Sunday, May 27, 2012

Buying a used car or new car in the Philippines. Buying a second hand car in Philippines.

Buy or Sell Second Hand Cars, Motorcycles, Vans and Trucks in the Philippines

Buying Used Cars, Second Hand Cars or New Cars in the Philippines

Some foreigners ask "Can I buy a car in the Philippines?"

Yes you are permitted to buy a used car or a new car in the Philippines.

But, do you really need a car in the Philippines? There are trains serving the metro Manila area and they are neat and clean and the air conditioning is nice and cold. In each train car there are seats designated for senior citizens, disabled and pregnant women. There is also a car designated for females (be sure to stand in the designated waiting are on the platform. Children and a male friend or relative may accompany in the same car). If you travel by train there will be many stairs to climb up and down at the stations. In Quezon City there is a station where you must climb five flights of stairs.

It is not necessary to have a car in the Philippines because, in addition to trains, there are MANY buses, taxisjeepneys, tricycles and pedicabs all over the Philippine islands. In the major cities you will only need to wait a few minutes for the next bus or jeepney. In rural areas buses are not as frequent but there are many jeepneys and tricycles. Taxicabs are not common outside big cities.

However, a good reason to have a car is to be able to avoid some of the air pollution caused by vehicle exhaust. Get in your car and turn on the air conditioning (I hope you get a car that recycles the air instead of bringing in mostly outside air). Many buses and taxis are air conditioned but most jeepneys are not. Tricycles and pedicabs are not air conditioned and they often travel directly behind smoke belching tricycles and jeepneys.

I was advised not to drive by an official at the immigration office in Manila. "Since foreigners are considered rich in the Philippines there will be those who may try to get money out of you by getting into an accident with you" he said. So, I took his advice and used public transportation for several years.

After several years of traveling in the Philippines using public transportation, I finally bought a car that looked so bad that no one ever tried to get in a wreck with me. I had been told that Toyota is probably the best brand of used car to purchase because there are more of them on the roads in the Philippines than any other brand. So, it is easier to get used parts for a Toyota than any other kind. But, I found a very OLD Mitsubishi Lancer online; built in the 1980's. A Mitsubishi "box type". I asked a "mechanic" to check it out for me. He told me it was in good shape. Ha Ha. He was a "back yard mechanic" who lived near our apartment in a rural area.
He advised me wrong! I purchased it for 40,000 pesos (at the time that was the US equivalent of nearly $980).

I thought it would be safer to transfer the cash for the deed of sale at an attorney's office. So I asked the seller to meet us at an lawyer's office. The attorney met with us, prepared the "Absolute Deed of Sale" for only 500 pesos (about $11.75 US at the time) and notarized the paperwork after we signed it.

1986 Mitsubishi Lancer Box Type
This is what an old Mitsubishi Lancer can look like when fully restored.

Be sure to have the car inspected by a good auto service shop or an auto dealership. I went to San Fernando via jeepney one day and visited a Mitsubishi dealership. The service manager there offered to inspect, for only 500 Pesos, the one I was considering buying. I should have taken it there before buying it. But, at the time, I was not sure the car would make it there and back without breaking down! The engine did end up proving to be in good running condition.

If you want to get a car inspected you can take it to a Bosch dealership. I was told they will inspect a car for 500 Pesos. Or, you might take it to a dealership which sells the same brand. Find dealerships on the Web.
Another place you might take the car, if you are in the Angeles City area, is Performance Plus Auto Service. Read about it in this article about auto service and auto restoration.

Some new car dealerships also sell used cars.

Should you Transfer Title to the Car or use an Absolute Deed of Sale?


I am not any attorney but these are some of the things I have been told. In the Philippines a car can change hands via an "Absolute Deed of Sale". A title is not needed to transfer ownership of the car. However, if you sell a car and do not transfer the title to the new owner you may be found liable for any accident the car is involved in. In the USA I have never purchased or sold a car without a signing over of the title to the car (a transfer of title).

I have heard two stories of people who checked with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to ascertain that the cars were legal, they were told they were. They purchased them. Shortly thereafter the police were at their doorsteps to report that they had purchased stolen cars. The cars were taken and they lost the money they had purchased them with. I asked one person, "how can one be certain a car is legal?" and was told to "check with the Highway Patrol". I do not know if that is accurate information.

After hearing those horror stories I decided not to invest much money in a used car that might eventually be found to have no clear title.

If you buy a used car in the Philippines be sure to get the title signed over to you, instead of just buying it on an Absolute Deed of Sale.

To protect yourself, use the services of an attorney to be sure that you do everything properly.

Auto Insurance in the Philippines


Now about auto insurance. In the Philippines your insurance coverage is limited to 100,000 pesos of liability insurance if your car is more than 10 years old. And that is not very much coverage. The only way it might be possible to buy more insurance coverage is online.

You can try Geico Overseas Insurance or Clements Worldwide. Check out the brochure available at Clements.

How to buy or sell second hand cars and motorcycles in the Philippines

I think the best way to find used cars or second hand cars and motorcycles in the Philippines is to visit websites like these:


Tsikot website

Sulit website

There are hundreds or thousands of cars featured on these sites.
You will find other used car sites by doing a Google search for "second hand cars for sale in the Philippines."

Check the condition of used cars you considering buying in the Philippines

Do NOT trust what a seller tells you about a car. Ask for maintenance receipts. And get it inspected by a professional. There are a lot of cars in the Philippines which have been flooded by typhoons. Especially cars owned by residents of Manila.

One car we looked at had a leaking sunroof, water stains all around it on the headliner. The interior smelled musty and damp. The seller told me "I guarantee it is not leaking." Yeah, right!

If anyone asks why we have such an old car I tell them "It is a classic and we are restoring it".
We see some very fine looking restorations of the very same Mitsubishi.
Read more about my experiences while attempting to restore my old Mitsubishi Lancer in the Philippines.

Although it is not finished our old car gets us where we want to go and it is much more comfortable and more convenient than riding in a jeepney or a tricycle.

Buying new cars in the Philippines

If you want to buy a new car in the Philippines you can buy one cheap. The cheapest or lowest price car I know of in the Philippines is about $7,000 US dollars for a Chery brand car built in China. The website shows a model priced at about 500,000 pesos (or $12,165 US dollars). When the Chery was introduced in Manila a couple of years ago we saw one on display in a mall in Makati and I believe it was priced at about $7,000. Just a warning, the model on display in the mall had visible rust under the front fender, so be careful which brand you choose. There are many other brands available, like Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, etc. Toyotas are all over the Philippines. It is easier to get parts for them than any other brand.

There are some vehicles which are built in the Philippines, like the Tamaraw and Jeepneys. There are motorcycle dealers all over the Philippines.

Read about precautions to take when buying a car in the Philippines.

Do you have a car to sell? Advertise it on this blog. Hundreds of buyers will see it. Your car will be featured on a page like this.

Auto Insurance in the Philippines

You can join the Philippine Automobile Association of the Philippines which includes insurance.


The information above about buying a car is believed to be true.

But, be sure to seek the advice of a Filipino attorney before buying a car in the Philippines.

If you are a foreigner please tell us your experiences about buying a car in the Philippines by making a comment below.

FREE, Advertise your car For Sale on this blog - click here to find out more and send me information about your car by submitting your information to my email address: vgtim @ yahoo dot com.

You may advertise your car FREE on this blog.

Or, write a brief ad and submit it as a comment below in the "comments" section. Ask interested people to "reply" to your "comment" ad.

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This article will be updated. Please check back for more information about buying used cars or buying new cars in the Philippines. Tsikot (CarsNow) is a paid advertisement. This page last updated December 4, 2016.