2018 Car Prices in the Philippines: How Much Does It Cost to Own a Car?


Published on: February 21, 2018 Last updated: April 9, 2021

car prices in the Philippines
Can you afford to own a car this 2018?

If you’re trying to cut costs, it would seem a little too late to buy a brand-new car this year. The tax reform or TRAIN law has raised excise taxes on petroleum products and automobiles since January 2018, driving up fuel and car prices in the Philippines.

The automotive industry is bracing for the impact of the new excise taxes on vehicle and fuel costs[1]. Because of these price hikes, some of the country’s top car brands and the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines expect vehicle sales to slow down this year[2].

Aside from these major expenses, take into account other car ownership costs when deciding whether to buy a car or not. A car purchase is a serious decision—so make sure your finances are in order before you make that huge investment.

As a prospective car buyer, manage your expectations—know how much you’ll need to cover all costs involved in owning a vehicle.

Car Prices in the Philippines for 2018

Considering to buy a pick-up truck or an electric car? Lucky you because these vehicles are exempt from excise taxes under the TRAIN law. Also, TRAIN imposes only a 50% excise tax rate on hybrid cars. And ironically, premium or luxury car prices in the Philippines are lower than last year.

Lower-end cars bear the biggest impact of the higher excise taxes. Leading automakers in the Philippines such as Toyota and Honda have recently updated their price list. The 2018 car price lists show that most mass-market models are now more expensive than in 2017 by PHP 10,000 to over PHP 100,000.

Take the two of the country’s top-selling passenger cars as examples. The cheapest Toyota Vios model (1.3 Base M/T) now costs PHP 629,000, which is PHP 12,000 higher than its 2017 cost. The price of the Honda City 1.5 E M/T, which was at PHP 764,000 in 2017, has been increased to PHP 820,000, making it pricier by PHP 56,000.

Read More:

Car Loan Payments

If you’re going to buy a vehicle, you’ll most likely to apply for a car loan.

It’s easier to manage your finances with a personal loan for financing a vehicle than making a lump-sum payment.

Make sure, though, that you can afford to repay the money you’ll borrow for buying a car. Use a loan calculator to compute your down payment and monthly amortizations based on a car’s selling price.

Let’s say your monthly income is PHP 50,000, and you’re going to buy a Vios or a City through a BDO or BPI auto loan with 20% down payment and payable in five years. Their auto loan calculators will yield these results:

Car Loan PaymentsToyota Vios Honda City
Vehicle Selling PricePHP 629,000PHP 820,000
Loanable AmountPHP 503,200PHP 656,000
Down PaymentPHP 125,800PHP 164,000
Monthly Amortization
  • BDO Auto Loan: PHP 10,798.67
  • BPI Auto Loan: PHP 10,737
  • BDO Auto Loan: PHP 14,077.76
  • BPI Auto Loan: PHP 13,997

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Fuel Costs

fuel costs
Fuel is another cost that takes up a chunk of every car owner’s budget. The higher fuel excise tax has pushed the average gasoline price to PHP 52.92 per liter and the average diesel price to PHP 41.40 per liter, according to latest data from the Department of Energy[3].

On a yearly basis, expect to spend a total of around PHP 40,000 to gas up a sedan like Vios and City. Fuel may cost higher or lower for other vehicle types, depending on their fuel mileage and your total driving distance.

The average mileage for cars in the Philippines is 20,000 kilometers, according to a Carmudi research.

Vios has a fuel mileage of 25.88 km/L. With gasoline price at an average of PHP 52.92 per liter, fuel can cost PHP 40,896 yearly or PHP 3,408 monthly for this sedan.

Honda City’s fuel mileage of 23.91 km/L will cost you PHP 44,266 per year or PHP 3,688.83 per month.

Read more: Top 15 Fuel Efficient Cars in the Philippines

Other Vehicle Expenses to Consider

The actual car purchase and fuel aren’t just the costs to factor into your buying decision. Expenses such as LTO registration, car insurance, parking fees, toll fees, maintenance, and repairs add up to the total cost of owning a car. Take all these into account when computing your projected car ownership cost.

1. LTO Registration

All newly purchased vehicles in the Philippines have to be registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO). Your future car is no exception. Prepare around PHP 3,000 to PHP 4,000 for this.

Here is the breakdown of LTO registration fees:

  • LTO Registration[4]:
    – Passenger cars: PHP 1,600 (light cars), PHP 3,600 (medium cars), or PHP 8,000 (heavy cars)
    – AUVs: At least PHP 2,000
    – SUVs: At least PHP 2,300
  • Emission testing: PHP 450
  • CTPL (Compulsory Third Party Liability): PHP 980
  • Regular plate: PHP 450
  • Stickers and tags: PHP 50 each

2. Car Insurance

car insurance
Car insurance policies cost from PHP 10,000 to over PHP 20,000 each year. While it seems like an added expense, an insurance for your new vehicle is worth the cost because of the protection you can receive during untoward incidents.

To get an idea of how much you’ll be spending per year for insuring a specific car model, go to the MoneyMax.ph car insurance comparison tool. Enter the car brand, model, year, and trim to get an instant free quote.
MoneyMax.ph car insurance
Using the online tool, you’ll see the car insurance costs for the specific vehicle you’ve looked up. For example, car insurance policies for a 2017 Toyota Vios 1.3 Base M/T range from PHP 10,540 to PHP 17,849. For a 2017 Honda City 1.5 E M/T, the range is from PHP 12,556 to PHP 21,607.

3. Parking and Toll Fees

parking costs
Parking and toll rates seem to be just minimal, but when you get the total per year, you’ll be surprised at how much you’re spending on these minor auto-related expenses.

If you’ll be driving to work in Makati, you’ll spend an average of PHP 150 to PHP 280 for 8 hours daily. There are 20 working days in a month, so you’ll be forking out PHP 3,000 to PHP 4,800 monthly. In a year, the total would be PHP 36,000 to PHP 57,600.

If you’re coming from provinces near Metro Manila such as Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna, you’ll be spending more for toll fees. The maximum one-way entry/exit toll rates for NLEX and SLEX are PHP 340 and PHP 260, respectively.

4. Car Maintenance and Repair

car maintenance costs
The cost of maintaining and fixing your car can be both a regular and recurring expense. You’ll need to allot budget for the twice-a-year preventive maintenance service (PMS). For Vios and City, the PMS averages at PHP 3,500 every six months for a total of PHP 7,000 per year.

5. Car Depreciation

Vehicles also depreciate[5] over time, so a car you purchase today will lose 81% of its value after a year. Thus, consider depreciation when buying a car.

Estimated Total Cost of Owning a Car

If you sum up all the car expenses, expect to shell out around PHP 200,000 to PHP 300,000 per year for owning a low-end model sedan of Toyota or Honda. The table below shows the breakdown and total annual cost of owning a low-priced car in the Philippines in 2018:

ExpensesToyota Vios Honda City
Car Loan AmortizationsPHP 129,584.04PHP 168,933.12
FuelPHP 40,896PHP 44,266
LTO RegistrationPHP 4,000PHP 4,000
Car InsurancePHP 17,849PHP 21,607
ParkingPHP 57,600PHP 57,600
Car Maintenance and RepairPHP 7,000PHP 7,000
TOTALPHP 256,929.04PHP 303,406.12

The total annual car ownership cost is more expensive for higher-end models and vehicles that consume more fuel, among many other factors.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have the facts you need to make an informed decision, ask yourself: can you afford to own a car in 2018? Give your current financial situation a reality check. If you think you can cover the costs of owning a car, be a careful and wise buyer. Study your options from the different car prices in the Philippines and auto loans to the car insurance coverage to buy.

auto insurance philippines


Written By:

Venus is the Head of Content at Moneymax, with 15+ years of experience in digital marketing, corporate communications, PR, and journalism. She invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Outside of work, she's crazy about cats and Korean dramas. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.