How To Buy A Car In The Philippines: Step-By-Step Guide And Important Notes

How To Buy A Car In The Philippines: Step-By-Step Guide And Important Notes

April 15, 2021 0 By onroadtips

Are looking for a car to buy? Do you want a new car or a used one? How much money do you have? What brand do you like? What features do you expect your car to offer? There are a lot of questions you need to answer when buying a car and you may get stuck in a matrix of options as the market is flooded with cars these days. No worries, Onroadtips will guide you on how to buy a car in the Philippines.

How to buy a car in the Philippines?

If you are looking for a new car in the country, you need to read this part thoroughly. How to buy a car in the Philippines? Here are the steps you should take in order to make the best decision and get the right car for yourself.

How To Buy A Car In The Philippines
First, choose a car based on your needs and interest

Step 1: Choose a car

There are a lot of factors involved in choosing the perfect car to buy, mostly relating to your needs. Some main questions include:

  • Will you commute in the city or on long rides?
  • Will the car be used for yourself only or the entire family?
  • What brand and/or model do you like?

Step 2: Figure out your budget

You can be interested in many fancy, high-end models but it’s time to be down to Earth. How much a car cost in Philippines? This cost includes not only the car itself but also its monthly and annual expenses, including gas, parking, insurance, maintenance, and other expenses like car wash and toll fees.

This is where you will narrow down options based on the amount you can afford. It’s also this step where you assess your financial status and determine whether you need a loan to buy the car or not; if yes, how much money you can loan.

Step 3: Browse options based on your needs and budget

Now that you know exactly what you want and how much you can afford, it’s time to take a closer look at all the options that fit. It’s worth noting that instead of rushing to an auto salon, you should browse online first so that you can take your time and carefully compare the cars with one another.

One of the websites that can help you do this is, which provides comprehensive information on various brands and models across different years for you to dig into.

Step 4: Test drive

After spending time researching and looking at options, you should be able to list a few cars best meeting your requirements. You should take a test drive to see how they work in real life. Keep in mind a few tips for test driving:

  • Bring a friend or family member to get a feedback from the passenger’s perspective.
  • Test drive on a rough road, highway, or tight corners to put the car under realistic, difficult conditions.
  • Don’t rush to pick a car right in this step if you are not completely sure it’s the right one.
test drive a car before buying it
Don’t forget to test drive the car you intend to buy

Step 5: (For those taking a loan) Apply for car financing

Unless you already have a lot of savings for a new car, most people in the Philippines need a loan to buy it. As for how to get a car loan in the Philippines, there are three ways to finance the purchase: visiting a bank, getting a loan through a dealer, or using the dealer’s financing arm.

This step requires extra attention because it affects how the next few years of your life will look like. Try to balance and the get the best interest with the best terms you can.

Step 6: Complete the purchase and paper work

Before you sign anything, don’t forget to clarify all insurance, financing, and warranty terms.

After the car is yours, you can add equipment to boost the car’s performance, a snorkel for example. We have also discussed this topic and you can ask your dealer to help buying and installing this.

How to buy a used car in the Philippines?

The process of how to buy a 2nd hand car is similar to that of buying a new one and you have to go through the same steps. However, these are a few tips you will find helpful when making decisions.

Do thorough research

Get an overview of what is available on the market, try looking for the model, make, and variant you like. Researching will help you narrow down options and make comparisons and know what to expect regarding the price range. It will also help you find the best deals possible so you can negotiate better when working with dealers.

Check the mileage

When you check out a car, remember to see how far it has been driven by that time. A cheaper vehicle isn’t necessarily a better deal if it’s too old. But it’s not the case all the time so make sure you examine it carefully.

If the vehicle is newer but has a larger mileage, you should ask the seller if it was used mainly on the highway as it means the car is in a better condition than one used in the city. All in all, however, don’t opt for a car whose mileage exceeds 60,000 kilometers.

Check the car’s history and paperwork

Make sure the paperwork of the car is correct and up to date, from which you will know whether the car has in any accident or damaged somehow. Remember to check if the Original Receipt (OR) and Certificate of Registration (CR) are legitimate and up to date.

You should also check with the PNP highway patrol group to see if the car has been stolen or flagged as part of a crime. At the same time, verify with the Land Transportation Office to see if the car has any bad record.

Estimate the budget

Unlike a new car, a used car involves repair costs, especially when you buy from a private seller, in which case the car might have not undergone inspection before being sold. Generally, you should put aside an amount equivalent to 20% of the car’s price for repair and replacement if necessary. This step is highly important in how to buy 2nd hand car Philippines.

Check out the car in person with a mechanic

This is a must for buying a used car so that you can find out any problem that you didn’t know prior to the visit. Don’t hesitate to see what’s under the hood and make sure everything is in good conditions.

For example, is the car battery still good? If it’s not, make sure you have the owner comfirm its current status and discuss related policies thoroughly.

How To Buy A Car In The Philippines
Buying the best used car in the Philippines

How to rent a car in the Philippines?

This part is for those who are looking to rent a car instead of buying one for themselves. If you are in this group, here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Prepare the necessary documents

In most cases, you have to bring your valid passport, driver’s license, and major credit card. Sometimes, companies may ask for additional documents like proof of accommodation, flight ticker, and billing abroad for special customers like foreigners.

Step 2: Beware of common problems with car renting

It’s not easy to find a good company to rent a car as their addresses may be hard to find. Also, you may not be familiar with the controls on a car you rented, causing troubles driving. If you come from a different province and only rent a car to commute in a short time, you should rent from a company near your departure location for convenience.

Step 3: Rent the right car

When choosing a car to rent, keep in mind the number of people it will carry, the type of car you want, or the total cargo capacity.

If there are 5 or fewer passengers, you can consider a hatchback. If you have 2-3 pieces of luggage, you should go with a Sedan. If there are more people, consider opting for an SUV that can carry 5-8 people with 3-4 pieces of luggage. There are other options for bigger groups of people.

Step 4: Ask about the services accompanying the car rent

Remember to ask the company about these services like a driver and different methods of payment.

Overall, this post has covered every major thing you need to know before buying a car, whether new or used. We hope that our comprehensive guide on how to buy a car in the Philippines will help you make the best purchase ever. For those looking for a post about how to sell a car in the Philippines, we would love to cover that matter separately for you in another post.