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-   -   Driving and vehicle repair in the philippines (https://www.expatforum.com/expats/philippines-expat-forum/42206-driving-vehicle-repair-philippines.html)

Asian Spirit 8th March 2010 04:09 PM

Driving and vehicle repair in the philippines
 
The very best advice that can be given to a foreign visitor about driving in the Philippines is don’t! Don’t even think about it. Even if you are a professional driver of 80,000 pound semi trucks with two million miles under your belt; don’t drive in the Philippines.

The right hand driving pattern is used here as it is in America and Canada etc. The road markings and highway signs are pretty much the same. And even the traffic laws are much the same as most western countries.
But that is where the similarities end.

For reasons too numerous to go into in this short post I will just say that no matter what happens; no matter who is at fault in a traffic accident here. You, as the foreigner will almost always be found in the wrong. Even if you can show proof that you were not at fault, chances are you will still be held at fault and responsible by police for repairs and medical expenses of the other party.
Sounds crazy, but their philosophy is that as a foreigner, if you were not in the country the accident would not have happened in the first place!

Having said that; it is important to also note that I have been living in the Philippines for the past seven years and breaking my own rule the entire time.
So far, I have been very lucky and have had only one minor accident in that time.

As with most other aspects of living here, vehicle repair is very low cost and good mechanics are quite easy to find.
The main problem in repair service is that there is no AAA auto club or towing services easily available if a breakdown occurs on the road.

For that reason as well as fuel economy most people drive a motor cycle or motor cycle with a sidecar attached.
On more than one occasion I have had vehicle problems when out and around and found it much easier to push my motor to a mechanic or tire repair place than to push a car or van.

As mentioned earlier, repair costs here are very affordable. This morning I took our 155cc motor cycle to our favorite repair shop for it’s normal tune up.
A tune up here includes a clutch adjustment, removal and complete breakdown and cleaning of the carburetor, removal of the engine head and adjustment and cleaning of the valves and lifters, as well as adjusting the engine timing.
The entire process took less than 30 minutes and the total cost was only $2.00us dollars with two qualified mechanics working on the bike.
Pretty good value for the money I’d say.

So for anyone visiting the Philippines or moving here as I did that is determined to drive, at least the cost of repairs will be low and usually of good quality. And with all the money you will be saving on repairs you might even have enough saved to pay damages and medical expenses as a result any accident you may have.
And be sure to always wear a helmet when driving. The police are always on the lookout for the unsuspecting foreigner that is in violation of any law they can think of.
If you are caught and fined in cash for a violation of any kind; it will give new meaning to the expression of “support your local police” as you will leave the scene knowing you have just bought the officers lunch or helped put food on the table in the home of one of his many wives he is “working” so hard to support…

robbiemarshall 14th October 2010 06:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gene and Viol (Post 255420)
The very best advice that can be given to a foreign visitor about driving in the Philippines is don’t! Don’t even think about it. Even if you are a professional driver of 80,000 pound semi trucks with two million miles under your belt; don’t drive in the Philippines.

The right hand driving pattern is used here as it is in America and Canada etc. The road markings and highway signs are pretty much the same. And even the traffic laws are much the same as most western countries.
But that is where the similarities end.

For reasons too numerous to go into in this short post I will just say that no matter what happens; no matter who is at fault in a traffic accident here. You, as the foreigner will almost always be found in the wrong. Even if you can show proof that you were not at fault, chances are you will still be held at fault and responsible by police for repairs and medical expenses of the other party.
Sounds crazy, but their philosophy is that as a foreigner, if you were not in the country the accident would not have happened in the first place!

Having said that; it is important to also note that I have been living in the Philippines for the past seven years and breaking my own rule the entire time.
So far, I have been very lucky and have had only one minor accident in that time.

As with most other aspects of living here, vehicle repair is very low cost and good mechanics are quite easy to find.
The main problem in repair service is that there is no AAA auto club or towing services easily available if a breakdown occurs on the road.

For that reason as well as fuel economy most people drive a motor cycle or motor cycle with a sidecar attached.
On more than one occasion I have had vehicle problems when out and around and found it much easier to push my motor to a mechanic or tire repair place than to push a car or van.

As mentioned earlier, repair costs here are very affordable. This morning I took our 155cc motor cycle to our favorite repair shop for it’s normal tune up.
A tune up here includes a clutch adjustment, removal and complete breakdown and cleaning of the carburetor, removal of the engine head and adjustment and cleaning of the valves and lifters, as well as adjusting the engine timing.
The entire process took less than 30 minutes and the total cost was only $2.00us dollars with two qualified mechanics working on the bike.
Pretty good value for the money I’d say.

So for anyone visiting the Philippines or moving here as I did that is determined to drive, at least the cost of repairs will be low and usually of good quality. And with all the money you will be saving on repairs you might even have enough saved to pay damages and medical expenses as a result any accident you may have.
And be sure to always wear a helmet when driving. The police are always on the lookout for the unsuspecting foreigner that is in violation of any law they can think of.
If you are caught and fined in cash for a violation of any kind; it will give new meaning to the expression of “support your local police” as you will leave the scene knowing you have just bought the officers lunch or helped put food on the table in the home of one of his many wives he is “working” so hard to support…

thanks for the advice ive been looking to get a licence here but am unsure as to wether i wish to drive it looks kaotic to me

robbiemarshall 14th October 2010 06:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gene and Viol (Post 255420)
The very best advice that can be given to a foreign visitor about driving in the Philippines is don’t! Don’t even think about it. Even if you are a professional driver of 80,000 pound semi trucks with two million miles under your belt; don’t drive in the Philippines.

The right hand driving pattern is used here as it is in America and Canada etc. The road markings and highway signs are pretty much the same. And even the traffic laws are much the same as most western countries.
But that is where the similarities end.

For reasons too numerous to go into in this short post I will just say that no matter what happens; no matter who is at fault in a traffic accident here. You, as the foreigner will almost always be found in the wrong. Even if you can show proof that you were not at fault, chances are you will still be held at fault and responsible by police for repairs and medical expenses of the other party.
Sounds crazy, but their philosophy is that as a foreigner, if you were not in the country the accident would not have happened in the first place!

Having said that; it is important to also note that I have been living in the Philippines for the past seven years and breaking my own rule the entire time.
So far, I have been very lucky and have had only one minor accident in that time.

As with most other aspects of living here, vehicle repair is very low cost and good mechanics are quite easy to find.
The main problem in repair service is that there is no AAA auto club or towing services easily available if a breakdown occurs on the road.

For that reason as well as fuel economy most people drive a motor cycle or motor cycle with a sidecar attached.
On more than one occasion I have had vehicle problems when out and around and found it much easier to push my motor to a mechanic or tire repair place than to push a car or van.

As mentioned earlier, repair costs here are very affordable. This morning I took our 155cc motor cycle to our favorite repair shop for it’s normal tune up.
A tune up here includes a clutch adjustment, removal and complete breakdown and cleaning of the carburetor, removal of the engine head and adjustment and cleaning of the valves and lifters, as well as adjusting the engine timing.
The entire process took less than 30 minutes and the total cost was only $2.00us dollars with two qualified mechanics working on the bike.
Pretty good value for the money I’d say.

So for anyone visiting the Philippines or moving here as I did that is determined to drive, at least the cost of repairs will be low and usually of good quality. And with all the money you will be saving on repairs you might even have enough saved to pay damages and medical expenses as a result any accident you may have.
And be sure to always wear a helmet when driving. The police are always on the lookout for the unsuspecting foreigner that is in violation of any law they can think of.
If you are caught and fined in cash for a violation of any kind; it will give new meaning to the expression of “support your local police” as you will leave the scene knowing you have just bought the officers lunch or helped put food on the table in the home of one of his many wives he is “working” so hard to support…

thanks for the advice ive been looking to get a licence here but am unsure as to wether i wish to drive it looks kaotic to me

Asian Spirit 14th October 2010 07:29 AM

Driving
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by robbiemarshall (Post 384628)
thanks for the advice ive been looking to get a licence here but am unsure as to wether i wish to drive it looks kaotic to me

Hi and welcome to the site,

Driving here is nothing less than insanity on wheels! However, I should also state that there are many of us expats that manage to get by with little or no problems.
If you live in a gated subdivision owning a car or van is not bad as you have a protected area to park at night. Other areas would be a bit risky for car theft and kids scratching or marking it up.

Since you are from Australia, perhaps you know Rod Hegerty, owner of the Swagman Hotel in Manila and Broadwater Marine.
He's been living in and driving all over the Philippines for more years than you could imagine. He has had very few problems and still going strong.
So it may just depend on the person and also a little bit of luck too.


Gene...

robbiemarshall 14th October 2010 03:15 PM

no i don t know him i stay in dasmarinas cavite iv,e only been to manila 3 times and only breifly i cannot beleive how long it takes to get there for such a fairly short distance

Anwaruddin 15th October 2010 08:50 PM

You have to be a combination of a defensive and aggresive driver to get even with the streets of Metro Manila.

AsiaBill 8th December 2010 08:32 AM

I've Been Driving in the Philippines Since 1985
 
I've Been Driving in the Philippines Since 1985 when we bought our first vehicle a Toyota Crewcab PickUP. I have driven in Metro-Manila extensively, all around Luzon maybe 20 times between Manila and Boracay Island via Mindoro Island and around Panay island and all around southern Negros Island as well as Northern Luzon more than a few times Ilocus Norte's Pagudpud White Beach and Banaue Rice Terraces and Sagada. It's all about adjusting to various situtations and like WATER flowing anywhere where's there's least resistance.

In 2006 I rented car in Prague and drove around 9 new countries in Eastern Europe. I rented a car in Turkey, Greece and Munich and drove extensively. Way back when I first left the States in 77 I bought a VW Camper and drove 6 months around Europe including Scandanavia. TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE and GO FOR IT- - - - - SLOWLY.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gene and Viol (Post 255420)
The very best advice that can be given to a foreign visitor about driving in the Philippines is don’t! Don’t even think about it. Even if you are a professional driver of 80,000 pound semi trucks with two million miles under your belt; don’t drive in the Philippines.

The right hand driving pattern is used here as it is in America and Canada etc. The road markings and highway signs are pretty much the same. And even the traffic laws are much the same as most western countries.
But that is where the similarities end.

For reasons too numerous to go into in this short post I will just say that no matter what happens; no matter who is at fault in a traffic accident here. You, as the foreigner will almost always be found in the wrong. Even if you can show proof that you were not at fault, chances are you will still be held at fault and responsible by police for repairs and medical expenses of the other party.
Sounds crazy, but their philosophy is that as a foreigner, if you were not in the country the accident would not have happened in the first place!

Having said that; it is important to also note that I have been living in the Philippines for the past seven years and breaking my own rule the entire time.
So far, I have been very lucky and have had only one minor accident in that time.

As with most other aspects of living here, vehicle repair is very low cost and good mechanics are quite easy to find.
The main problem in repair service is that there is no AAA auto club or towing services easily available if a breakdown occurs on the road.

For that reason as well as fuel economy most people drive a motor cycle or motor cycle with a sidecar attached.
On more than one occasion I have had vehicle problems when out and around and found it much easier to push my motor to a mechanic or tire repair place than to push a car or van.

As mentioned earlier, repair costs here are very affordable. This morning I took our 155cc motor cycle to our favorite repair shop for it’s normal tune up.
A tune up here includes a clutch adjustment, removal and complete breakdown and cleaning of the carburetor, removal of the engine head and adjustment and cleaning of the valves and lifters, as well as adjusting the engine timing.
The entire process took less than 30 minutes and the total cost was only $2.00us dollars with two qualified mechanics working on the bike.
Pretty good value for the money I’d say.

So for anyone visiting the Philippines or moving here as I did that is determined to drive, at least the cost of repairs will be low and usually of good quality. And with all the money you will be saving on repairs you might even have enough saved to pay damages and medical expenses as a result any accident you may have.
And be sure to always wear a helmet when driving. The police are always on the lookout for the unsuspecting foreigner that is in violation of any law they can think of.
If you are caught and fined in cash for a violation of any kind; it will give new meaning to the expression of “support your local police” as you will leave the scene knowing you have just bought the officers lunch or helped put food on the table in the home of one of his many wives he is “working” so hard to support…


Asian Spirit 8th December 2010 10:38 AM

Driving
 
Sorry Bill, I have to disagree. If someone wants to live dangerously and enjoys walking on that "wild side" its ok to drive here-provided they know what they are getting into.
But for someone to come here and try driving and assume that Filipinos (especially the national police) play by the rules would be extremely foolish, dangerous, and could end up being extremely costly in the end.
For the average traveler and most residents its better, easier, and safer to stick to public transportation.


Gene...

AsiaBill 8th December 2010 12:38 PM

"Helping" Philippine Traffic Police "help" me by warning me instead of issuing me a citation or any type of ticket is 10 times cheaper than the huge fees charged in the States like U$85 for a minute late on a parking meter in NYC or a U$25 parking ticket in front of our daughter's high school sponsored flea market in Fairfield CT or a speeding ticket in my hometown Des Moines Iowa or a DUI anywhere in the USA. Driving in the Philippines is nearly citation FREE not like the "police state" we call "home" or where we Americans grew up. There are much LESS serious car accidents here in the Philippines compared to the States; spend 15 minutes searching for the stats on how many Americans die or are seriously injured per capita compared to the same Stats here in the RP!!! Should a fatality occur the cost of life benefit liability for a driver here in RP is only a small fraction of the financial liability and life interruption situation a driver faces in the States. The FACTS say it all.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gene and Viol (Post 417908)
Sorry Bill, I have to disagree. If someone wants to live dangerously and enjoys walking on that "wild side" its ok to drive here-provided they know what they are getting into.
But for someone to come here and try driving and assume that Filipinos (especially the national police) play by the rules would be extremely foolish, dangerous, and could end up being extremely costly in the end.
For the average traveler and most residents its better, easier, and safer to stick to public transportation.


Gene...


Asian Spirit 8th December 2010 04:45 PM

Cops with empty pockets
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AsiaBill (Post 418012)
"Helping" Philippine Traffic Police "help" me by warning me instead of issuing me a citation or any type of ticket is 10 times cheaper than the huge fees charged in the States like U$85 for a minute late on a parking meter in NYC or a U$25 parking ticket in front of our daughter's high school sponsored flea market in Fairfield CT or a speeding ticket in my hometown Des Moines Iowa or a DUI anywhere in the USA. Driving in the Philippines is nearly citation FREE not like the "police state" we call "home" or where we Americans grew up. There are much LESS serious car accidents here in the Philippines compared to the States; spend 15 minutes searching for the stats on how many Americans die or are seriously injured per capita compared to the same Stats here in the RP!!! Should a fatality occur the cost of life benefit liability for a driver here in RP is only a small fraction of the financial liability and life interruption situation a driver faces in the States. The FACTS say it all.

What you say and the information you are giving is true without a doubt. The biggest problem lies in the fact that we are foreigners in a country where law means almost nothing and is changeable just because we ARE foreigners. In most any accident or encounter with police we will be found at fault and charged (on the spot) accordingly.
Both my wife and I work with the Brgy police in our town and also with the PNP (anti drug unit) in the same area. So I know these things to be true. Especially in and around Angeles City and Manila.
I/we do drive but only because membership in the police agencies provides me with protection that would not be available otherwise.


Gene...


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