Trinidad and Tobago has spent $2.02 billion to buy 19,460 cars, both new and used in one year. This was disclosed by Finance Minister Colm Imbert who was piloting the Finance Bill 2020 on Friday in the House of Representatives. The Bill to enact some proposals from the national budget, a second finance bill due in early 2021.
Minister Imbert identified that the purchases included all types of vehicles, public and private, he said 24,590 vehicles had been bought for $2.76 billion. The breakdown showed these, as 4,777 were goods vehicles, 196 buses, 10,796 new cars, 8.864 used cars and 157 taxis.
Minister Imbert said in his presentation: “The importation of cars is possibly one of largest consumers of foreign exchange in TT today. That $2 billion has to be found.” He also said that sum has to be sourced as precious foreign exchange and so diverted from other uses.
It has long been a point of discussion that there are too many vehicles on the roads in Trinidad and Tobago. He continued: “We have over one million motor vehicles in TT, one of the highest per capita owners in the world.”