sign a sales contract and pay a deposit. The deposit is usually 10% of the car’s price. You should also check if the car has any outstanding debts or fines. The seller should provide you with the necessary paperwork, including the car’s registration certificate.

When you have paid the remaining amount, the seller will transfer the car’s ownership to you, and you will receive the car’s registration certificate. You should also obtain car insurance and register the car with the Barbados Licensing Authority.

Importing a Vehicle in Barbados

If you want to import a vehicle into Barbados, you need to follow specific procedures and regulations. The import process depends on the vehicle’s origin and age.

Importing a Vehicle from the USA, Canada, or the UK

If you are importing a vehicle from the USA, Canada, or the UK, the process is relatively straightforward. You need to obtain the following documents:

  • Original title or registration certificate
  • Bill of sale or proof of ownership
  • Bill of lading
  • Certificate of Roadworthiness

You should also check if the vehicle meets the Barbados technical requirements, including emissions and safety standards. You can obtain more information about the technical requirements from the Barbados Licensing Authority.

When you have obtained the necessary documents, you should present them to the Barbados Customs authorities. The Customs authorities will verify the documents and check the vehicle’s condition. If the vehicle meets the technical requirements and the paperwork is in order, you can register the vehicle in Barbados.

Importing a Vehicle from Other Countries

If you are importing a vehicle from other countries, the process is more complex. You need to follow the following steps:

  1. Obtain a Roadworthiness Certificate: You need to obtain a roadworthiness certificate from an authorized inspection center in the country of origin. The roadworthiness certificate ensures that the vehicle is in good condition and meets the Barbados technical requirements, including emissions and safety standards.

    1. Obtain an Import Permit: You need to obtain an import permit from the Ministry of Commerce and Trade. The import permit sets the conditions for the import, including the type of vehicle, the age, and the emissions and safety standards.

    2. Pay the Taxes and Duties: You need to pay the following taxes and duties:

    • Customs Duty: depends on the vehicle’s value and age
    • Environmental Levy: 2.5% of the vehicle’s value
    • Excise Tax: depends on the vehicle’s engine size, fuel type, and age
    1. Present the Documents to the Customs Authorities: When the vehicle arrives in Barbados, you should present the necessary documents to the Customs authorities. The Customs authorities will verify the documents and check the vehicle’s condition. If the vehicle meets the technical requirements and the paperwork is in order, you can register the vehicle in Barbados.

    If you have any questions about the import process, you can contact the Barbados Customs Department or the Ministry of Commerce and Trade.

    Selling a Car in Barbados

    If you want to sell a car in Barbados, you need to follow specific procedures and regulations.

    Procedure for Selling a Car

    When you want to sell a car in Barbados, you need to follow the following steps:

    1. Obtain a Roadworthiness Certificate: You need to obtain a roadworthiness certificate of the car. The roadworthiness certificate is valid for 6 months.

    2. Advertise the Car: You should advertise the car in newspapers, online classifieds, or at car dealerships.

    3. Negotiate the Price: When a buyer is interested in the car, you should negotiate the price and sign a sales contract.

    4. Transfer the Ownership: When you have received the payment, you should transfer the car’s ownership to the buyer. You need to provide the buyer with the car’s registration certificate and the roadworthiness certificate.

    Paperwork Required for Selling a Car

    When you sell a car in Barbados, you need to provide the following paperwork:

    • Sales Contract: The sales contract should include the names and addresses of the buyer and seller, the car’s details, the price, and the payment terms.
    • Registration Certificate: The registration certificate should be signed by the seller and the buyer.
    • Roadworthiness Certificate: The roadworthiness certificate should be valid and signed by an authorized inspection center.

    If you have any questions about the selling process, you can contact the Barbados Licensing Authority or an authorized inspection center.

    Buying or importing a vehicle in Barbados requires following specific procedures and regulations. If you are a foreign national, you need to have a valid work permit or visa before buying or importing a vehicle. If you are importing a vehicle, you need to obtain the necessary documents, pay the taxes and duties, and present the paperwork to the Customs authorities. If you are selling a car, you need to obtain a roadworthiness certificate, advertise the car, negotiate the price, transfer the ownership, and cancel the insurance and road tax. By following the procedures and regulations, you can buy or sell a car in Barbados without any legal issues.

    If you need more information about buying or importing a vehicle in Barbados, you can contact the Barbados Customs Department, the Ministry of Commerce and Trade, or the Barbados Licensing Authority. These government departments and agencies can provide you with the necessary information and guidance to ensure a smooth and legal process.


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