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Jamaica: Used-Car ‘Free-For-All’ – Dealers Lament Rogue Players Profiteering While Beating Policy Rules

USED-CAR DEALERS who play by the rules are now being left behind, as a flood of new operators are employing deviant strategies to sell imported second-hand vehicles, reducing the industry to a free-for-all.

“We are not happy and our members at large are not happy with what is going on,” Lynvalle Hamilton, the president of Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association (JUCDA), told The Gleaner.

“People are just shacking up, selling cars on sidewalk, selling cars from home, and not adhering to the motor vehicle import policy, and I do believe that something needs to be done. It’s long overdue.”

Hamilton said that his lobby has been “very vocal on this matter” and outlined their dissatisfaction to State Minister Floyd Green.

Green, who works out of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, gave the keynote address at the AGM held earlier this year. He acknowledged that rogue dealers were threatening the viability of the sector and appealed for all stakeholders to be certified.

“We believe that for the industry to do well and grow, it has to be an industry that is based on certified dealers, and as a Government, we are impressing upon anyone who wants to get involved to be certified,” said Green.

“Clearly, there is a significant challenge in relation to rogue dealers, people who just set up shop and operate anywhere they feel like,” the state minister continued. “It is a threat to our resources, it is a threat to our income, and it is something we all want to see brought under control.”

Among the recommendations made by JUCDA is for proper background checks to be done on people seeking to enter the industry; for a source-of-funds authentication letter from the Financial Investigations Division to become mandatory for new entrants; and that the regulations prohibit unregistered newly imported vehicles from being advertised and offered for sale at places other than a certified used-car dealer’s lot.

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