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Buying A Car In Jamaica With Monthly Instalments

by Iyele Edwards
(Old harbour, St Catherine, Jamaica)

Where can I purchase a car in Jamaica and pay for it monthly for 5 years or less in Jamaica?

ANSWER: by Wellesley

Hey Iyele,
Thanks a million again for asking!

Getting a car is almost as easy as buying a patty these day, seriously, its (almost) that easy!

In fact, by the time you get my response, chances are you would have had someone offering to sell you one!

Back to your question as to where to buy a car and pay in installment though...

Typically, you can purchase a car one one of two ways.

  1. Directly from the dealer
  2. or via a financial/loan institution.

Unless you have full cash, which you don't have in this case, the most feasible option is to approach a financial institution and request a car loan, which you'd use to pay the car dealer (or individual seller).

Note also that car dealers and financiers work hand in hand as well. In fact, if you have been observing keenly, you would have noticed that many times the banks have offsite
promotions at the grounds of the dealers - as well as the dealers in or outside of the financial institution, promoting their business.

Which Financial Institutions Provide Car Loans?

I'd say most, if not all financial institutions in Jamaica are willing to do this.

These include building societies, commercial banks and credit unions. And if you have no idea where to get a car from, your banker or financial advisor would usually be happy to recommend a trusted dealer.

See also: 7 Money Saving Car Buying Tips

And 5 years, as you noted, is the average payback time frame so you'll be right on time! Some financiers go up to even 8 years for repayment, but usually the case of new vehicles.

Just in case though, here also are additional information you might need.

What are the requirements to get a car loan in Jamaica?

In most cases, these are the typical requirements across banks, credit unions and established loan companies:

  1. Valid picture ID
  2. Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN)
  3. Two (2) References
  4. Current Utility Bill (indicating residence)

    In the case of employed persons:

  5. Last three (3) salary slips
  6. And an employment letter

    In the case of business owners:

  7. Bank Statements(s) showing last twelve (12) months activities
  8. Current financial statements (if available)
  9. Certificate of Incorporation/Registration
  10. Valid Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC)

    You'll also need documentation of the vehicle, namely...

  11. Pro-forma Invoice
  12. Motor Vehicle Certificate Of Registration
  13. Motor Vehicle Certificate of Fitness and a
  14. Recent Valuation Report (for used vehicles)

    The seller or dealer, should be willing to provide these to you if you let them know that you are getting a loan.

How Much Will The Monthly Installment Be?

It depends on a number of factors, including...

  • Interest rate (and processing fees)
  • Deposit if applicable
  • Maximum amount available based on the vehicle year &
  • Repayment period

Your representative can give you an idea using a loan payment calculator.

What Interest Rate Will I Get?

Interest rates vary but depends mainly on the:

  • The loan company and
  • The age of the vehicle.

Nowadays I see people getting rates as low at 7% on secured loans!

How Long Is The Pay Back Time?

As I indicated earlier, anywhere between 3 and 8 years is practiced, but the standard is usually 5 years here.

What is 100 financing on a car?

In most cases, you need to make a deposit towards a car loan from you own pocket (assets).

So for example, if a car is valued 1 million JMD, a loan company may tell you they'll finance 80% or $800,000, the difference of 200,000, you'd need to fin as deposit.

In the case of 100% financing, which typically happens only with brand new vehicles, the loan company will pay the full loan of 1m JMD (just an example).

Is it better to get a car loan from bank or dealer?

It can get complicated for but simplicity, personally, I'd say the bank.

In many cases, the dealer collects information from you and forwards that information to one or more potential car lenders, who provide the loan but the dealer then tops it up for their hassle. You then pay the dealer monthly.

Dealer loans are therefore, although convenient to purchase, can be more expensive and inconvenient to pay back monthly.

Can I get a car with no money?

Believe it or not, you actually can, but in most cases though, among other things, you'd need to show tenure of job/business stability and consistent earning potential. This would relate mainly to the 100% financing loans.

Do I have a Recommendation

Not really, I use one of the top institutions here in Jamaica recently and got my car loan at 6.99% secured, but for the most part, there is not much difference between them, certainly not clear-cut to me.

On one variable A appears to be better, but B is better on another.

Final note:
Remember that in the year 2013, The Lower House passed changes to the Proceeds of Crime (POCA) Amendment Bill, which, among other things, places a limit of $1 million on all cash transactions in Jamaica.

So for sums at that amount or larger you need to consider alternate (other than cash) payment arrangements.

I hope this helps. I welcome your comments

Be sure to also read my article on Key Consideration Before Buying A Car In Jamaica as well as a Listing Of Cars For Sale In Jamaica.


P.S. We've answered HUNDREDS of questions, click here and here to get even more answers.


  1. "House Approves Legislation to Place $1 Million Limit on Cash Transactions", Retreived on July 17, 2019 from JIS,
  2. "Is It Better to Finance a Car Through a Dealer or a Bank?",, Retreived from on July 17, 2019

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