Bringing Your Car to The Philippines
The Philippines is, without a doubt, one of the most culturally diverse areas in the entire world and people, especially locals, enjoy living in harmony with others. Expats and tourists enjoy retiring to the Philippines or vacationing where they can spend hours at a time lounging on the beautiful white sand beaches, hiking through the mountainous regions or enjoying a night out on the town with locals and other tourists in the area. There are many local communities where expats can find affordable housing and live with other expats as well as blend in with the local population.
Aside from the housing market and things to do in the Philippines, something that always seems to come up in conversation with people that are considering moving to the Philippines is, can they bring their own personal car with them when they make the move from the United States? The short answer to that question is, yes, you can bring your own car with you. The bigger question is, will it cost a lot to bring a car to the Philippines? The answer to that one is also, yes. Importing a personal car to the Philippines can be a costly venture, but depending on the car you own and how badly you want to have it with you, it may just be the most economical thing that you can do when you move to the Philippines.
Many people choose to sell their car before they leave the states and just buy a new one when they arrive, but if your car means a great deal to you, you may want to have it shipped over. Thanks to professional international automobile shippers, it is possible to have the car delivered in a timely manner to the Philippines where you can enjoy driving to and from the many places that you need to go when you arrive. A car definitely makes house hunting easier as well as shopping, socializing and just seeing the new area that you live in.
You may like to know that if you do not import a car to the Philippines, you may find it necessary to take a bus or other public transportation. Buses can become packed and are often delayed which means you may not arrive to appointments or other gatherings on time. Traffic in the Philippines can be very bad and you are bound to face delays no matter what type of transportation you use.
In order to import a car to the Philippines, it can be a new or used car but it must be a left hand driving vehicle. This means that the steering wheel must be on the same side that it is on in the United States. You also must:
- Be a returning resident who has been out of the country for a year or more
- Be an immigrant with a 13G visa
Only one car is allowed per person/family and you must have it legally registered in the United States or the country you are moving from for at minimum 6 months prior to importing it to the Philippines for your personal use. You will also need the following important documentation to prove that the car is yours:
- Original Sales Receipt/Invoice
- Vehicle Title
- Import Permit
- Engine Number
- Vehicle Registration
- Driver’s License
To import the car, you will be required to show proof that you will be residing in the Philippines for no less than one year once the car is legally imported. To import a used car, you will need to have a prior import authority (PIA) form or it can be detained by customs indefinitely. This will cost a great deal of money to pay customs to release the car and you will still need to acquire the PIA before customs will even consider releasing the car to you even with the money paid. If your car is new, the PIA will not be necessary.
You will need to obtain the PIA from the Bureau of Import Services. They can be contacted by telephone at (632) 895-7466 for information on obtaining your PIA.
Taxes and Other Fees
The most vital aspect of importing a car to the Philippines is the actual cost to do so. This is where many people have been deterred with bringing their car with them, but it is something that many people want to do because they really want to keep the car that they have. Here is where we will discuss the money that you can expect to pay when you bring your car over.
First, to have the car shipped by a professional international auto transport company, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2500 and upwards of $3500. Depending on the actual value of the car, the price can go up, or even down based on the taxes you will pay. Just so you know, all motor vehicles that are brought to the Philippines are subject to taxes. You can contact the Valuation Center & Library in South Harbor, Manila which is located inside of the Bureau of Customs to check the actual value of your car and find out the amount you will pay in taxes.
Motor vehicle owners will be required to pay a 40% Customs duty, a 10% VAT and an Ad Valorem Tax that will range from 13% all the way to 100% of the value of the car. The Ad Valorem Tax is based on where the piston displacement is in the vehicle engine. Motor vehicles that have a piston displacement higher than 2000 cc are allowed to take a depreciation of the vehicle value up to 50%. If the piston displacement is lower than 2000 cc, the savings can be up to 70%.
In general, the government prefers that people purchase a car in the Philippines and this is why they charge such excessive tax rates and custom duties to import. While you can import used cars, your car must not be older than five years old or it will be denied entry. All fees, including shipping fees and taxes and duties must be paid before the car is shipped. All of the fees can be paid directly to the shipping company which makes it quite convenient when you pay everything to one entity instead of having to pay fees to multiple locations. Hiring a professional international auto transport company that has shipping experience to the Philippines will allow you to have the quality services that you are going to need to have your car imported safely to the Philippines. They will also be able to handle submitting your customs duties and taxes ahead of time so that everything will be cleared quickly when the car arrives. The sooner everything is paid, shipped and cleared by customs, the sooner you can take your car and drive to the places you need to go in your new home in the Philippines.