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Top Tips on Buying Used Cars in Philippines

Updated on March 10, 2015

Brand Preference for Used / 2nd Hand Cars

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1. Where to Buy Used or 2nd Hand Cars
For your personal safety and to avoid being scammed, it is important to deal only with reliable people. Buy only from people you know, ask your circle of friends, office mates or acquaintances.

Shop around from established and reputable car dealers in you locality or ask their previous customers or read some customers feedback from their site . Established car dealers wont sacrifice their reputation – they have standards set (technically and legally) for cars coming in and going out from on their yard.

2. Car Physical Condition

  • Mileage & History
    The higher the kilometer reading is the lesser the car’s running condition is. This means that a major break-down may soon come. In other words a car running a 25,000 km may be 25% less “performance wise” as compared to a brand new one.

    Don’t trust what the odometer is displaying on its face. Try to have a factual comparison on the car’s exteriors and interior condition to that of the kilometer reading. One way to check if the odometer was tampered with is – say, a car which runs only 15,000 km, check the pedals and steering wheel if it’s physical appearance speaks the same.

    Check the maintenance record if any, normally cars bought brand new from dealer have a record book for maintenance. Repairs and the maintenance type of maintenance can be seen on the record. A car that is maintained in the dealership has an advantage as you can be assured that spare parts use are genuine.

  • What Your Eyes Can See
    When the seller claims it’s "fresh looks", check properly both the cars' interior and exterior appearance. A well maintained and accident free car can be better seen a from its interior and underneath – not from where you eyes can easily see.

    Physical evidence will help determine the cars history – if it was involve in minor or major accidents, or a well kept casa-maintained car . Look for telltales like dents, scratches, paint discoloration. Open the doors and check the color discrepancy between interior and exterior colors. Check underneath, it’s easier to recognize dents and crumples from opposite side of the bumper and panels. Check if the locks are working properly and the latches are properly aligned.

  • What You Hear and Feel
    One way to determine if the fresh looks of the car would match its engine performance and physical fitness, feel the fitness and muscle of the car is to test drive it. Listen not only to the engines roar, but also if there are any clanking noise from the body and under chassis in you every stop and turn. Fell how the suspension respond to every bumps and humps.

    The best way to determine the cars overall well-being is test how it responds beyond the normal driving condition. Test is on bumpy roads, humps, going uphill and downhill. Listen to the engine roaring as it responds to the accelerator, gear and clutch respond to every gear change (MR or AT)and the physical clanking noise from body, joints and suspension. Feel how the steering wheel responds to your every turn. See if there are loose wiring by checking the features – windows and side mirrors, lights, dashboard signs, switches a regular hump where you can drive the car a little faster than usual.

  • Check for Leaks (Oil & Water)
    Satisfied with the car engines performance? It's time to take an extra step, check underneath the vehicle. Try to spot if there are some signs of leaks. Oil leaks can be a sign of serious problem later, or it can be a sign that major repair has been done from major breakdown.

    Water leaks may come from radiator and air-conditioner. If it is from the radiator, it can be a sign the vehicle may overheat or is prone to overheating.

Cars With High Resale Value

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3. Resale value and Maintenance Cost
Remember that buying a car for personal use is an outright cost, it never appreciate in value nor will bring your money back. You can go high and low in terms of brand and style to match your wants, needs and financial capability.

There are several factors that affects usually dictates a car brands resale value. In Philippines the car makers like Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi which has the longest history of service relationship among Filipino consumers and widest network of service center and supply chain of spare parts, normally have higher resale value as compare to the new players like Hyundai and Ford.

You can pay a little higher for used car but pay less in maintenance cost is a key deciding factor. They say that cars with low resale value are good prospects of buying it 2nd hand, but try to consider the gas consumption per kilometer, availability of spare parts and cost of repair.

How You Check Car History

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4. Clean Title
Unlike it the US or other part of the world where there are trusted agencies were you can avail of a car history report like the AutoCheck by Experian and CarFax. In the Philippine however, our safety option is to ask for a copy of the OR and CR. Check from Land Transportation Office (LTO) or Traffic Management Group (TMG) if the car is has clean title or has been reported stolen. Check if the car change plates, you need to know the reason.

5. Certified Pre-owned Cars
If you a little more extra cash to burn, you can always find a better deals with certified pre-owned luxury cars. Trying to consider a certified pre-owned car by genuine dealers or authorized dealer and brand showrooms, can be rewarding. Aside from the better deals and many extra you can get, plus the peace of mind with worry free deals, you can have an extra step higher of owning a luxury wheels to drive around.


I summation to my useful tips above, it all goes down to three words: Value for Money. It is important to consider to balance the cost for every service you receive against every penny you give.

You may also check my other hub on the right. Hope this hub would be of help to you.


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      Melvin 3 years ago

      I value fuel consumption above all else in purchasing a car. Nowadays with fuel costs up, one can just use taxis instead. You don't have to drive yourself around, no parking fees, no maintenance fees and no roadside accidents. I do frequent car ads over the internet at the moment browsing this: