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Trinidad and Tobago – Buying or Importing a Car

Trinidad and Tobago is a beautiful country located in the Caribbean, with a growing economy and a diverse population. If you’re a foreign national interested in buying or importing a vehicle in Trinidad and Tobago, this article will provide you with the necessary information and guidance.

Buying a Car in Trinidad and Tobago

If you’re looking to buy a new or used car in Trinidad and Tobago, there are several steps you need to follow:

  1. Research: First, research the car market in Trinidad and Tobago to identify the type of car you want to buy, and the price range that suits your budget. You can browse online car dealerships or check out local newspapers for advertisements.

  2. Test Drive: Once you’ve identified the car you want to purchase, schedule a test drive to check its performance and condition. You can request the car dealer to arrange a test drive for you.

  3. Negotiate: After the test drive, negotiate the price of the car with the dealer. In Trinidad and Tobago, it’s common practice to negotiate the price of the car, so don’t be afraid to bargain.

  4. Purchase Agreement: Once you and the dealer agree on the price, sign a purchase agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale.

  5. Payment: Make payment for the car either in cash or through financing, which is available through banks and other financial institutions.

  6. Registration: After purchasing the car, you need to register it with the Licensing Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. You’ll need to provide your passport and a valid driver’s license, as well as proof of insurance.

Importing a Car in Trinidad and Tobago

If you’re interested in importing a car into Trinidad and Tobago, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Confirm Import Eligibility: Ensure that the car you want to import is eligible for import into Trinidad and Tobago. The Ministry of Trade and Industry regulates the importation of vehicles, and it’s essential to verify the car’s eligibility before proceeding with the importation process.

  2. Obtain Import Permit: Apply for an import permit from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. You’ll need to submit the following documents:

    • Bill of Lading
    • Commercial Invoice
    • Import License (where applicable)
    • Insurance Certificate
    • Tax Identification Number (TIN) Certificate
    • Certificate of Title
  3. Pay Duties and Taxes: Once you receive the import permit, you’ll need to pay the relevant duties and taxes. The customs duties and taxes vary depending on the value and type of the car.

  4. Inspect the Car: Before shipping the car to Trinidad and Tobago, have it inspected by a licensed mechanic to ensure that it meets the necessary safety and emission standards.

  5. Ship the Car: Once the car passes the inspection, it’s time to ship it to Trinidad and Tobago. You can arrange for shipping through a freight forwarder or a shipping company.

  6. Clear Customs: After the car arrives in Trinidad and Tobago, it needs to be cleared through customs. You’ll need to submit the import permit, bill of lading, and other relevant documents to the customs authority.

  7. Register the Car: Once the car clears customs, you need to register it with the Licensing Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, similar to the process for buying a car locally.

Selling a Car in Trinidad and Tobago

If you want to sell your vehicle in Trinidad and Tobago, you need to follow these steps:

1. Transfer of Ownership

To transfer ownership of your vehicle, you need to fill out a Transfer of Ownership Form. You can download the form from the Licensing Authority of Trinidad and Tobago’s website or pick one up at their office. You will need to provide the following documents:


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  • Original Registration Certificate
  • Valid Insurance Certificate
  • Proof of Ownership (Bill of Sale or Affidavit of Sale)
  • Identification (National ID, Passport or Driver’s Permit)

Both the buyer and the seller need to sign the Transfer of Ownership Form.

2. Registration

Once the transfer of ownership has been completed, the buyer needs to register the vehicle with the Licensing Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. To do this, the buyer needs to provide the following documents:

  • Transfer of Ownership Form
  • Original Registration Certificate
  • Insurance Certificate
  • Identification (National ID, Passport or Driver’s Permit)

The buyer will also need to pay a registration fee.

Buying or importing a vehicle in Trinidad and Tobago can be a straightforward process as long as you follow the necessary steps and provide the required documents. It is important to note that there may be additional fees or requirements depending on the specifics of your situation, so it is always a good idea to check with the relevant government departments or a qualified professional before making any major decisions.


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