Bringing stuff to Barbados

Let’s start with cars. These are very expensive and attract a lot of duty unless you have a returnee concession. Petrol/Gas is also very expensive on the island, but road tax has been suspended for most cars. What you definitely should not bring is a low on the road car like an Aston – roads are nowhere near European or North American standards and you will scrape the bottom of a sports car. Bearing in mind steep hills engine sizes of between 1 and 2 litres – or electric equivalents – will work best.

If you want provenance on a used car you are best to bring your own. Geest are quite cheap from Portsmouth in England, and there is no need to put the car in a container on their ship. Containers are often used to bring crashed cars and parts – to give local employment – best to avoid. Suspicious of cars pre owned in Japan as you are taking pot luck – might be good or a crashed vehicle stitched together by the Yasuda.

Local people prefer lower powered SUVs like Qashqais, Suzukis, Toyotas. They sometimes also make a show of wealth by buying very expensive cars like Range Rovers or Jags as haven’t a clue what to do with money after building a huge house.

There are also plenty of cheaper cars on the island, but nothing here is cheap !Next I am going to talk about electrical appliances, which are generally expensive in Barbados. The electricity is 50hz 110v but it is easy to install British electrics at 50hz 220v, that’s just 10v lower than the U.K., if you are remodelling or building. American appliances are 60hz 110v, so if it is something big like a fridge/freezer you will need a transformer, but not for low power things like ceiling fans, televisions.

If you have British electric sockets alongside local sockets in the kitchen this enables use of a lot of appliances. For example, you could bring a few things that you cannot buy here like a Magimix.

A long British extension cable on a reel is also helpful if bringing your power tools.

Best to buy ceiling fans and TVs locally, unless bringing from North America. More expensive in Barbados, but warranties are useful.

Standard lamps and table lamps from the U.K. are fine with local power. Just change plugs and light bulbs, as wiring is designed for stronger current. Do not bring ceiling LEDs from the U.K., as local slightly larger ones are sold out here with bright white light – or yellow if you prefer the 1920s Bakerloo Line retro look. Think about 7w and 12w will cover most areas.

And definitely bring a powerful vacuum cleaner, as breezes bring dust, shoes bring sand, and pets shed fur.

Locally bought furniture is expensive, and bear in mind that very cheap outside plastic stuff will not last very long in this climate. Needs to be reasonable quality – that’s all.


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