Port Of Spain - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

People want to be cool and not bring a car, then realize that they can't survive here without one. No need to buy a right-hand drive car. Bring whatever you have in the US and ship it here. You will ding it up and service costs a lot. I would recommend buying a portable air compressor for your car and possibly even a jumpstart kit. Ship one or two spare tires in your HHE. - Aug 2021

Do not try and buy a car locally; bring left or right and drive. An SUV will be best but all types work here. Don't forget tires and parts. - Mar 2019

If you don’t plan to take any excursions, you can have whatever car you want because the major roads are in good shape. However, flooding is a constant problem because of a lack of drainage, so you may want to consider bringing a vehicle with clearance. A lot of expats have Santa Fes, CRVs, Prados, RAV4s, or Pilots. Trucks are less common, and some Trinis have BMWs, Audis, and Mercedes. In general, bring something with a little height that can withstand the potential nicks and dents that come with traffic here. - Apr 2017

Small cars/SUVs are preferred. The roads are a mess with potholes and broken pavement. The parking spots are small, if they exist at all. We have a large American truck--driving and parking it can be very frustrating. - Aug 2016

anything with a little bit of clearance as the roads are not good outside of the city - May 2016

A mid-sized SUV would be ideal since the roads are in horrible condition. If you can import a right hand drive vehicle it would make driving easier. - Jun 2015

We have a large SUV. It has been challenging for me ( not my husband) to drive because of the roads and parking spaces being very narrow. The parking lots are not designed for large cars. You drive on the opposite side here and it takes some getting used to. It is very hilly and there are tons of annoying speed bumps. Gas is also super cheap-US$1.25/gallon. - May 2015

Any car will do. A small jeep is probably best for the bad roads. - Aug 2014

Bring a small SUV or something you don't mind getting dinged. It floods here so think height; roads are small so think compact, parking marks and street lanes are smaller than in Canada or the U.S. so think compact, lots of mountains so think good tranny and brakes. Motorcycles are a no go; bad streets and drivers. Scooters are doable but be very careful. Cycling is popular but...I wouldn't do it. - Dec 2013

Just about any type. The roads for the most part are pretty good. I had some issues when visiting Tamana caves to see hundreds of thousands of bats that come out in the evening, the roads were very potholed. - Oct 2012

The largest SUVs would stand out. There are lots of Japanese right-hand drive imports here. High clearance is nice when the roads flood during rainy season but most cars here are sedans. - Feb 2011

Small cars seem more convenient. - Jan 2011

Do not ship a car. The taxes are too high. Sell your car and buy one here. - May 2010

Vehicles here should be righthand drive, although expats sometimes ship American-style vehicles and drive them on the left side of the road with no problem. Small SUVs are good (RAV 4, Honda, etc). The roads in Port of Spain are narrow, so you don't want to drive a large vehicle. Smaller American vehicles are also driven here. There are dealerships to repair the vehicles (Honda / Toyota), but they are expensive. Shipping windshield wipers, oil filters and other minor parts will save you money. Embassy staff can ship vehicles duty free. If someone wants to steal your car badly enough, they will find a way to do it. - Nov 2009

Nissan Almeras are the most stolen car on the island, accounting for 47% of thefts. Most roads are at least passable, and some are quite good, but the traffic on them is another story: this is the land of very crazy drivers. Most brands are sold here. The driver is on the right; driving is on the left. You would only need 4W drive if you were going into certain parts of the mountains, which you probably shouldn't be going alone into anyway!! - Mar 2008

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