Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Bang For Your Buck | A Guide To Financing A New Car In Jamaica

Published:Sunday | March 12, 2017 | 3:03 AM

Getting the new car of your dreams in Jamaica can seem far-fetched for many. But, in truth, this is not at always the case. All it takes is to follow key procedures. When you decide that it's finally time to get that car you always wanted, you'll need to do a little research and put a few things into perspective.

There are a lot of compelling loan offers available at car dealerships, banks, and credit unions that you can check out to find what's best for you. So, the moment you decide to get that new car, you need to figure out how you will cover the cost and over what period you are prepared to do so.

What are your options for financing a new car?

Several banks and credit unions across Jamaica offer between 90 per cent and 100 per cent financing on new cars. At most of these institutions, the newer the car, the more financing that is available to you. What does this mean for you? You can pretty much drive home your dream car in no time with as little as 0 per cent down payment.

Sagicor, National Commercial Bank, and Scotiabank all offer 100 per cent loan financing on new cars. However, they all have their unique terms and conditions. So you have to take the time to shop around to find out your best option.

Some loans are offered via in-house financial entities, which means, they are available exclusively through a particular car dealership. One such is Simpson Finance Jamaica Limited, which offers up to 95 per cent financing for new vehicles. You can also explore getting new-car loans from credit unions.

 

What to look out for when shopping around?

 

If you want the best value for your money, there are a few things to pay attention to.

Look for the lowest rates available and the length of time required to repay. Also, find out whether you are able to restructure loans should you fall into financial difficulties later on.

Be mindful of insurance costs. Shop around and compare quotes. See if you can get discounts and deals. Many of these institutions offer up to eight-year terms for new cars and include the option of covering insurance premium financing as well.

Investing that extra effort is key to saving you a lot of money over the lifetime of the car.

What do I need to prepare for financing a new car?

There are a few items that you will need to have on standby as you prepare to finance your new car.

- Loan application form

- Financial statements/proof of income (bank statement/pay slip/contract/letter of employment)

- Letters of reference (JP/minister of religion/professional)

- Credit card/loan statements

- Certificate of registration

- Valid driver's licence(s)/permit

- Identification card/passport

- Taxpayer Registration Number

- Proof of residence (recent utility bill/mail)

- Company stamp/seal (if applicable) upon delivery of vehicle

- Credit union statement (if applicable)

- Pro-forma invoice from the car dealer

- Copy of certificate of fitness

- Duty concession letter (if applicable)

- Import entry form (if applicable)

Processing and approving a loan for a new car is usually not a long process once you have all the right documentation and follow the right procedures. Despite how easy it is to get that loan for your new car, be sure to study your loan terms and agreement to have a full understanding of the contract before you sign off on it. If at any point you have questions, don't hesitate to contact an agent at the institution.

Additionally, the more you pay down, the better it is for you. You can also put money aside so that you can have a shorter repayment term. But try not to clump your payment into a short space of time when you know you won't have the resources to repay. This means that you must ensure your monthly payment fits within your budget.