Car Repair in Barbados

Most of the time, we’re pretty upbeat about the joys of living on a Caribbean island, but there are times when the experience isn’t quite as joyful, such as when you have major car trouble – and that’s because of size of the market. Car repair in Barbados can be an exhausting, lengthy and painful experience if there’s a really big problem.

Ford Focus Tango
When will Tango be better? Your guess is as good as ours.

In a big country, if something goes wrong with your car, you take it to the nearest dealer and get it fixed or you shop around and get the best price from a dealer that’s a little further away. There are dealers pretty much everywhere, usually specialising in one particular make. Here in Barbados, there’s a single main dealer for each make available (and most dealers cover several makes). That means you only have one choice if there’s a major problem.

Minor problems aren’t an issue. Barbados has a lot of good mechanics, car electricians, bodywork and other automotive professionals scattered around the island and there’s also Automotive Art, which has always given us good service. Get a recommendation from a friend when you’re ready to choose.

But in this case, where there’s a major problem with the main computer that runs the car, there’s a problem. This issue has some history. The car has been malfunctioning for months and despite a couple of attempts, we only found out for sure what was wrong about a month ago.

The Long Wait

Then about three weeks ago, the car broke down, went to the dealer – and it’s been there ever since. We are waiting – and waiting – and waiting for the part.

They were going to do a rush order and get it here within a week, but that didn’t happen. Then the person handling the issue went on holiday. We’re still waiting for info on where the part is now – and for some reason they are not returning our phone calls.

Oh, and by the way, don’t expect a courtesy car when your car is in for repairs. Either make alternative arrangements, take the bus or hire a car at an exorbitant rate. Luckily for us, we have very good friends with a spare pickup truck – that’s what we’re driving while we wait.

And there’s one more nail in the coffin. The part will probably cost double what we would have paid elsewhere. Oh, joy! 🙁

Barbadians moving back home

The Barbados returning nationals programme is to be significantly changed in 2010. The age restriction for bringing your goods in duty free has been lifted; before it stood at age 50 to receive the full benefits, like bringing in your own car.

The Barbados returning nationals programme is to be significantly changed in 2010. The age restriction for bringing your goods in duty free has been lifted; before it stood at age 50 to receive the full benefits, like bringing in your own car.

This will allow younger Barbadians to bring their entrepreneurial skills home much earlier, rather than waiting until retirement age when the skills may be unused.

Also, the returning nationals programme will now be known as the Barbados Network Programme to reflect its changes.

To quote the government:

‘A Barbadian national who is a citizen by birth, descent, registration or naturalisation will qualify for the programme once he was continuously resident abroad for ten years immediately prior to resettlement,’

This ten year rule hasn’t changed.

The Acting Prime Minister said that the necessity that a Barbadian by descent or marriage must have resided at least 183 days in Barbados prior to emigrating in order to be eligible under the programme, would be removed.

He also said ‘the qualifying period for annual Barbados Network Renewal status under the programme would however be increased from three to five years, to help reduce the incidence of abuse, especially in respect of the motor vehicle concessions.’ This means that to those bringing in a car duty free, you now have to keep it for five years before you can sell it to maintain its duty free status.

It would also appear that the longwinded administration connected with returning nationals and the duty free concessions, will be made much easier to complete. This should also make the process much shorter.
The changes will allow the Comptroller of Customs to ‘Grant automatic exemptions from the payment of import duties and taxes to those returnees whose eligibility has been appropriately certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.’

No Smoking Barbados

From October 1st, 2010, Barbados will join those forward thinking countries in banning smoking in public places.

From October 1st, 2010, Barbados will join those forward thinking countries in banning smoking in public places.

Minister of Health Donville Inniss yesterday announced the ban with rigid fines for both smokers and businesses that don’t stop people smoking in public. Smokers found guilty of breaking the regulations may face a $500 fine or a 12-month prison term – or both. It’s going to be a lot tougher for proprietors found guilty of allowing people to smoke in a public place. They could be fined $5 000 or be imprisoned for 12 months – or both. Proprietors have to display no-smoking signage in at least two prominent places.

The ban covers rum-shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, other businesses, Government buildings and some places of