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Car insurance/renting in Barbados

Car insurance/renting in Barbados

Old Jan 28th 2014, 3:37 pm
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Smile Car insurance/renting in Barbados

Hi,

I'm looking to move to Barbados in April and have a few questions and would be grateful if anyone can advise. I have read through numerous pages on the forum which have been very helpful in my research.

On the subject of a car, who would you recommend to insure the car with? are there any specific insurers that are worth looking into? would I able to pay using my uk debit card or do I have to set up a specific bim bank account? Are there any particular websites that are good for sourcing second hand cars privately or are the various facebook groups my first port of call, I was thinking of a Toyota Yaris which seems pretty popular over there.

Apart from Cariblist, are there any other sites to find properties to rent, would be a bonus if I would be able to deal directly with the owners instead of estate agents.

With regards to setting up a bank account in bim, do I just need to provide a letter of proof from my Uk bank that I have sufficient funds to support myself etc?

Many Thanks

Crocodile
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Old Jan 28th 2014, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Car insurance/renting in Barbados

Hi Crocodile and welcome to the forum

You have asked some great questions...re insurers I cant remember what the name of mine are at present but someone will be able to say if I say they are located just at the main intersection of the lights (to the right opposite fire station??) as you cross over to bus station in Bridgetown..something like Co-operative (help me out guys)..any how insurance was really easy it cost me I think $1000bds as they included my no claims bonus from the UK...bring a no claims letter with you if you can..as for cars the local paper is the Nation and they carry a lot of private adds in it...I would suggest if someone can supply you with details of a good mechanic they can hook you up with and take them with you when viewing...its been a while since I did my insurance but I definitely used my card from UK..cant remember if it was debit or credit card but they also allow you to pay in 3 instalments if required...also there was the bonus that anyone over 25 could drive the car without having to name them. I opened my bank account for business reasons so was much harder than a personal one but I think as long as you have ID and local address..its fine. Be aware tho that there is a limit on how much you can deposit without clearance from central bank...last time I reviewed it was $10,000. The Nation is also ideal for looking for accommodation as well..you can access the newspaper on line. Good luck and hopefully one day you can take over from some of us here giving the feedback and info for newcomers
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Old Jan 28th 2014, 5:26 pm
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Default Re: Car insurance/renting in Barbados

Hi Serendipidy,

Thank you for the excellent response and warm welcome, that saves me a lot of unnecessary worry over accounts etc.

It's a big relief with regards to insurance and paying with a uk debit card, in theory I won't actually need open a bajan account if I can manage everything from my uk account, I wrongly presumed that I would need a bajan account for insurance purposes so that's one less hoop to jump through.

Good point with having a trusty mechanic to give a potential purchase a look over, seeing as I 'm looking at the lower end of the market it would be unwise to go blindfolded, my mechanical knowledge or lack of, stretches as far as knowing that the engine generally sits at the front of the car.

I hadn't thought of the Nation newspaper, but do remember seeing it in every supermarket, great tip thank you.
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Old Jan 28th 2014, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: Car insurance/renting in Barbados

As I said im not sure if mine was a debit or credit card but if you have ya card you can always withdraw the cash ..you can also ask your bank if they have any associate banks in Barbados as I know that Barclays were closely affiliated with First National??? at some point

Just be aware you will also have to purchase an interim drivers licence unless you have Bajan ID which you can obtain a full one..these can be purchased at a local police station or when I did them I went to the car hire place and did it..I think its gone up recently someone here would be able to tell you the price. Also be aware there is a type of Road Tax that you also have to pay at a place like DVLC here in UK again...there is one in Oistins and one in The Pine both are south sides of the island..you will have to take your letter of purchase (similar to UK vehichle registration ) to be able to obtain this and I also think you have to take insurance docs just as we do in UK im not sure what the current charge is but I think its around $300 a year
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Old Jan 29th 2014, 9:02 am
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Default Re: Car insurance/renting in Barbados

I have a credit and debit card so should be covered, I actually bank with Barclays so will pop into my local branch to see if they still have any affiliation with First National and could help with setting up an account.

Re car tax, thanks for clearing that up, so as long as I have insurance and letter of purchase of the vehicle then it should be a relatively simple process to obtain the tax. Also useful to know that I need the bim driving licence, I suppose it's the same as when you rent a car, for a small fee they give you a temporary bajan licence.

Out of curiosity do they have the equivalent of a mandatory yearly mot in bim or just a matter of tax and insurance and you're good to go.
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Old Jan 29th 2014, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Car insurance/renting in Barbados

Just a word of caution about paying with your UK debit or credit card and that is you can't control the BDS to GBP conversion rate - hence you could end up paying more than you thought. It is much easier to open a local account and then transfer money into it at a rate that is preferential at any given time.
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Old Jan 29th 2014, 6:58 pm
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Default Re: Car insurance/renting in Barbados

ahhhh yea now you have reminded me you do need a roadworthy cert as well but they are very easy to get there....if someone here can point you at a good mechanic im sure he will take you through the whole process...
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 8:35 am
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Default Re: Car insurance/renting in Barbados

@ Michael Digby - That's a very good point thank you, banks always have a habit of charging the worst possible rate when abroad. I think it would be sensible to open a personal bim account.

@ Serendipidy - I presume the roadworthy cert isn't as strict as the uk.

If anybody does have some good contacts for reliable trustworthy mechanics please feel free to chime in.
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Car insurance/renting in Barbados

yep lucky your dead right basically does the car start or do ya need to push it
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Car insurance/renting in Barbados

My dream kind of mot then, every time I take my car to the mot station in the uk it raises the same sinking feeling as doctors appointment.
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