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New Old Car: Why I Decided To Buy A Secondhand Car

Practicality wins out in the end

New Old Car is a new mini-segment of ours for people who aren’t gearheads and for people who have zero ideas of where to start when buying a second-hand vehicle. In this segment, we walk you through buying a second-hand car, getting it financed and fixing it back to top shape so you get the most out of your purchase.

I’ve always had a car, but never really had “my car”. I, like other middle-class Filipinos, depend on family cars – vehicles that my immediate family owned or purchased and was used collectively by members of the family, who was then responsible for maintenance and upkeep of said vehicles.

But after getting married me and my wife decided it was time to get our own vehicle to use. But we faced a dilemma: we were both wary of paying high monthly premiums on vehicles, and I personally didn’t like the small, sub-compacts that were in our price range even if we went that route.

That’s the reason why I decided to go the second-hand route. The benefits were obvious: buying a second-hand vehicle would be vastly easier on the wallet thanks to the buyer’s market on cars nowadays. I’d be able to get something with a bigger engine than one that a traditional compact car does, and I can even get it financed so I don’t have to shell out a ton of money in monthly fees (more on this later). It’s still a buyer’s market as of writing, and if you’re a good negotiator (or know someone who is) you’ll probably be able to grab a good deal for the car you want when you’re shopping around for one.

Vehicles built the past few (2000 and onwards) years tend to last longer than any other time in history, so you shouldn’t be too wary of buying a second hand car versus a new one nowadays.

While there’s always that hesitation for new owners at the daunting prospect of buying a second hand car, there’s a ton of resources available that can help you evaluate a prospective buy by yourself without the need for a mechanic. ChrisFix has two excellent videos on the subject that should help even the most mechanically inept when shopping around for a second hand car.

In my case, I wanted a sedan that was relatively roomy, quick and had a great track record of reliability. In that regard, nothing beats the cars that Honda makes, and nothing says legendary reliability like Civics. Honda is a regular member of the million mile club (cars that make it past a million miles while still being relatively intact and road-worthy), and my family trusts the brand enough that there’s already 3 Honda vehicles in our driveway before I added another one.

So that’s what I went with. I got an 8th Generation Honda Civic FD for around Php 270,000, had it financed (wait for that article after this one) which means I’ll be paying a grand sum of around Php 6,100 for three years. That’s a far cry from the large, 5 digit downpayments of a new car, and while the Civic I got isn’t perfect and will be going through a bit of maintenance to make sure it’s in top shape, I’m not regretting my purchase one bit.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.


  1. Hmmm, sa 3 years ng pag finance nyan ilan sakit sa ulo kaya ang lalabas dyan? Sa umpisa wala pa siguro pero pag nagdatingan yan sunod sunod na yan, especially sa tranny ng honda lalo kung hindi manual ay mapapa aray ka sa mahal. .napagawi nadin dati yan sa isip ko, to buy a 2nd hand. In the end I opted for a brand new Mazda BT50 4×2 MT way back 2013, may yojin 3 pa meaning 3 years free maintenance including parts basta di ma void ang warranty, awa ng Diyos naitawid ko ang 5 year financing, and up to this day wala pang nasisira at ako lang din gumagamit. .odo 70k na, tipid pa sa krudo. Come to think of it, if you could buy those expensive toys and gadgets, ipunin nyo, eh sobra sobra pa sa pang down at pang monthly nyo, brand new pa walang sakit sa ulo at kampanteng kampante ka na hindi ka ititirek. Kung mayat maya eh may pinapa ayos ka and at the same time may finifinance ka eh, I don’t think na practical yun? Anyway choice nyo yan, well see in the long run sa next article nyo :)

  2. My 1st 3 cars were all 2nd hand and all of which i had to resell in less than 2 years. Maintenance is taking a toll and costing me time and money for maintenance. Surely, the brand new ones will require a lot of money but you can be sure that at least 3years, your maintenance is minimum… Change oil, rust proof, battery, regreasing, etc. It wont cost much.

    As of present, im still driving my accent since 2012 and it did not gave me major headaches except in 3 occassions when my wife put dents and scratches. Tinesting din nya kung matibay gate namin. Matibay talaga pero basag headlight ko. Haist….

  3. Good choice john, civics are a really good choice since you choose to go the used car route. And the price you got it was pretty nice too. Hondas especially civics are pretty reliable suckers like corolla, Parts are at par too when it comes to price. Some can be a bit expensive but its all good since it’ll probably last longer than the more famed T brand. Online car clubs in social media can also help you out when it comes to tips and tricks, so go join one or two. The FD also has good FC considering its a 1.8 and power to booth. congrats on your new segment and ride johnny boi

  4. this article have been posted about 6 months ago and im still waiting for the financing secret for this article. you see 6k+ a month for this car? that is a good monthly ammort for first time car buyers. and this car even got approved for this specific model. some financing firms are picky when it comes to which cars to approve. i hope sir john would already put up the article on how to get financed for these new old cars. cheers unbox family… always a fan…

  5. Thank you. I came upon this article na helpful in terms of the options for you when buying a vehicle. Tiyak na may kanya-kanya tayong preferences pagdating sa kulay, design, atbp. Habang pagdating naman sa pagpili between brand new and second-hand unit, may mga bagay na dapat i-consider bago magdesisyon, upang hindi pagsisihan sa huli ang iyong napili, bagaman pareho namang may pros and cons ang brand new car at second-hand car.

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