Life and Family / News and Information

Car Buying Tips

Below are some tips that you may look into before getting your own car. Note that this is from someone who doesn’t know a thing about this topic until just recently.

1. On choosing what car to get. One of the early problems to have before finding your dream car is thinking of what car is it. We have come a long way from where we started up to what we bought in the end.

For the question on what car type to get; e.g. compact, sedan, pickup, or suv; I suggest to go with purpose or necessity. Early, I was at getting a Ford Ranger just because of its macho look. You can load a lot but can only comfortably seat up to 5 people only. Then it boiled down to getting a sedan (Honda Civic RS) versus an SUV (Isuzu Mu-X) which are both on the same price level. On style (fuccboi style lol) and sporty look, the Civic wins hands down. But the Mu-X beats the sedan on practicality and usability. So we ended up with the Limited Edition Mu-X. Even up to now, we somehow contemplating on what if we chose otherwise. Although overall, we are pretty happy on what we got. Jonalyn will just get a Jazz of her own in the future (year 2030).

For the question of what brand or make to get, as I don’t have a professional take on this, go get advise from the people with experience or better yet the ones who have professional experience. I am lucky to have a friend who is a mechanical engineer who I got opinions from at the start. Do your homework: articles, friendly advices, YouTube reviews.

2. Go for bank financing. The only downside of getting a car through bank financing is the approval and the downpayment. Banks usually ask at least 20% down payment and will require you documentations to prove that you have capacity to pay. For starters, I don’t see this as a problem unless you get money from not so legal means. Though I know there are people who really can afford to buy one but just doesn’t have the documents to give, say an unregistered business, an OFW, etc. On the other side, In-house financing offers low down payment, up to even zero percent, to entice potential buyers. The downside is that in the long run, you’ll end up paying more.

Mu-X’s SRP that time was 1.4m. Through bank financing, it was at a total of 1.6m for 4 years. If we had it via In-house financing, it will be at 1.9m for 5 years.

3. It’s not enough. Even if you have the capacity to pay the monthly amortization of your car loan, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can afford buying a car. I usually pay twice more against commuting previously, well depending on the traffic. Fuel consumption alone is more expensive on a daily basis. Then there’s the parking fee. I am basically paying more for the convinience and the time I save against commuting. The breakeven part is when we go out of town, say our province in Zambales, where previously we spent 500 Php per person and now I only spend at most 1500 Php for up to 8 people.

Wait there’s more! You also have regular maintenance checkup to pay for. We spent around 5,000? Php (forgot the actual price) for our Mu-X for the first 1,500 km. I think the next one, 5,000 km, will be at around 10,000 Php. You also have to consider unplanned or emergency cases such as accidents or breakdown.

There’s also those not really necessary things you want to add to your car but costs a lot: aesthetic/functional upgrades. Bike rack costs at least 10,000 Php. Top rack at 15,000 Php. Bumpers at 5,000 Php up to 20,000 Php. And the list goes on and on.

4. On second hand cars. Again on this, I really don’t have a personal take on. I know you can found treasures on this but you need to be super cautious about it. Bring someone who can check the car if you need to. Watch out for those ‘nabaha’ as well.

5. On learning to drive. We went to A1 Driving School to learn how to drive late last year. In Circle C Congressional, we actually have two options A1 and Smart. Smart costs around 1,000 Php less but what turned us off is that the first session would already be in the streets. A1 on the other hand has a closed driving facility in Pingkian, Quezon City where the first hours of your lesson will be done. We took the manual courses as advised by relatives and friends as this will excercise driving reflexes. Shifting then to an automatic vehicle would be easy.

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