Between trips to Manila for ACR I-cards, my Grandson being born, and life in general I’ve also been looking at new cars (still being flexible). My 1996 Honda Civic (New Old Car) almost has 100,000 kilometers or Approx. 60.000 miles on it, and I might sell it, and take the plunge into the new car realm. Since the Honda is both looking and running well I’m in no particular rush, hell I’ve replaced most of the parts on it so far. I’m still taking my time and doing my due diligence in researching the many types of auto’s available here.
This will be my first new car that I’ve purchased since 1978. Then I took procession of a Lincoln Town Car because it just looked good to me. My reason for previously owned (Read used) cars was simple and logical for me. I was a career Navy man and sailed on many ships at the time, so why store a new car for six to nine months every time I deployed. I was transferred to Shore Duty in 1978 and thought it was time I had a new car.
After many happy years of motoring, I gave it to my father (Still in perfect condition in 1987 I went back to owning used cars. While sailing as a Merchant Marine for ten years, after I left Puerto Rico I paid to store a Jeep CJ-7 in San Francisco for six years, and every time I flew back to the states I rented a car and took the Jeep in to be serviced and put it back in storage the next day. I went to the Philippines Customs and asked what was required to bring it here, I was informed to go ahead and ship it here, they would look at it then, and give me the import cost. Well that sounded like a pig in a poke to me. Picture me pushing it off the pier into Manila Harbor when they tell me the import duty is $ 5,000.00 or more. So I sold it and bought an Owner Jeep here in Olongapo City.
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Now it was not your average Owner Jeep, I had a hard top, with roll up windows with real medal doors, tilt steering and power of course, plus power breaks. Did I mention it was Air Conditioned as well? The downside was my wife refused to drive it because of the 5 speed manual transmission; she just didn’t like rowing the car through town. So since that fateful mistake it’s been Automatic Transaxles from then on.
My first sojourn into the new car market was the Kia Dealership in San Fernando. As I came in the door a young man (Whose job was… I still don’t know what the hell his job is) greeted me and asked if he could help me. I wanted to look at the Kia Rio, 4 door sedan; he took me straight to a Kia Sportage. I smiled and wandered away until I found the car I came to see. I told him my requirements, Air/Con Power Steering and power windows plus automatic transmission, and I’d be a happy dude. The Rio fit the bill and would I like to drive it home today? The price was fair at Php. 700,023.00 but I explained that I had a list of seven more cars I wanted to look at. He went into a sales spiel that would have you scratching your head. Sir, did you know the Rio comes with “Cruise Control” at no extra charge?” He pointed out. Having cruise control in the Philippines? Where in the name of Pete, would you ever get to use that? So I asked if the carburetor was a 2 or 4 barrel. He had no idea the car was fuel injected or not. I’m thinking; “Quite the knowledgeable sales person.”
Payment reared its ugly head and I said it would be cash, but I would use a Visa Debit Card to pay them. “Sir, we charge 2.8% to accept and credit card.” He quickly informed me! I smiled and headed for the door, saying; “Then your dealership has no desire to sell me a car!”
Now the real sales person came forward to talk to me about selling the car to me. Why did they waste my time with the Wal-Mart greeter? This man explained that the company police was to try not to accept credit cards, and a simple bank to bank wire transfer would suffice. That placated me and I told him that if I decided on purchasing his produce I would do it that way. No discount for a cash sale, no discount for any reason, they do not accept trades.
While living in Saint Petersburg, Florida, I was a car salesman at Art Palmy Dodge prior to going back to sea as a seaman. I have found that buying a car here is nothing like buying a car in the United States, so all my crafty knowledge was useless here. During my year in car sales I’ll freely admit I made quite a lot of money. But I never really did fit in, as I was the only person on the car lot that was not a former convicted felon.
That was my first adventure in the car buying odyssey here in the land of enchantment. It truly is “More Fun in the Philippines” But I feel that I now have a better understanding as to how it works. Plus I’m open to any and all advice my fellow LiP readers can bestow upon me. If I was looking for a New Used Car, I’d have it in the carport by now. By the end of this year I think I’ll be driving my wife’s new car. As we used to say at Art Palmy Dodge; “There’s a butt for every seat!”