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Philippines – Buying or Importing a Car

If you are planning to buy or import a vehicle in the Philippines, there are specific procedures and paperwork that you need to follow. In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in buying or importing a car in the Philippines and the paperwork required for selling a car in the country.

Buying a New or Used Car in the Philippines

The process of buying a car in the Philippines is relatively simple, and both new and used cars are readily available in the market. However, if you are a foreign national, you need to keep certain things in mind.

Find a Dealer

The first step is to find a reliable dealer who sells new or used cars. You can use online platforms like Carmudi, AutoDeal, and Philkotse to search for dealers and private sellers.

Inspection

Once you have identified the car you want to buy, it’s essential to inspect the car thoroughly. You can hire a mechanic or a car inspection service to inspect the vehicle and provide you with a report on its condition.


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Payment and Insurance

If you are happy with the car’s condition, you can proceed with the payment. In the Philippines, it’s common to pay for the car using cash or a bank transfer. It’s essential to have insurance before driving the car, and you can purchase it from any insurance company in the Philippines.

Registration

Once you have paid for the car, you need to register it with the Land Transportation Office (LTO). You can do this at an LTO office or through an LTO-certified dealer. You will need to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of ownership
  • Valid identification
  • Proof of insurance
  • Vehicle registration certificate from the previous owner
  • Technical inspection certificate

The registration process usually takes one or two days, and once your car is registered, you will receive a registration certificate.

Taxes and Duties

If you are importing a car from another country, you may need to pay import duties and taxes. You can find more information on import taxes and duties on the Bureau of Customs website.

Importing a Vehicle in the Philippines

If you are planning to import a car into the Philippines, you need to follow specific procedures and obtain the necessary paperwork. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to import a car into the Philippines.

Check if Your Car is Eligible for Import

Before importing a car into the Philippines, you need to check if the car is eligible for import. You can do this by checking the Bureau of Import Service website. If your car is not eligible for import, you will need to obtain a permit from the Bureau of Import Service.

Obtain the Necessary Paperwork

You will need to obtain the following paperwork before importing a car into the Philippines:

  • Bill of Lading or Delivery Order
  • Import declaration
  • Technical inspection certificate
  • Valid identification
  • Proof of insurance

Transport Your Car to the Philippines

You can transport your car to the Philippines by sea or air. It’s essential to ensure that the transport company is reliable and has experience in transporting cars.

Pay Import Taxes and Duties

If you are importing a car into the Philippines, you may need to pay import duties and taxes. You can find more information on import taxes and duties on the Bureau of Customs website.

Register Your Car with the LTO

Once your car has arrived in the Philippines, you need to register it with the LTO. You can do this at an LTO office or through an LTO-certified dealer. You will need to provide the following documents:

  • Bill of Lading or Delivery Order
  • Import declaration
  • Technical inspection certificate
  • Valid identification
  • Proof of insurance

The registration process usually takes one or two days, and once your car is registered, you will receive a registration certificate.

Get Your Car Inspected

Before you can drive your car in the Philippines, you need to get it inspected by an LTO-approved inspection center. The inspection includes checking the car’s brakes, steering, suspension, lights, emissions, and safety features. If your car passes the inspection, you will receive a vehicle inspection certificate.

Relevant Government Departments and Contact Details

Here are the contact details of the relevant government departments in the Philippines that you may need to contact when importing a car:

  • Bureau of Customs: You can find information on import taxes and duties on the Bureau of Customs website. You can also contact them through their website or by phone at +63 2 8525 6000.
  • Bureau of Import Service: The Bureau of Import Service is responsible for issuing import permits for cars that are not eligible for import. You can find more information on their website or contact them by phone at +63 2 8922 9061.
  • Land Transportation Office (LTO): The LTO is responsible for vehicle registration and inspection in the Philippines. You can find more information on their website or contact them by phone at +63 2 8708 7114.

Selling a Car in the Philippines

If you want to sell a car in the Philippines, you need to follow certain procedures and obtain the necessary paperwork. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to sell a car in the Philippines.

Cancel Your Car Insurance

Before selling your car, you need to cancel your car insurance. You can do this by contacting your insurance company and providing them with the necessary information.

Obtain a Deed of Sale

You need to obtain a deed of sale, which is a legal document that transfers ownership from you to the buyer. You can download a template online or ask your lawyer to draft one for you.

Transfer Ownership

To transfer ownership, you need to provide the following documents to the buyer:

  • Deed of sale
  • Vehicle registration certificate
  • Technical inspection certificate
  • Valid identification
  • Proof of ownership

Once the buyer has the necessary documents, they can register the car in their name.

Buying or importing a vehicle in the Philippines may seem overwhelming, especially if you are a foreign national. However, by following the procedures and obtaining the necessary paperwork, you can easily buy or import a car and sell it when the time comes. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the relevant government departments for assistance.


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