Vintage cars in the Philippines: Gains & losses

Updated Jul 21, 2022

How do you know if a vintage car is for you? Read the article to find the answer.

1. ’63 Beetle - My favorite vintage car in the Philippines

I’m a Pinoy who always had a deep affection for vintage cars. From my perspective, “a vintage car represents an era, not an age.” Whenever I roamed the street, I was fed up with a sea of mediocre Vios, City, Wigo, EcoSport…, so I thirsted for a special model rather than what my mates are driving every day.

One day, I eventually hunted out a yellow 1963 Beetle on an auto classified website and I knew that I had been waiting too long for the day I brought it home. This Bug was so cute that it always made passers-by sidle up to and  heads turn whenever I passed by. Honestly, it was great thing for me to be proud of. I drove it to anywhere I want to go in the town, despite the distance.

a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle

A 1963 Beetle is also in the list of many Pinoys who are interested in vintage cars

However, let alone its charming look, I gradually had a little vague about its ability (and inability as well) after a short period of time. More than one time, it died out on me when I rushed to my office. Worse still, the handbrake broke off from my tiny Bug and imagine, I was left holding a dangling one. That time, I seriously took its safety into account and my dad advised me not to drive it. “You should put it in a big glass box to clap eyes on everyday rather than parading it around town,” said he.

>>> Click here for the complete list of used Volkswagen Beetle for sale in PH

2. Reasons people hunt for vintage cars in the Philippines

Then, I realized that most Filipinos buy a classic Volkswagen Beetle (as well as other vintage cars in the Philippines) for top wrong reasons: as a fun means of transport, as a gift for their children, as something for investment, or like me, as something to pursue my hobby and to show off.

Many Pinoys think that possessing an old-school car is fun since:

  • It is one-off.
  • It brings you interesting driving experience.
  • You can join big car events for classic cars in the Philippines.
  • Restoring vintage cars and caring for them are therapeutic.

vintage cars event in the Philippines

You can join big car events for classic cars in the Philippines

Vintage cars of the Philippines - First Meet and Greet

Frankly, I really love my car and some say that it’s a valid reason to buy an antique model. But it’s not for daily rides. I have been trying to get on well with my Bug, but it appeared that it did not want to team up with me when on the move.

3. Buying classic cars in the Philippines a bad idea?

Look at me and you might partially be aware of potential pitfalls of vintage car ownership.

3.1. It’s hard to estimate classic car prices

Firstly, where to buy classic cars in the Philippines?

It’s not a difficult question. From car auctions or from any car classified websites like However, searching for a good model is not easy-peasy. Antique cars for sale are rare, so it is hard to put a price on them. A rough idea of how much a special classic model is worth will always float in your mind. Therefore, it’s suggested that you set a ceiling price and discipline yourself to depend on it.

classic car prices

It is hard to put a price on a classic model

3.2. You are not conscious of maintenance and mechanics

Even professionals sometimes cannot look through a vintage model. So, it would be more challenging if you’re clueless about four-wheeled machines. Perhaps the only thing you can do is just bring it to local auto shop or a service center for inspection. Yes, I did so but as you know, everything was still incalculable.

Generally, when going for an old-school car in the Philippines, there is a high possibility that you’ll have to do lots of repair and maintenance work on it.

vintage cars maintenance

When going for an old-school car, there is a high possibility that you’ll have to do lots of repair and maintenance work on it

3.3. Spare parts availability is a troublesome problem

It may be easier to find spare parts of popular antique models, but what happens when you ended up purchasing a limited production run? The answer will be “not many” or “NONE.”

vintage cars spare parts

What happens when you ended up purchasing a limited production run?

>>> You might love to enjoy: What is a muscle car? Can I buy one in the Philippines?

3.4. Where to store it?

Don’t say that you buy a classic vehicle and often park it on narrow streets in Metro Manila. The fact remains that 9 out of 10 vintage car owners preserve their “fortune” in a secure place. Hence, make sure you have somewhere to put your car in before deciding to make the purchase of it.

vintage cars garage

9 out of 10 vintage car owners preserve their “fortune” in a secure place

After looking through all these considerations for and considerations against buying vintage cars in the Philippines, I hope that Filipinos who have a liking for classic vehicles will have better insight about them.

By and large, the value of a classic model is in the heart of the owner. It would be worth its weight in gold if it’s valuable to you – its owner. Truth be told, vintage cars are not merely a means of transport. They are unlike the norm, which accidentally makes them unique. However, up to now, I have still been pondering over what I will do with my Bug.