Barbados Used Car Industry About To Crash And Burn

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I would like to inform you that the Prime Minister has put the nail in the coffin in the used car industry in Barbados. He changed the levy on used cars from $150 to $2000 a year ago. Now, effective July 1, he has changed the levy from $2000 to $4000.

You can verify this information through the official gazette. This $4000 levy accounts for a huge portion of the approximately $7,000 to $8,000 payable in duties on used cars.

The Prime Minister’s aim was to destroy the small car dealers and he has succeeded.

Yours truly,

Another small business destroyed by the Barbados Government.


Filed under Barbados, Business, Politics & Corruption

62 responses to “Barbados Used Car Industry About To Crash And Burn

  1. Bush Tea

    This is one of the few good steps that O$A have made in a long time.
    Unfortunately it is 10 years late and $10,000 short.
    This ‘business’ of importing other peoples junk to be offloaded on gullible bajans to be accumulated at Bagatelle and in all our gaps and yards is almost as bad as what BS&T has been doing to this country for decades, and what the Drug lords are doing now.
    Why don’t these businessmen start a PRODUCTIVE venture? Invest in a business like Solar Dynamics or a small manufacturing or agricultural facility?
    Everything is the selfish quick dollar, easy buck and ‘poor small man’. How about WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS?

    Good RIDDANCE.

  2. hard ears

    Du was real duty teifing goin on an de PM had was to do someting

  3. reality check

    There are too many cars on the streets of Barbados. The lineups are increasing and the cost to our fragile environment in terms of new roads and overpasses is incalculable.

    Containers full of used cars arriving every thirty to sixty days from Japan is no longer in the books. The new car industry which pays huge taxes on a higher base has been suffering for a long time.

    The issue at hand is the right of every Barbadian to own a car versus the very real costs of continuing to expand in a very finite space.

    What to do?

    The average Barbadian represents votes to the ruling party and the vested car companies represents jobs and higher taxes.

    The job of a truly democratic country is to discuss these balancing issues openly and freely and then come to a decision. It is truly a lose lose situation but one that must be faced for the long term future of all Barbadians. Like the Barbados debt, the writing is on the wall and gravity will eventually take hold.

    What does our Prime Minister do in facing this issue squarely before the public. He sneaks it through the back door with no discussion. This is to be expected.

    Where is our opposition?

  4. Anon

    Please hard ears,

    Use a luttle better english so that we can all read and not have to decipher by reading 2 times!

  5. Zulu

    I own a reconditioned car for the past 8 years. Still works well.
    Because of the recon business, many ppl were able to own cars at affordable prices, but some of these dealers were quite busy “jucking out” we eyes as they were mainly interested in making a quick dollar.
    Now if the real reason for the increased duty was to prevent junk from coming to the island then I am all for that as some of these vehicles should have been sent to some recycling plant rather than being brought here.
    On the other hand, if the purpose was to drive (pun intended) the small man out of business in favour of the large garages, then we do have a problem wid dat.
    You see, the PM was quoted as saying that he would like for there to be a car in every home and I thought that that was a very irresponsible comment.
    If the Transport Board was efficient I am sure that more ppl would take the bus and save money/energy. Yes, we are a proud ppl, but I am sure that there are some folk like me who would take the bus. And this is where the Pm should have placed his focus if he cared about the small ppl.
    To get to that stage a whole lot of cleaning up would have to be done at the Transport Board.

  6. Chase

    I think to call reconditioned cars junk first of all is wrong.If it was not for reconditioned cars,we would not have been aware of the many features which are called options by the new car dealers.
    A/C.Power steering etc are found on the cheapest model,I remember a time when you had to pay extra for these.
    I agree that most dealers look to make a quick buck but in business who doesn’t.I personally think it is just a way to further protect the new car dealers at the expense of those of us who cant afford their prices.
    Why then,if the new cars are better and recons are junk ,do the same new car dealers also import recons?

  7. J. Payne

    Owe-n $. Arthur doesn’t care. HE get brand new BMW’s on the taxpayer’s dime…. Hey BFP Have you heard anything on the Cricket World Cup BMW’s as yet…. I still curious…..

  8. lead by example

    any chance we will see the PM at a bus stop soon showing us the way???

  9. political pimp


  10. Crusty

    Life is so complicated. We all want freedom and ease of movement – that implies personal transportation. We all want empty roads to use it and on a small island you can’t have it both ways.

    If the population density on Barbados is the highest in the world then why don’t we have a public transit
    system equal to that of places with even lower densities and smaller areas?

    I’ve seen all classes of people on the bus in major cities around the world so public transit vs the car
    does not have to be a status thing. In some places, with the present concern for global warming, there
    is reverse snobbery happening and the extra walk is
    helping waistlines. Now that’s a good thing.

  11. J. Payne

    Crusty— Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have proven that it is possible to build subway systems on Caribbean islands….

    I didn’t think it so before.

    In Barbados’ case I can see the island wanting to becareful because the underground is where the bulk of we water come from. But Barbados should be able to have an above ground monorail. It would only take a few suppport columns running like say along the highway…

    Even T&T was talking about having a train system…. Monorails are more expensive at outlay but tend to be cheaper thereafter because Monorails run on rubber tires along a concreate beam. Subway trains run on (slippery) steel wheels along (slippery) steel rails and the grinding action of metal-upon-metal means you have to keep replacing both the metal wheels & rails all the time for it to run safely.

    The metal on metal is also noisy. Whereas the rubber wheels provide a smoother ride that’s not much louder than a car passing outside.

  12. Peltdown Man

    In yesterdays Advocrap (sic)it was reported that our bill for imported fuel for just the FIRST QUARTER of this year reached $133,895,000! That is well over half a billion dollars per year. The massive increase in the number of cars in the country has a great deal to do with this. Surely, this is not sustainable, even in the short/medium term. When other countries in the world are turning to bio-fuels, using their land to grow crops to turn into fuel, Barbados is taking its land out of agriculture to build fancy housing and golf courses for foreign investors – a one-off hit in terms of foreign exchange. Even if we are not a very efficient producer of sugar, the value of that commodity in terms of ethanol will escalate in coming years. A quote from a trailor for a new TV series says “Sugar is the new oil”, and it’s true. For years now, planners have being trying to figure out how to keep Barbados looking good enough to attract tourists, but still live with the decline of the sugar industry. Now that decline is no longer necessary. A government with vision would see that even if we substituted 10% of our fuel imports with home-grown ethanol, we would save over $500 million dollars per year at today’s consumption levels. For sure, oil prices may fluctuate a little, but they’re not going to fall. Let’s make Barbados beautiful again, and save a huge amount of foreign exchange in the process. We’ll be doing our bit for global climate change, too, because cane is an efficient user of carbon dioxide, and ethanol is a clean burning fuel. Talk about win/win!

  13. Peltdown Man

    But I fear that the vision is not there, and that they’re just hoping that they find oil.

  14. Alert!

    The recent action of the Govt. to increase the Levy by 100% has nothing at all to do with the numbers of cars coming into the island (as “reality check”)would have us believe.

    For some reason, whenever we hear propaganda about “too many cars are on the road” it NEVER refers to new cars.

    In terms of taxes, used cars bear a heavy burden and pay significant millions into the treasury (as the duties on used cars, for some magical reason) are higher.

    You don’t have to be trained at Harvard (just honest) to see that it is a ploy between big business and government to sqash the small players.

    The government is showing its true colours.This new Levy needs to be reversed! Fairness must prevail!

    Since the Used Car Dealers (those approved to import cars)have to honour similar warranty commitments to the public, they should pay the same level of duties as the larger Dealers.
    In reality, what is the difference? Just the size.


  15. Anonymous

    well,they got to find ways to make bajans leave Barbados for greener pastures,so lets see if we can get them to ride from christ church to st.lucy..on a bicycle..hell look at the chinese..they ride every where..nice ploy Owen,cut the poor black boy throat and let the white elites continue to reign..typical bajan politics.

  16. Wishing in Vain

    And even after all of this you all would go back and vote these callous disgusting corrupt criminals back in as the next gov’t we need our heads looking into or commit us to the metal aslyum.

  17. Wishing in Vain

    And even after all of this you all would go back and vote these callous disgusting corrupt criminals back in as the next gov’t we need our heads looking into or commit us to the mental aslyum.

  18. Anonymous

    Why should Barbados be the dumping ground for Japanese old cars. Many of these cars after a year or 2 have serious transmission problems and when you try to find parts God help you… different model from what agents bring locally available parts not compatible… Should increase levy 1000% not 100%. I know I have been burned and lost thousands on a so called reconditioned car.. Whay is reconditioned anyway, my information is that they are simply used cars off the Japanese roads washed and put on a boat…… Lets rid ourselves of them for good!

  19. DS

    Understanding sustainable use of our resources is key. Peltdown has not actually explained about biological fuels in such a way for us to understand why they are sustainable, and why fiossil fuels are bad. Here is part of the explanation:

    Plants use sunlight energy to convert CO2 into biomass, eg sugar. This biomass of carbon can be burnt or converted to fuel which can power machines like autos.

    The amount of CO2 fixed by the plant in question (in our case sugar) is equal to the CO2 released when the fuel is burnt.

    The net effect on the environment of bio-grown fuels is to neither reduce, nor create, more or less greenhouse gas (CO2).

    The reason why we have such a huge greenhouse gas effect and global warming in the present day is that we are taking biomass that was fixed millions of years ago(fossils that created the oil) and burning it back to CO2. We are presently throwing much more CO2 into the air than the Earth’s plants can re-fix, net resulting in the Greenhouse effect.

    So much so that as the polar ice-caps and the tundra permafrost melt they too, having been frozen for eons, are now decomposing and making their own CO2 by decomposition (which is a form of combustion), and actually producing more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than just the cars and other burners of fossil fuels in the developing and developed world.

    We have today arrived at a point where some scientists surmise that we cannot reduce the CO2 faster than it is being produced. If this is the case, climate change is irreversible and we are on the road to extinction. QED.

    I do hope sincerely this helps you to organise your affairs.

    Get a hybrid. May the politicians please mandate the use of hybrids, undertake to begin to have companies order them.
    Then it should be a tax incentive, like a solar water heater, to BUY A HYBRID CAR.

    Barbados is expanding its roads. This is a foolish way for us to proceed….UNLESS….unless we go with the smarter vehicle.

  20. FamilyB

    Anonymous, it’s unfortunate you had such a bad experience, but the honest truth is that it could happen to anyone. I can recall not to long ago a Barbadian consumer had to resort to the press after experiencing horrors with his “brand new” car, purchased from a local dealership.

    Personally I determined that I would not be buying a new car for a long time if I could help it. Depreciation is a …., furthermore, the quality controls built into the cars for the Japanese market are much higher than the vehicles imported into this market segment (which by the way I’ve never been able to figure out [French, African … not sure]) Like someone said earlier, these same reconditioned cars forced the established garages to revisit what they were offering to customers in terms of options and equipment, and that isn’t a bad thing in my opinion. But little by little (and I mean since 2002) I saw the established folks in Barbados take steps to reclaim the lost ground from the upstarts in the used car business. On the matter of public transport, if the Transport Board could bring up their game and offer a reliable and quality service, you can be guaranteed that I’d be taking that as an option 45% of the time. If you’re reading/listening Transport Board, time to get busy!

  21. Rumplestilskin

    On the contrary, many of the recon cars work very well indeed and are also, because they are for the Japanese market originally, better equipped and of a better standard than the ‘locally imported new’ cars which are geared to the third-world market, we get the same as Taiwan, Indonesia etc.

    Secondly, the recon cars and vans allowed many a poorer person or businessperson who could not afford repayments of upwards of $1,000 per month on a new vehicle to own a car for their transport or to use in their business.

    One cannot tell people to use public transport when it is neither safe (run by thugs) nor reliable, next worse to LIAT.

    The margins on these cars are significantly less to those earned by the new car dealers.

    Finally, this will not stop the imports, as it is still cheaper to buy a good Japanese second hand car than a new car which is overvalued and on which there is 150% duty.

    So, it is a revenue earning move, albeit it will squeeze the used car market certainly.

    As for the roads, you have to line up in traffic in New York, on the M1 in England etc…. the same way.

    So why complain here? Are you going to volunteer to give up your car, so that others can drive freely, or are you to be one of the chosen few???

    THE ONLY THING to reduce traffic congestion is to improve public transport to be safe and reliable.

  22. Really?

    I refer to ANONYMOUS”s mail.
    This is the typical smokescreen those with ties to the New/Traditional Dealerships used to employ in the early stages of the Used Car Business in the late 1990’s. (I would not doubt if this person is highly involved with new cars)

    The ploy was:
    Make them believe the cars are no good
    Make them believe you can’t get parts
    Make them believe that there will be ecological problems

    Historical fact does not give creedence to Anonymous’s submission when we look at the thousands of these units imported over the last 12 years. The facts are:
    1. The cars, even though used, are obviously superior to what we call new(these cars are inferior from the metal downwards

    2. Far from parts not being available, a class of black small businessmen have emerged specialising in sales of parts (new and used).
    Used car Dealerships are also required by law to stock parts.

    3. These same small parts dealers very often rescue us from the clutches of the larger players who over the years have had to reduce prices considerably.
    Were it not for these said dealers, we would still be paying $1200.00 for a CV Joint.

    4.. Thus far, I have not seen any ecological problems with the cars on our landscape. It is now over 10 years.

    This new window of opportunity has assisted and helped hundreds of Barbadians over the years.
    This has been done through increased employment and the ability of the average Barbadian to own a good working car.

    I remember well when the Mazda Lantis was approaching $80,000.00 in 1995. When the Reconditioned (Japanese used car) landed, that price was slashed to $60,000.00(No wonder some folks are upset with the Used Industry)

    It is still clear in my mind when a Toyota Corolla was out of the reach of the average ” Joe”
    Those were the days when your only chance of owning a Corolla was by buying one -wrecked and damaged at the auction.

    If Anonymous is sincere in that he was “burnt” when he bought a Japanese used car, we have to sympathise, but this solitary experience CANNOT be a yarstick for the thousands of these cars that have been imported.
    If these cars were no good and parts are hard to come by, why have people still been buying them?

    STRAIGHT TALK – Times are a changing
    The new Dealers have the money and the might to get Govt. to do what ever they want. But in this world of increased competition and access to information, this is not the way.
    You may kill a couple businessess today, but others will rise tomorrow. The days of hiding behind Govt. for protection from competitors will soon be no more.

    I believe that instead of unfairly trying to disenfranchise small businesses with government support, the larger players should devise means and create attractive customer loan schemes to increase their market share.
    Getting govt. to limit the age of car importation; increasing the customs duties and holding cars in the Port is not the way to go. It is immoral, cowardly and outright evil.

    What kind of Govt. would allow a small group of men trample on the rights and livelyhood innocent, simple Barbadians?

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  24. Straight talk


    Very interesting points, but are you assuming that our present reliance on fossil fuels, causing this warming, is economically and practically assured?

    Did I not read somewhere that we have not discovered any new economically exploitable resources which exceed our annual consumption since the 1960s, and as such we are depleting a finite resource at an increasing rate.

    If so, nature’s balance may be restored by scarcity, but unfortunately the human race may be reduced to subsistence farming unless new non fossil technologies are urgently found. and

  25. Green Monkey

    The fight for the world’s food

    by Daniel Howden


    For those of us who have grown up in post-war Britain food prices have gone only one way, and that is down. Sixty years ago an average British family spent more than one-third of its income on food. Today, that figure has dropped to one-tenth. But for the first time in generations agricultural commodity prices are surging with what analysts warn will be unpredictable consequences.

    Like any other self-respecting trend this one now has its own name: agflation. Beneath this harmless-sounding piece of jargon – the conflation of agriculture and inflation – lie two main drivers that suggest that cheap food is about to become a thing of the past. Agflation, to those that believe that it is really happening, is an increase in the price of food that occurs as a result of increased demand from human consumption and the diversion of crops into usage as an alternative energy resource.

    On the one hand the growing affluence of millions of people in China and India is creating a surge in demand for food – the rising populations are not content with their parents’ diet and demand more meat. On the other, is the use of food crops as a source of energy in place of oil, the so-called bio-fuels boom.


    Then there is corn. While relatively little corn is eaten directly it is of pivotal importance to the food economy as so much of it is consumed indirectly. The milk, eggs, cheese, butter, chicken, beef, ice cream and yoghurt in the average fridge is all produced using corn and the price of every one of these is influenced by the price of corn. In effect, our fridges are full of corn.

    In the past 12 months the global corn price has doubled. The constant aim of agriculture is to produce enough food to carry us over to the next harvest. In six of the past seven years, we have used more grain worldwide than we have produced. As a result world grain reserves – or carryover stocks – have dwindled to 57 days. This is the lowest level of grain reserves in 34 years.

    The reason for the price surge is the wholesale diversion of grain crops into the production of ethanol. Thirty per cent of next year’s grain harvest in the US will go straight to an ethanol distillery. As the US supplies more than two-thirds of the world’s grain imports this unprecedented move will affect food prices everywhere. In Europe farmers are switching en masse to fuel crops to meet the EU requirement that bio-fuels account for 20 per cent of the energy mix.

    Ethanol is almost universally popular with politicians as it allows them to tell voters to keep on motoring, while bio-fuels will fix the problem of harmful greenhouse gas emissions. But bio-fuels are not a green panacea, as the influential economist Lester Brown from the Earth Policy Institute explained in a briefing to the US Senate last week. He said: “The stage is now set for direct competition for grain between the 800 million people who own automobiles, and the world’s 2 billion poorest people.”

  26. bajejun

    I have to agree, the used car business, has afforded many people, good car, with very good standard features. It is unfortunate that government has sought to apply such a heavy tax burden on them, to the point where it it wiping them out. I owned on since 1997 , and to this day I don’t have a rust spot on it, and have done no major mechanical work on it, the car is just fantastic.

  27. Rumplestilskin

    To further address this ‘overcrowded’ argument which I think has nothing to do with the levy increase:

    – we are in the process of expanding the highway, where are the two opposing bicycle lanes??????? large enough for three or so bicycles???

    I thought this was to alleviate traffic, so all measures should have been utilised in addressing the problem.

    However as with Kensington, the Government spends a load of money and only then thinks of all of the scenarios that must be addressed (as per the alternate usages for Kensington), such that the real discussion and ‘fixing the problem’ takes place after so much has been spent.

    Lack of effective planning and management.

    As noted above, only when the public transport system is fixed, safe and reliable will traffic be sufficiently alleviated. Until then any person who wants to fulfill their business or work obligations and those who have personal commitments will demand the use of a car, not wanting to rely on an unsafe and ineffective public transport system.

    So in twelve years nothing has been done to improve the public transport system, instead we are throwing money (expanded highway) where it will not be very effective.

    Again bad planning and mismanagement.

  28. Anonymous

    i agree wth bush tea this is one of the best things the pm has done in a long time but its 10 years too late , im sry but its time we stopped importing wat other countries have cast off , the importation of used cars should be banned i think the pm has to take that step next time

  29. Rumplestilskin

    Finally, is it not interesting that the world is addressing this problem mainly by looking at alternate fuels, but apart from a few hybrid producers, who actually only produce these as an alternative and mirror the other auto producers otherwise, the majority of cars produced are gas guzzlers and inefficient.

    In terms of gas usage, this is why one reason offered for the increase in levy on used cars cannot be supported by the evidence.

    Many of the new vehicles are major gas consumers, as opposed to the usual mid-size and small car Japanese second hand imports.

    Witness the huge SUV’s and 3ooo cc engine large cars that are rampant in the showrooms of new vehicle retailers.

    Aside from this, what a lot of people do not understand is that with proper filters etc, diesel is actually much cleaner for the environment than petrol, which is at least why as well as from a cost and foreign exchange position it is better to ensure that all large vehicles use diesel rather than petrol, one thing right that the Government did with the taxis.

    The thing is, if the world is serious about this fuel utilisation, redesigning of vehicles such that maximum passenger carry and minimum ‘metal weight’ should be the priority.

    In doing so, due to accidents etc it may be necessary to reduce speed limits etc to make it less necessary for such heavy vehicles in the USA for example, where one also has to contend with driving on the same roads as massive container vehicles.

    Is the world ready to cut back on design, cut back on speed and make reduce usage a priority?

    Or will ‘cheaper’ supply alternatives that are less reliant on Middle East oil be the only approach?

    Finally, it has been put forward publicly that the USA has more oil reserves in Colorado than Saudi Arabia has.

    Why are we moving crops from food to transport consumption when the alternative sits in USA itself, one of the major users of the fuel in the first place?

  30. Straight talk


    Reserves may be too simplistic a term.

    Economically recoverable reserves is the problem the US is facing and addressing in the Middle East and Caspian Sea basins.

    U.S.A. consumes approx. 8 billion barrels p.a., but only produces 1.8 BB p.a. in the lower 48.

    At the present time it would be political suicide for any U.S. administration to raise the price of gas at the pumps sufficiently to make these extra reserves economically recoverable.

    Hence the alternative strategy of attempting to control 66% of the world’s proven recoverable light oil reserves, in the very countries which coincidentally and unfortunately are the focus of the “War on Terror”.

  31. political pimp


  32. Pogo

    How bout the prime minister rides a bicycle for a while and give up his car that we pay for. That would show the way.

    New cars, used cars, all they same. There’s just too many of them for the roads we don’t got.

    Too bad they didn’t keep the rail lines from years gone by cause by now they would be highly efficient people movers at 1% of the fuel costs.

  33. yatinkinkiteasy

    Perhaps this is one way of Govt collecting revenue on these used cars that were being heavily under invoiced to avoid paying the correct customs duties.
    Some of these used car “dealers” were selling 5, 10, or more cars per month, and paying no VAT.Ask some of them for a Vat invoice and they look at you as if you were from another planet.
    Good move Owen.

  34. The Phoenix

    Good point Alert !

    Further evidence reveals that the Public Officers Vehicle Loan facility is being considered for revision and soon to be discussed in Parliament.

    It currently allows some Public Officers who qualify ( must be on the Travel Schedule ), to borrow $ 35,000.00 interest free to purchase a vehicle of their choice.

    It is proposed that this loan is to be increased to
    $ 50,000.00.

    No doubt the expressed intention of the Democratic Labour Party to revise this loan facility to $ 60,000.00 is being AMBUSHED by Owen Arthur & his gang !

    Here is the rub !

    Currently a RECONDITION car under the current system can be purchased for a monthly repayment of $ 583.00 for 60 months.

    Under the proposed increase a RECONDITION will carry a monthly repayment of $ 833.00 for 60 months !

    A whopping $ 250.00 more !

    Currently a NEW CAR under the current system can be purchased for a monthly repayment of
    $ 416.00 for 84 months.

    Under the proposed increase a NEW CAR will carry a monthly repayment of $ 595.00 for 84 months !

    A meagrely $ 179.00 !

    Therefore, current owners of RECONDITION cars under this system may now be forced to buy a NEW CAR because the proposed new payment is a MERE $ 12.00 more than what they now pay……!

    The brillance of a CROOK like Owen “tiefing” Arthur !

  35. Jerome Hinds

    Good point Alert !

    Further evidence reveals that the Public Officers Vehicle Loan facility is being considered for revision and soon to be discussed in Parliament.

    It currently allows some Public Officers who qualify ( must be on the Travel Schedule ), to borrow $ 35,000.00 interest free to purchase a vehicle of their choice.

    It is proposed that this loan is to be increased to
    $ 50,000.00.

    No doubt the expressed intention of the Democratic Labour Party to revise this loan facility to $ 60,000.00 is being AMBUSHED by Owen Arthur & his gang !

    Here is the rub !

    Currently a RECONDITION car under the current system can be purchased for a monthly repayment of $ 583.00 for 60 months.

    Under the proposed increase a RECONDITION will carry a monthly repayment of $ 833.00 for 60 months !

    A whopping $ 250.00 more !

    Currently a NEW CAR under the current system can be purchased for a monthly repayment of
    $ 416.00 for 84 months.

    Under the proposed increase a NEW CAR will carry a monthly repayment of $ 595.00 for 84 months !

    A meagrely $ 179.00 !

    Therefore, current owners of RECONDITION cars under this system may now be forced to buy a NEW CAR because the proposed new payment is a MERE $ 12.00 more than what they now pay……!

    The brillance of a CROOK like Owen “tiefing” Arthur !

  36. sick and fed up sylvan

    who encouraged the growth of the used car industry in the first place? Owing After. You forgot that his big dream for Bajans was to see a car outside every house. Well, if it was not for the used car business, a lot of poor people would never own a car. the prices of new cars was way too high and loan repayments would have eat up the pay check of the ordinary worker. the used car business gave many Bajans the chance to get a top quality car at a good. I own a used car that come out of Singapore. The quality is by far miles higher than a new one I took from a big dealer here some time ago. This new car used to give me the gripe. It would break down… all types of problems and the dealer was giving me the runaround. A street mechanic in the end fixed the problem. This used car I have is four years and never gave me a problem. As a matter of fact, it look so good a lot of people ask me all the time if I bought from Courtesy. I tell them no, that it came from Singapore and they cant believe. It seems that only certain people with a certain skin colour or party connection is to own anything in Barbados as long as Owing After is prime minister. it is time for Bajans to open their eyes and see that Owing After does not care about the ordinary man. Once he gets the ordinary man to vote for the BLP, then Owing After does not bother about him anymore until the next election. Time for Bajans to kick out the BLP. If they dont, the BLP will rub even more shit in our faces after the next election. think about your children. they deserve a better break than what Owing After is giving

  37. Alert!


    Tell me about the brand new Suzukis and Corolllas at $5000.00 and $10,000.00 respectively(I wouldn’t mention the others).

    We live in an evironment where one group is percieved as crooks and the other “Respectable Businessmen”.

    The real issue here is that for many years there was no competition. Now that others have entered on “hallowed turf” – all hell breaks loose.

    Lest we forget when the Mazda Lantis was heading for $80,000.00 in 1995. When the Recons. came in the price was slashed to around $60,000.00

    Why do some folks believe that only they should be in business?
    Why can’t they use their brains (instead of unfair brawn) and introduce payment schemes that would lure customers to purchase their vehicles?

    Let us not be fooled. Big players yeild tremendous power in this country. This goverment is a mere pawn in their hands.

    This Govt. has earned the distinction in its continued thrust in cannabilising its own

  38. Wishing in Vain

    Do any of you think that any one or even all of these used car dealers combined can make a donation to Mr See Thru Arthur anywhere near the size of Mr Kyffin Simpson’s contribution.
    The truth here is that once again Arthur is dancing to music that keeps putting money in his bank accounts so he must bow to the needs of Simpson and company if he wants their money.

  39. Anonymous

    “The truth here is that once again Arthur is dancing to music that keeps putting money in his bank accounts so he must bow to the needs of Simpson and company if he wants their money.”

    Basic common sense – WIV. The ones who pay the piper call the tune, full stop, rule off.

  40. Warrior

    I wonder who has brain-washed us to believe that the so-called new cars are of any high quality.

    In fact the so-called new cars that we get here are made for the Third world and the quality and standard is way below that made for first world countries.

    For instance I observed a Grand Vitara in the United States this year and the quality, features and overall standard of the vehicle, far outweighs anything that I have seen here so far. What we get here are glorified sardine cans.

    But Mr. Arthur will have to answer the call as he was fast to take the treats, now he got to take the threats. What is sweet in that goat’s mouth is going to burn our behinds.

    Today it is the Used Car dealers, tomorrow it is something else. I don’t think that these dealers give the police, and Government officers those fancy vehicles they driving just for nothing.

  41. Peltdown Man

    Green Monkey
    Thanks for your informative post. the fact is that to convert sugar to ethanol uses one eighth of the energy required to produce the same amount of ethanol from corn. All the more reason for those countries experienced in growing sugar to put as much land as possible into production of that commodity. If more sugar were used to produce ethanol, then the pressure on corn as food would not be so great. Right now, Brazil is the largest and cheapest producer of ethanol from sugar, but that does not mean that it can supply its own and the world’s needs for the fuel. Here in Barbados, our priority should be to cut our fuel import bill through the production of ethanol, because even if it is more expensive that Brazilian ethanol, it is a renewable resource that will never be as expensive as oil products, and it will make massive savings of foreign exchange.

  42. anon

    We need to impose a tax on the use of plastic bags at check out counters for people to put their groceries in. This would encourage supermarkets to issue reusable bags to customers and for customers to get used to them. In the UK supermarkets have been providing customers wioth various incentives to encourage use of alternatives to plastic bags. For instance one supermarket gives you additional points if you turn with your bag to take away groceries

  43. Green Monkey

    Peltdown Man said:

    Green Monkey
    Thanks for your informative post. the fact is that o convert sugar to ethanol uses one eighth of the energy required to produce the same amount of ethanol from corn. All the more reason for those countries experienced in growing sugar to put as much land as possible into production of that commodity. If more sugar were used to produce ethanol, then the pressure on corn as food would not be so great. Right now, Brazil is the largest and cheapest producer of ethanol from sugar, but that does not mean that it can supply its own and the world’s needs for the fuel. Here in Barbados, our priority should be to cut our fuel import bill through the production of ethanol, because even if it is more expensive that Brazilian ethanol, it is a renewable resource that will never be as expensive as oil products, and it will make massive savings of foreign exchange.

    You’re welcome Peltdown man. Here’s another blogger’s perspective on these increasingly problematic energy supply issues for us to consider:

    Faustus and the Monkey Trap


    Many centuries ago in southeast Asia, some clever soul figured out how to use the thinking patterns of monkeys to make a highly effective monkey trap. The trap is a gourd with a hole in one end just big enough for a monkey’s hand to fit in, and a stout rope connected to the other end, fastened to a stake in the ground. Into the gourd goes a piece of some local food prized by monkeys, large and solid enough that it can’t be shaken out of the gourd. You set the trap in a place monkeys frequent, and wait.

    Sooner or later, a monkey comes along, scents the food, and puts a hand into the gourd to grab it. The hole is too small to allow the monkey to extract hand and food together, though, and the rope and stake keeps the monkey from hauling it away, so the monkey keeps trying to get the food out in its hand. Meanwhile you come out of hiding and head toward the monkey with a net, if there’s a market for live monkeys, or with something more deadly if there isn’t. Far more often than not, instead of dropping the food and scampering toward the safety of the nearest tree, the monkey will frantically keep trying to wrestle the food out of the gourd until the net snares it or the club comes whistling down.

    The trap works because monkeys, like the rest of us, tend to become so focused on pursuing immediate goals by familiar means that they lose track of the wider context of priorities that make those goals and means meaningful in the first place. Once the monkey scents the food in the gourd, it defines the problem as how to get the food out, and tries to solve the problem in a familiar way, by manipulating food and gourd. When the hunter appears, that simply adds a note of urgency, and makes the problem appear to be how to get the food out before the hunter arrives. Phrased in either of these terms, the problem is impossible to solve. Only if the monkey remembers that food is of no value to a dead monkey, and redefines the problem as primarily a matter of getting away from the hunter, will it let go of the food, get its hand out of the trap, and run for the nearest tree.


    The same dilemma on a larger scale underlies current efforts to deal with the imminent decline of world oil production by finding something else to pour into our gas tanks: ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen, you name it. Our petroleum-powered vehicles – not just cars, but the trucks, trains, ships, and aircraft that make our current way of life possible – are the food in the monkey’s hand and the pact that binds Mephistopheles to Faustus’ service. The problem of peak oil, as many people even in the peak oil community see it, is how to find some other way to keep the fuel tanks topped up. This seems like common sense, but that’s what the monkey thinks about getting the food out of the gourd, too.

    Approached as a question of finding something to fill our gluttonous appetite for highly concentrated energy, the problem of peak oil is just as insoluble as the monkey trap when that’s approached as a question of getting food. The discovery and exploitation of the earth’s petroleum reserves gave human beings a fantastic windfall of essentially free energy, and we proceeded to burn through it at an astonishing pace. Now that the supply of petroleum is beginning to falter, the question before us is not how to keep burning something else at the same pace, or how to find some other way to power a civilization of a sort that can only survive by burning extravagant amounts of energy, but how to scale back our expectations and our technology drastically enough to make them fit the much more modest energy supplies available to us from renewable sources.

    Expecting some other energy resource to provide energy on the same scale and level of concentration as petroleum, just because we happen to want one, is a little like responding to one huge lottery win by assuming that when that money starts running out, another equally large win can be had for the cost of a few more tickets. This is close enough to today’s consumer psychology that it’s easy to imagine somebody in this position pouring all the money he has left into lottery tickets, and throwing away his chances of avoiding bankruptcy because the only solution he can imagine is winning the lottery again. And this, again, is exactly the mentality of current attempts to fuel industrial society by pouring our food supply into our gas tanks.

  44. Straight talk

    Green Monkey,

    Nice analysis and analogy.

    People must start to think outside the box…. now.

    There may be oil available on the downslope of Peak Oil but it won’t be available to developing nations.

    Buy land ( with a water supply) for your grandkids, and hope the scientists come up with an energy solution half as convenient as sticking a hole in the sand.

  45. Rumplestilskin

    Very interesting story and analogy indeed.

    Hence, which is why the only immediate solution to reducing our own depenency on imported oil, the related expenditure, the road chaos is to immediately improve public transport safety and reliability…drastically.

    We are a small island that has the following characteristics:

    – excess expenditures on vehicles and fuel

    – small geographic area

    – relatively reliable climate with little real variability

    – an unhealthy population becoming generally obese, due to recent unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise

    Cetainly, the greater use of public transport and ones legs where possible would ease all of expenditures, road chaos AND obesity. A win-win situation for those who like slogan-talk.

    Take for example the scenario where the ZR stops every 15 yards to let passengers out. The lazy passengers refuse to walk 15 yards from where the previous passenger was let off to their own gap?

    A physcially challenged person has a reaosn for wanting to be let out closer, but an able bodied person?

    LAZINESS to the nth degree, which is contributing to our obesity figures which in turn leads to diabetes etc.

    I agree that the whole resource usage and prioritization issue needs serious consideration.

  46. Bush Tea

    Wait Green Monkey, you could be serious? You really expect to let go so much information in these short comments and that’s it?
    You mad or what?!?
    Please let us have a whole article on something like ‘Prospects for the year 2020 – world class or stone age?’ or something like that.
    ….most enlightening and informative comments, thanks

  47. Bajan Patriot

    Any fair minded person who examines the facts behind this latest increase in the Environmental Levy cannot help but conclude that Gov intends to halt the importation of used vehicles into Barbados by means other than decree. I note several emotive contributions but prefer to let the facts speak for themselves.

    New car dealers have always paid 15% less Excise Tax than importers of used cars and this translates into a considerable sum. The argument for this incentive is jobs created, taxes paid etc. The gov has refused to grant this concession to used car dealers. Maybe they don’t pay taxes, rents or have staff. Or maybe it’s something else.

    In addition to introducing an age restriction some years ago Gov has now increased the Environmental Levy on used cars twice within two years for a total of $4,000.00 or 1800%. When compounded by Excise Tax and V.A.T. this is actually an increase of $6,506.21. Did Gov increase taxes on new cars during this period? Why yes they did, by a whopping $150.00 which, when compounded, totals $227.61. E.g. a used motor car with a customs value of usd $7,000.00 now pays a total of bbd $27,065.18 in taxes, while its new counterpart of identical customs value pays only $17,258.96 or $9,806.96 less. Call a broker and check it for yourselves.

    The issue of under-invoicing has come up time and time again. It is time for those who allege to prove. In 2006 customs illegally detained hundreds of cars in the port to investigate so-called under-voicing. Dealerships closed and people suffered serious financial losses. If this practice is so rampant then how come the only people who ended up before the court was customs themselves? Under-invoicing and environmental concerns are smoke-screens and nothing more. Who benefited from all this?

    Gov is expected to be fair in dealing with its citizens and should not be found to create circumstances which favor one group over another. Over the last few years policy after policy has been implemented which seriously disadvantage used car importers. This latest assault could be the final straw. What also concerns me is the glaring silence of our Opposition on this matter.

  48. B.L.P.

    Someone above commented….But I fear that the vision is not there,
    and that they’re just hoping that they find oil.
    – You KNOW!

    You only now begin to understand just how very much they’re hoping like hell that significant Oil is found offshore.
    If it is, the quantum of any thiefin-to-date will be utter PEANUTS compared to Government revenues from offshore Oil Royalties,
    and it’ll ameliorate any “fiscal discord”

    Of course, if NO Oil is found,
    then it’ll be a very messy economic situation,indeed, for the B.L.P.
    For the sake of the Bandit Labour Party and for our country,
    we need to say serious serious prayers, nightly, that Barbados bounce up a BIIIIIG gas-field offshore somewhere
    to get us out of this fix,
    and to make the BLP-ites rich(rich fer real,
    not dis lil play-play thiefin like whuh gyne-on,now)

  49. Pro-HYBRID

    Think of all the gasoline-engined cars chugging down Collymore Rock, every single weekday morning of life.
    Each and every one of them could be using an ELECTRIC engine to do nothing more than COMMUTE along in “rush-hour” traffic(classic oxymoronic term, huh?)
    – but no… they burn fossil hydrocarbon fuels at $2.40 a drop,instead.

    Make sense to you?
    Makes sense to me!

    I hate REAL solutions, don’t you?
    I love the primitive system of BURNING some kinda stuff
    in order to simply produce rotational power
    (and add to the CO2 problem that really is a Northern White Man’s problem, not ours, oh no!)

    I like chucking coal by the spadeful,
    into the furnace, to heat the boiler,
    to make steam, to propel a piston,
    to achieve rotational power on a shaft.

    Believe me when I tell you our “modern” car engines are NOT significantly advanced much beyond that ancient steam technology I just portrayed!

    We can’t even think outside our safe little box…
    to get away from any and all COMBUSTIVE processes,
    in order to achieve simple rotational power.

    Believe me again when I tell you than Man is a simple-minded dumbass,
    incapable of solving his urgent problems.
    I’m almost ashamed to be human sometimes,
    coz we don’t WANT TO think our way out of the wet paper bag(enviro-probs)
    we now find ourselves confined to.

    And when the hybrids DO come in, you simply don’t want to KNOW what the price will be!
    Bds. $ 200,000 minimum!

    You’d think they would encourage us, by making them Duty Free. – HA!

    NO-one makes more money from the automotive industry
    than Government of Barbados – absolutely NO-one.
    Not even Kyffin Simpson (although he brings a close second! -he sells the stuff the cars drink!
    he’s not as silly as he looks! – GO Kyff!)

  50. It is time that we wake up and face reality. Simpson Motors recently got the contract to supply more that 60% of the vehicles for the Royal Barbados Police Force. no doubt, they are large contributors to the BLP. Do you think that they are going to stand idly by and allow used car dealers to take any share of their market? Another question that must be asked is, How may government minister and other official got free vehicles from Simpson Motors? Another thing. We are complaining about the imported used vehicles. Is not the same Simpson Motors and BS&T selling used cars. Go checkout their lots at Warrens. I do believe that the prime minister is reacting to the call from his masters to wipe out their competitors. By the way when you go to Warrens to check out these used cars, check the prices and compare then with the prices on the imported used cars.

  51. Green Monkey

    Bush Tea said:

    Wait Green Monkey, you could be serious? You really expect to let go so much information in these short comments and that’s it?
    You mad or what?!?
    Please let us have a whole article on something like ‘Prospects for the year 2020 – world class or stone age?’ or something like that.
    ….most enlightening and informative comments, thanks
    Unfortunately Bush Tea my crystal ball is in no better shape than yours re. determining what things around here will be like in 2020. As someone commented upstream, much could depend on how much oil and gas the new off shore exploration turns up in our off shore waters.

    I can only say the overall trend worldwide re. Peak Oil and energy supply issues is not looking good from my point of view, and even if we do find around Barbados substantial off shore hydrocarbon resources, it will probably only end up delaying our nation’s inevitable meet up with the light at the end of the tunnel that turns out to be the proverbial oncoming train. The time bought may be enough for tiding us over until todays 40+ year olds have passed from the scene but will still leave their children and grandchildren holding the bag, so to speak.

    Most people think of Peak Oil as it relates to increasing expense for personal transportation and shipping/freight etc., but what is at least of equal, or even greater, concern is the the amount of oil and natural gas consumed in growing our food under the chemical/mechanised form of agriculture practiced in modern industrialised societies. For an eye opening read, check out the article “Eating Fossil Fuels” by Dale Allen Pfeiffer posted here:

    Here’s a snip from the article:

    The Green Revolution

    In the 1950s and 1960s, agriculture underwent a drastic transformation commonly referred to as the Green Revolution. The Green Revolution resulted in the industrialization of agriculture. Part of the advance resulted from new hybrid food plants, leading to more productive food crops. Between 1950 and 1984, as the Green Revolution transformed agriculture around the globe, world grain production increased by 250%.4 That is a tremendous increase in the amount of food energy available for human consumption. This additional energy did not come from an increase in incipient sunlight, nor did it result from introducing agriculture to new vistas of land. The energy for the Green Revolution was provided by fossil fuels in the form of fertilizers (natural gas), pesticides (oil), and hydrocarbon fueled irrigation.

    The Green Revolution increased the energy flow to agriculture by an average of 50 times the energy input of traditional agriculture. In the most extreme cases, energy consumption by agriculture has increased 100 fold or more.

    In the United States, 400 gallons of oil equivalents are expended annually to feed each American (as of data provided in 1994). Agricultural energy consumption is broken down as follows:

    (Breakdown snipped to save space /gm)

    To give the reader an idea of the energy intensiveness of modern agriculture, production of one kilogram of nitrogen for fertilizer requires the energy equivalent of from 1.4 to 1.8 liters of diesel fuel. This is not considering the natural gas feedstock. According to The Fertilizer Institute (, in the year from June 30 2001 until June 30 2002 the United States used 12,009,300 short tons of nitrogen fertilizer. Using the low figure of 1.4 liters diesel equivalent per kilogram of nitrogen, this equates to the energy content of 15.3 billion liters of diesel fuel, or 96.2 million barrels.

    Of course, this is only a rough comparison to aid comprehension of the energy requirements for modern agriculture.

    In a very real sense, we are literally eating fossil fuels. However, due to the laws of thermodynamics, there is not a direct correspondence between energy inflow and outflow in agriculture. Along the way, there is a marked energy loss. Between 1945 and 1994, energy input to agriculture increased 4-fold while crop yields only increased 3-fold. Since then, energy input has continued to increase without a corresponding increase in crop yield. We have reached the point of marginal returns. Yet, due to soil degradation, increased demands of pest management and increasing energy costs for irrigation (all of which is examined below), modern agriculture must continue increasing its energy expenditures simply to maintain current crop yields. The Green Revolution is becoming bankrupt.

    /end snip

    The article goes on to document the significant degradation of the soil and water resources in North America caused by industrialised, monocropping agriculture (only made possible by heavy doses of agricultural chemicals made from hydrocarbons) which also means any switches to more organic means of production will be that much harder to make when the time comes that we are left with no viable options other than organic techniques to grow the crops we depend on for sustenance.

    For a good news story on what is possible using organic agriculture, check out the article. and other articles posted at:

    I would also recommend to anyone wanting to get a grasp on the extent of the problems humanity worldwide will be facing when it comes to dealing with environmental and energy supply problems, that they should watch the presentation by retired University of Colorado Physics Professor Albert Bartlett on exponential population growth and its impact on resource consumption (posted in Real Player format) at:

    Professor Bartlett’s presentation is geared to the layman and he uses only very elementary mathematical concepts as he explains how and why even small amounts of constant growth will reach environmental and physical finite limits in much shorter spaces of time than we might intuitively think likely or even possible.

    If you don’t have high speed internet access or Real Player (which can be downloaded for free) if you go to this page here: there is also an audio only MP3 stream or download link and also links to view transcripts of the speech. You can also bring up lots of links to similar stories, articles and speeches etc. on or by Bartlett just by googling something like “Albert Bartlett exponential growth.”

  52. Who or what am I?

    I once sobbed “I could not get a job”.
    But then came the swing, and the people made me king.
    At the sound of the bell, everything worked out well.
    But the shadows shouted “no!, who do they think they are? Those small fellows have to go!”
    Now, to keep my place, I have to act with great haste!

    Who or what am I? Bet you can’t tell.

  53. Bajan Patriot

    Wait, didn’t gov just reduce the property transfer tax rate? Who will derive the most benefit from this latest move, the little guy selling his 250k property or the foreign investors with their 100 million dollar plus projects? Guess the automotive industry (esp used car people) now has to help make up the shortfall. To make matters worse most, if not all, of these big hotel/condo/golf course projects are duty-free so our indigenous businesses (furniture, artists etc) just get left out.

    Our purpose in this country is to be consumers, living out life in permanent debt (credit cards, $1 down) while a select group makes immoral profits. Any attempt at self improvement is met by a shifting of the goal posts (legislative changes/restrictions) or misuse of state power (e.g. the infamous customs “under-invoicing investigation” of 2006).

  54. Wither Barbados?

    The Lord help us shoud these vagabonds get a 4th term

  55. The PI

    The death of the used car industry was inevitable! The first dealers sold us over-priced used cars, the prices were not consistent and they used to undercut each other, then they came together too late. To make matters worse, the new car dealers have made it very easy to own a new car.
    I used to import used cars and got out of the business years ago. Where are the Uzebes, Clarkes and Whites, and why are the Indians controlling the market now? And we like to talk about “the poor black man” who, more often than not, destroys rather than develops business. Let’s be honest and recognise that the get rich quick strategy often fails? Why are businesses like SY Adams and the other Indian businesses still going?
    The PI

  56. Syl

    Have you considered the pressure placed on the used car dealers via the insurance and government?

  57. Syl

    Perhaps the riding of bycicles should be promoted. Fuel cost would go down along with the rising health bill as more Barbadians exercise. In Denmark there are many parking lots for bycicles. People are encouraged to use this type of transport. Wow consider the impact on the environment, reduce noise, reduce smoke, reduce pollution.

  58. De Bullie

    This Government is a very caring and just government, it cares for the big companies in bim and will do anything to protect them

    The BLPimps has done it again

    As I said before change FTC name Fah De Big Companies

  59. Straight talk

    Bush Tea:
    If you really want to know the truth from top geologists and oil industry experts go to Google Video type in “oil”, then take your pick.

    One tip , leave it until morning, or you may not sleep.

  60. ryan nash

    Why has the government destroyed the Used Car Industry?
    Why hasn’t it touched the New Car Dealers?

  61. cold blooded killers!

    This govt. has deliberately destroyed the reconditioned car market under orders from their masters!

  62. 141

    I hope that someone else comes back to this post because something similar is about to happen. Customs is rumored to be trying to black ball certain motor vehicle parts that came into the country. They are making it so that the owners can not get the vehicles registered at the licensing authority, just because resourceful persons were able to import certain parts and use them to put affordable cars in the hands of the ‘not so wealthy’ of this country. They are using dockyard tactics on the public. Only bout hey!!!!