News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Sat. April 18, 2020: If you’re going to be on one of the Caribbean Islands long-term, whether because you moved there or are visiting for a while, you may need to purchase a car to get around. Having a car will make it easier to navigate the island, rather than having to rely on public transportation. However, purchasing a car in the Caribbean is a little different than purchasing a car elsewhere in the world. So, with that in mind, here are some tips you can use if you need to buy a car while you’re in the Caribbean.
Use Word of Mouth
To start, you should put the word out that you are in the market for a new car. A lot of car sales in the Caribbean happen because of word of mouth. Let your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors know that you would like to buy a car, and what type of car you are looking for. There’s a good chance that someone will know of a car for sale and can put you in touch. You can also post what you are looking for on your social media feeds to let even more people know. By going with word of mouth you can often find a good deal on a car and you’ll get it from a more reliable source.
Learn to Drive Standard
Most cars in the Caribbean use standard, or manual, transmissions. If you don’t know how to drive a stick-shift, now would be a good time to learn. Learning isn’t too complicated, but it will take a few practice runs behind the wheel before you get it down.
If you don’t have the time to learn to drive a manual transmission, you can find automatic transmission cars in the Caribbean. However, these are often more expensive. You’ll save yourself a decent amount of money, and perhaps end up with a better car, if you can spend the time to learn to drive a stick shift before you begin your hunt for a car.
Buy from Someone Reliable
If you’re new to the Caribbean, you’ll want to be extra careful. It’s important that you purchase your car from someone reliable. Cars are expensive purchases, so you don’t want to find some serious problems with your car a week after buying.
This is where buying via word of mouth is helpful, but this isn’t always possible. When you need to buy your car from someone you don’t know, you should take some extra time to vet the seller. What sort of assurances has the person provided you with? What kind of reputation does that dealership have?
Do as much research into the seller as you can and last of all, use your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right about the seller, or if the price of the car seems too good to be true, then don’t go through with the deal. It’s much better to wait a few extra days to find a good car than to end up regretting your purchase shortly after.
Figure Out Insurance and Warranties
As you’re browsing through your car options, you should consider the costs of insurance and any warranties. Get quotes from insurance providers in your area and compare them against one another. Also, think about the type of coverage you’ll need and for how long you’ll need it.
The same goes for warranties. Warranties can help to protect you against car problems, which is good when you’re buying from an unfamiliar source. You can often buy extended warranties after the sale, even if the car is used. For example, if you purchased a used Hyundai from a third-party, you could then find a Hyundai extended warranty company to provided you with a warranty. This would help to cover a lot of the repair costs should your car break down. Spend some time thinking about what sort of protection you want and incorporate those costs into your final calculations.
Perform a Safety Check
Finally, on whatever car you are considering buying, you should perform a safety check. Take the car for a test drive and see that everything works properly. You should aggressively test the breaks, make sure the seatbelts are working, and that there is plenty of tread on the tires. Safety is the most important thing when driving a car, so run any car you’re considering through an examination before buying.
Take the Time to Make the Right Choice
The last thing you want to do is rush through your purchasing decision. If you can spend enough time on each of the items listed above, you have a good chance of ending up with a reliable car that you like. Then you’ll have no problem getting around your Caribbean island for the months to come.