6 Tips in Buying Used Cars in the Philippines

Updated Aug 28, 2018 | Same topic: Best Advice for Car Buyers

Want to buy a used car? Read this article first for some tips on how you can avoid bogus used car sellers.

If you’re the type who fancies old school vehicles, you will obviously not walk into a dealership showroom and look for the specific make and model of the vehicle you are raving about. Your best resource will be to look for that old school vehicle online or through referrals from friends who are well linked to great car dealerships that caters to classics.

If you can’t seem to find one in person, used car websites would be your best friend.

Man looking for used cars online

Internet and used car selling websites are our run-to platforms in looking for our desired car

Now, your eyes widened and you feel your mouth part wide in disbelief seeing your dream vehicle online at a very low price. It fits within your budget and you’d still get some decent change. It says there that it’s in mint condition, no issues, etcetera, etcetera – and you are now ecstatic to buy it right away.

But, should you? Really? That’s the ultimate question. Should seeing your sought after car online, being sold in a cheap price make you jump immediately in whatever terms the seller has just because this chance is once in a blue moon? Think again.

As a buyer, you should always be careful with making any transactions. You have saved that hard earned money to buy the vehicle you want. Make sure you don’t spend it to a fraud seller.

What are the things that you should be alarmed about and make you think twice when buying a used car? Let Philkotse.com give you a look into them one by one.

1. The price way too unbelievably low

Of course when we buy something, the very first question that comes out of our mouths is “How much are you selling it for?” This doesn’t only apply when buying used cars but for pretty much everything.

When you buy online for say a simple earphone and the price is really low compared to the standard pricing you know in the market, don’t you wrinkle your eyebrows and become curious?

Same goes with used cars. When the price is too low compared to the price range you know that your dream car is supposed to cost, then think twice. Too low of a price can most like have a ‘catch’.

Either it’s a trap just to get your interest and communicate with the seller but in reality it has a higher price OR the price is low because it has some hidden stories or defects undisclosed by the seller. Either way, be alarmed if the used car is cheap.

2. Hint of rust anywhere in the car

If you see any hint of rust as you inspect the car, better think twice, brother. Especially when you see the rust on the car’s body frame. Frame is the main component of the car that basically holds the car together. If you see rust on the frame, it means the frame is corroding.

Rust on car

Seeing rust on a car means that it's not cared of properly by its previous owner

Yes, you can have it checked and possibly repaired or even replaced, but seriously, you should not spend a lot of money in getting rust out of a car when you can buy a used car in a better condition, right?

Make sure to have these 9 signs thoroughly inspected when checking out a second hand vehicle. 

3. The seller is not as responsive as you expected

This is a good way to know if the seller is really keen and determined to sell his car. If you are a keen buyer, you would contact the seller right away to know more about the car they’re selling, ask questions and try to start a good conversation for a smooth and friendly transaction. If the seller is not as enthusiastic as you, try to back off. 

Either he thinks you are not the rightful new owner for his beloved car and he’s not interested to sell it to you or he’s taken aback of your curiosity and determination to buy his car.

The latter usually signifies that the seller might be hiding something about the car that he’s not willing to disclose – because if he really wants to sell it, he should be ready to answer any questions that his potential buyer would ask.

4. The seller is not willing to meet up

Really – if you are a good and honest seller, you’d be willing to meet with the buyer to show everything there is to the product you’re selling. By meeting up with the potential buyer, you are establishing trust and confidence to him or her which will make them more interested to buy your product.

If the car seller isn’t willing to meet up, or endorsing you to his or her friend or relative to meet up with you instead – that’s enough proof that he is not trustworthy. 

He could say he’s busy and all but if the seller really wants to sell his used car without a trace of bad intentions meet ups should be no problem at all.

A man's making a phone call

If the car seller isn’t willing to meet up, that’s enough proof that he is not trustworthy

5. Problem with car’s papers

As a car buyer, one thing that’s normal for you to ask about is the car papers. The car papers should be clean and without any issues so the transfer of ownership later on would be much easier. These papers should be readily available in case the buyer asks to see them for added assurance on their part.

If the seller makes excuses about the legal papers of the car they’re selling, then the used car is not worth buying.

Car deed of sale

Car papers should always be available should buyer wants to see it

Either they don’t really have the papers at all, or they got the car illegally without any papers or they are selling somebody else’s car without them knowing.

6. Diverts the topic

This is so funny and common. When the seller agrees to meet with you and discloses facts about the car and you ask more questions than what he or she is ready for and you ask some unexpected questions they are not ready to disclose or answer, they divert you from your question. 

They either go back to the good things they’ve told you about the car or they will create a new topic that may lead you to completely forget your question. Diversionary tactic.

These are six simple tips to make you a careful buyer. If you encounter one of these while browsing for your ideal car or while meeting up with the seller, think twice and ask for more time before spending your money. There could be a lot more used cars out there who’s worth your time.

>>> Get more helpful tips to make your used car buying much easier: 

Ivy Kristia Padura

Ivy Kristia Padura


Ivy is one of the first Philkotse's content writers. She finds joy in sharing her driving tips, particular for dealing with heavy traffic in Metro Manila, with other fellow drivers.

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