Metro Manila · Do Drive Here! - Tips for buying a second-hand car in the Megacity
"Don't drive here!", a Discovery Channel show that did a feature on Manila said of the traffic situation in the Megacity. Undeniably, amid the traffic caused by a surplus of autos in the road and the wreck of transport organization in the Philippines, a car is still the fastest way to get around from point A to point B in the Megacity. And for the transcendent Megacitizens in Manila, the solution is either the famous taxi cabs or a second-hand car.
However, buying a second-hand car in the Philippines means its own set of guidelines. Be smart and brush up on these tips on purchasing a top-quality, used car.
- Set a decent budget range of P150,000 - P250,000, the standard price for a proper second-hand car. Anything lower could either be a stroke of luck, or a rip off.
- First-owned autos, which means cars bought off the actual and first owner as is documented on the property papers, are the best. It usually entails the vehicle to be relatively maintained and loved.
- Opt for cars that are at the most 6 or 7 years old. Otherwise check the mileage. The reason behind this is that most cars deteriorate quicker in the hot and humid Manila climate.
- Check the plate number, as this entails what region it was sold. Avoid cars that begin with 'R' as they usually are from the port in Subic which poses some risk of damage from sea transport or fabrication of engine parts. Those that begin with 'B' are from the Cagayan region, that is famous for reasonably cheap and safe-to-buy cars.
- When you meet up with the seller, do it with a local mechanic or a local who you trust.
- Haggle personally. Cars are usually priced with a margin for bargaining. The haggle price is usually a round off to the nearest hundred thousand or about P15,000-P20,000.
Driving in Manila is more advantageous if one does not mind going behind the wheel. For one, time is in your hands, in Manila, relatively. Also, driving a second-hand car could be cheaper than riding a cab. Driving in Manila can also benefit by increasing one's knowledge of the local driving culture. In addition, it helps encourage preparedness and street smarts.