importing a car in the Philippines

In reflecting over the past ten years, it is clear to see i have heard more horror stories on importation of  cars, trucks, motorcycles, then the successful ones by far.  It seems to me the only successful ones are the people who paid more than the vehicle is worth to get it into the country.  For that matter it makes going and buying a brand new car a better deal than importing one.  Since Filipinos rarely sell anything that is not totally worn out the used avenue i am skeptical of and that is being said from a man who spent his whole life in the car business. These guys can not only put lipstick on a pig, they can give it a face lift at the same time. One person that imported his truck said he paid more in tax then it was worth  and all to find nobody over there can work on it. Any parts he must get shipped from friends in the States, so he said it isnt a good idea as long as the Philippines have such bad import laws. I conclude i will be dead and long gone well before the GOvt stops running off foreign import taxes.  Maybe if other Govts held the Philippine exports to the same standards the Philippines do on their imports , it then might get better. For now it doesnt seem to be the way to go unless u know u can get the documents done before u bring something in.

Thanks mike, yes i just want someone who can say, sure i will do that for you and get 'er done!  :)

I know it ain't going to be cheap from what i have seen posted on other forums...BUT....a WORKED OUT estimation would be nice rather than..."It's going to cost you bucket loads" general replies. Which tells me absolutely nothing.


Yes i understand,  with so many 'fixers" being out of business there it is going to be hard for you to find a clear cut path with no grey area.   Much more likely to run into someone who will take the cash and run like heck. lol
Well i dont think u are going to find that answer on a forum but with alot of relentless footwork u may find a way. We have a relative on the inside and even she says  NO WAY  , nobody is doing that anymore she  knows of due to the jail  involved if caught. good luck

Surely if anyone has found a way to do it they are not going to share it and endanger what they done, and for sure wont on any forum.

Dan4, where are you located? If in Cebu or Mindanao, you have a better chance of paying off someone. In Manila, they are to sensitive on this topic so not likely to get clean papers. My friend had a bike and thought they had it all arranged to have it cleared to process. Just need to bring it up to Dilliman. They seized it and we had to get a cop friend to bring it out the next day, Meanwhile, someone stole the battery.

Just ride the bike. Police check points wont stop a white guy on a Harley.  But a vrod may confuse them.

how much is the market value of the bike? are you willing to have it registered in cebu? thanks.

dan42 :

A little off topic as i have a motorcycle that i bought.....

I bought a 2010 Harley Vrod Muscle (shipped in parts from Kuwait Harley dealership and reassembled) from an American guy last year for 500k.
He told me that it was not registered which is fair enough so i was kind of prewarned!

Now i would like to have it registered with legal documents so i am not sweating everytime i ride up to a police/LTO checkpoint. I know all about the just drop them a few paesos etc etc. I am not interested in all the ifs/buts & whys...just gimmie a figure please. 100k? 200k? 300k? 400k??

I have asked on other forums and had NO success with even an answer close to being in the ball park of what i am looking for as it seems almost to be a TABOO subject. :(

Is there anyone here that can just give me a ball park figure to register my motorcycle please???

Dan  :dumbom:

Yes , I agree there are so many things that can pop up. We have a place in Tagaytay,.  In Leyte a little land we hope to build on at some point.  Yeah i got my doubts if i will bother doing that dismantle thing.  Would i crate it on a pallet in parts?   Wondered about sending a motor,trans, chain, sprocket, then put it on a Lifan over there. They seem to be reasonably priced in the Philippines,.    so did that bike get registered?   Mike

One with regards to Dilliman, no.  But like I said, if your a white guy on a big bike, wont get hassled. Just ride it til the wheels fall off. My friend did his deuce via balikbayan.  But a wing is a lot bigger.

Yeah i thought about taking it down to the core bike and gutting a refrigerator and putting it inside.  my guess is they arent opening everything that comes in there. The US says they only got time to check a little over 1 percent that comes to the US.,.    The balikbayan boxes the Wife is packing seem so darn little.

The market value in Philippines? I am not sure as the filipinos like to charge a bit more (westerner tax as you know i am sure). I bought it for 500,000 paesos if that helps?

I don't mind registering it in Cebu, no. As long as it does not affect me riding it in Zambales, Luzon.

Will i get LEGAL paperwork and a number plate?? lol  :-)


Youve not seen the Jumbo boxes. Should fit everything except maybe the frame and you can have that as a custom size box. Will be a lot cheaper than normal shipping, that is if there is someone on the other side who can reassemble it. Cruisers in Mierville may be able. 

The thing with balikbayan is that the Philippines does not inspect the incoming box for duties. Yes, the US Homeland security can inspect it but as long as you have clear title, then they dont care if your taking it out of the country.

you may have it legalize as long as u also have valid docs to show proof of ownership.

Jumbo boxes??  i am going to check that out because the balikbayan boxes we have been sending just dont get it. The boxes we are using now are 28'x18'x16" (inches) .  I been thinking, 'there has to be something better and still cost effective to ship.  Do u know what company does these Jumbo boxes?   
Thanks, Mike

you may have it legalize as long as u also have valid docs to show proof of ownership.

I have proof of ownership from the American guy i bought it from yes. The agreement between myself and himself, BUT i do not have any legal documents from the Philippines for the bike no.

We have used LBC.  I moved our condo stuff from SG to Phils just buy balikbayan and saved a ton of money in shipping. I think the super jumbos were 24X24X45.

Yeah i will do that on the boxes. Thanks alot.     
We are suppose to fly  over  December 9th.   
I made a big mistake on the flight  as the last thing i would think is  an airline would  have us fly into Tokyo at one airport then fly out at another one 50 miles away.  Heck with 2 kids and luggage they expect us to get it 50 miles.  Yeah i missed it  till after i paid for the tickets, i never had that happen in my life.    Always something to learn, heck i thought i been screwed everyway possible  already in life and by God they find another way. lol
take care, Mike

If your flying into Narita and departing Haneda, or vice versa, can take what they call the limousine bus, which is a Greyhound in the US. Its pretty convenient and door to door. The service is excellent. Will take at least 90 minutes though. I think its about 1800 yen, which is good that the yen has crashed over the past year. Should have a big counter right outside the baggage claim area.

Good deal, thats what we will do then.  We got 13 hrs so a bus trip wont hurt.    I was surprised i would have to get my luggage, thought it would somehow end up in Manila,.    Yep it is Narita we fly in to from Chicago,. Then have to go to Haneda,.   Well i surely appreciate all the info. thanks again.

We are trying to get with it here every day because that time is gonna creep up on us for sure.

one of the docs might be: Official Receipt, Deed of Absolute Sale, and other similar instruments. :)

dan42 :

you may have it legalize as long as u also have valid docs to show proof of ownership.

I have proof of ownership from the American guy i bought it from yes. The agreement between myself and himself, BUT i do not have any legal documents from the Philippines for the bike no.

Roy,  since you are a guest rather than a member, it seems we are not able to send you PMs.  I would be interested in speaking with you regarding the import of industrial machinery.  Perhaps you can find a  way to contact me.

Hello! Maybe you can help us about importing cars. Thanks!

Hello! Mr. Roy. Maybe you can help about importing car. How can I reach you? E-mail address? Thank you

Muhammadjaved :

Hi professor
I am look for partner Cebu I am working of cars and Suzuki busniess in Japan and If Ya  know some one  please let me know

Hi Muhammadjaved.....are you still looking for a partner in Cebu....if you're interested...please pm me...thank you.

I spent considerable time on the subject and talked to several people who did it also, i ended up deciding to not import my vehicles.   A country with a history of corruption in Govt and no set fees you are rolling the dice.  One couple thought they were bringing in a car on the expat returning home exemption ended up paying 10,000usd.,  another did likewise on household goods and paid the same extortion.  What can u do, they got ur car so u either pay  or loose it.   When there is so much grey area and nothing is set in firm law with a reliable and honest process you just cant afford to roll the dice uless u  feel damn lucky and can afford to loose.   Best u just buy here but watch out because Filipinos usually dont sell stuff unless it has issues, otherwise they use it till death.  There are always expats returning home that keep their stuff in good repair and of course new car dealers.  As a lifelong mechanic i  looked at cars here and they will not tell u the truth no matter what,  they can know u will travel a day to see it and still not tell u the truth until u come and find it urself. Amazing, but nobody will be transparent here so u just got to realize that going in and be ruthless as they are plus figure whatever u buy u will spend 500 bucks on to get right. Good Luck

How about shipping a  15 year old merc or bmw into the phil?  Don't laugh, the cars were owned by a car enthusiast.. the car is in  mint condition :)  I would like to ship it as a returning resident ie if I will not lose an arm and a leg in fees.   Can anyone throw in some real figures?

was going to do that too but found out better not, plus they want cars under 5 yrs old imported.  I was in the  car business all my life and had a couple nice toys i wanted to bring over along with a vintage Cycle but  canned the whole idea. I even went to the Pinas Embassy in Chicago, so i dug into it a bit.  Anytime there is a huge grey area involved in any transaction it is best to pass and thats what i did.  Good Luck.

Hi Roy, could you pm me with your contact details.

hi i was wondering if you set up import of car spares i want bring a nice Mercedes ml to Philippines as spares thanks Gary

and ppl in philippines try knock price down as they think you need money lol its joke really i found by a new car if you can afford it i have 2007  alterra    and its like new i really look after my cars service every time im home and it will see me out :)  used car shit here and like you said all have big issues

I saw your message claiming to set up a import export company in the Philippines .
Did you accomplish this ?
I am looking fo a clearing house to clear my  imports in to the Philippines
Please contact me
Henry (Gottlieb )

Forget it. Customs will seize it and hold it for a LOT of ransom money.

Hi did you already do some cars from belgium to philippines?

Im interested man gusto kasing mag import ng eurpean car I am from italy

Sorry...but the only thing that comes to mind about importing here, is to get one of those used 20ft/40ft empty container boxes & prepare a safe place in our earthquake prone area.

The 12 % is Vat Tax it will be charged to the sum total of the cost of your car, the Shipping Charges, the Duty Assesed and the Port Charges

I agree with mikejane, I would not ship a car to the Philippines. After all the trouble and costs for importing a car, I would be more encouraged to buy a car locally. It will prove cheaper.
Or buy a beater, Filipinos can fix anything and that's without using any duct tape.
If you buy a used steering wheel, they can build the car around it.
If you really want to import a car, it might be much safer to use a professional freight forwarder who will take care of all the headache the comes with it.

New topic