Featured Dealer of the Month – HP Car Trade Center

With the fast paced life and the growth of the FORWARDING BUSINESS, HP CAR TRADE CENTER came into reality to provide the market with LOCAL QUALITY VEHICLES and attend to all kinds of vehicle repair that clients need. HP Car Trade Center accepts Debit & Credit Card Payment.

“Making your traffic life smooth and carefree.” — HP CAR TRADE CENTER 

Featured Dealer


Left to right: Bong Parel (Proprietor of HP Car Trade Center) and Kotsekoto.ph Team (Tisha, Chris, and Erwin)

When did you start used car dealership and what inspired you to pursue such business?

Bong Parel:  I was with my family (Mom & Dad) in a forwarding business, and it was good enough—a  success, I consider exploring another line and since I love cars, and I’m very well familiar with used cars. About January of 2008 I believe it was when HP Car Trading started.

How do you market your used cars?

Bong Parel: Way back in 2008, I was one of the pioneers in used car dealership, we were only 3 who had the business along with Steph V,…..and others and the Internet really helps. Even if the car display was in my house in Barangay Busay, which is very far from the city still people managed to come over. I never rely too much with referrals because there are many Filipinos abroad who will buy used-cars through the internet. They mostly want to have a car for their family when they get home.

Who are your usual buyers?

Bong Parel: Filipinos who work abroad are generally my buyers. I’m doing really well in the international market through the internet. Some would just wire their payment and will have the car ready when they get home. By 2010, I moved the display center here in V. Rama. So it would be more convenient for my customers (family members of OFW’s) to come see the car or do the payment here.

In your opinion, what are the advantages of buying used cars?

Bong Parel: First of all, it is CHEAPER! Though the market value of a new car has lesser down payment which is 10% and the used car is 30% but after two or three years you can always sell this used-car and it still has a good value in the market. A new car depreciates as well after 2 or 3 years but compared to the used-car you bought, the money you spent on a new car is way too much.

HP Car Trade Center

When buying a used car, what are the top 5 things that a buyer should consider?

1. Budget wise, buying a used car is easy on the pocket. It doesn’t hurt much.

2. Many are still looking for “old-school” cars. The more vintage the car, the cooler it looks. Especially men who have had the stories and experiences passed on from their dads and uncles about the kind of cars they have driven, the brand, the engine, mechanical aspects, etc…So, the newer the car, the more they still are not familiar to that. Especially vintage have gasoline engine. And for me, gasoline runs better than diesel.

3. There are many used cars in the market that are still good as brand new. Cars are evolving; many are fast changing their cars to newer models. So, they are selling old ones. I could attest to that based on my experience in this industry and that is one of the reasons why there are many used car dealers now here in Cebu. The competition is getting fierce.

4. For first time users, it is reasonable to buy a used car. Not only is it economical but you’re saving a lot of money before you try on a brand new.

5. There are so many used cars to choose from. And it is an easier deal. Papers and registration are complete. Especially when you have cash, it is faster to have a used car than a brand new. (giggles and winks)

What is it with Kotsekoto.ph that made you decide to place your ads on its site?

Bong Parel: When Chris informed me that your IT service is from Japan, what comes to my mind is Filipinos who are working in Japan that may connect with me. I took advantage of the FREE Trial to see if it works. However, there are many online used car sites right now, some are scams (sighs!) Things on the internet are not the way as it used to. Before, my phones are never off. But now, since there are so much on the internet, I don’t know where I am and how this will go. It seems I want more what the internet can do or if there is such a way that I am not well aware of. Maybe it doesn’t exist yet. But hopefully there should be something (other than the internet) that I need to do to market this kind of business.

Do you have any New Year promos for those who are interested to buy used vehicles?

Bong Parel: (Chuckles) No, used-cars are way too cheap to be discounted or if I should have special offers, like what I did before when my customers would ask how cold the air conditioning is in the car. To, stop their doubts I gave them free jackets. (Laughter) And I really did. Yes, because business was so progressive before.


How to Fix an Overheating Car

If your car constantly overheats, then today is your lucky day. We will show you how to fix a car that overheats. Many things can cause the car to overheat, so start with the basics:

  1. Check the radiator fluid. When it’s cold, take the radiator cap and look inside. The next thing to do is to pressure check the system for leaks. There are cheap and easy to use pressure leak kits to determine if your radiator has holes or not. Sometimes, you just have to check if your radiator cap is old and rusty. If it so, then replace that too.
  2. Check the cooling fans. Start the car up and then turn the Air-condition to full blast. Then check to see if the cooling fans are turning. If both fans are working fine, proceed with checking your thermostat.


If you have tried both steps and still your car overheats. Then, you probably have one of two expensive problems:

  1. Either the radiator itself is just so old it cannot dissipate heat anymore. Modern radiators are made of plastic and aluminum often corrode inside and cause it not to dissipate heat anymore.
  2. Or the head gasket in the engine is starting to blow. Before you turn your engine down it’s good to idea to do a Combustion Leak Test on it. It’s a simple test where blue liquid is put into a tube and then letting the engine run to see if the blue liquid turns into yellow. If it does, you have a head gasket leak.

So the next time you car starts overheating, don’t get mad. Get into the hood and fix it!

Photo via nwacarclinic.com


How to Fix Your Car All By Yourself

Nothing is more rewarding than doing things yourself. Now, how about fixing your own car? Sounds like a tough job, but it’s not really that hard. Just follow these advices and you’ll get by.

  1.  Don’t do the lifting unless you are Superman. Use Jack and Jack stands. But hey, you don’t get as big of a gut when you get older from being lazy.
  2. You don’t like your hands getting dirty. I don’t like it either, so use some safe grip gloves all the time and you don’t have to worry about cuts or getting oil on those smooth hands.
  3. You think you are not strong enough to work on cars. Well, I use air tools all the time. You might be surprised how inexpensive air compressors and power tools are these days. It’s not like you are only going to use these tools on your car, you can use them to fix things in your house too!
  4. Cars are all complex and computerized these days. Fight fire with fire. There are plenty of scan computers out there that do all kinds of analytics to modern cars. Just plug it in the data port and it will tell you what is going on with your car. You can even record live data. Take the vehicle for a drive, when a problem occurs, the scanner records it and you can play it back and look at the data.

parts and services

As the saying goes: If you want a job done right, why not do it all by yourself. Good Luck!

Negotiating the Price of a Used Car

Great deal comes to those who negotiate. This is indeed true, when you want to buy a surplus car; you have to learn the art of negotiating. Most of the used cars are negotiable. You just have to know a few tips on how to do it. This would always depend on how good you are at haggling for the price of that car to your car dealer. There are a few things to remember when you are eager to get the best car deal this year. Here’s how you score a good car for a good price.

featured blogFirst, try to search for the brand and model of the surplus car that you want to purchase. You can visit various online car selling sites or the nearest auto car display center in your area.

Second, if you have chosen a car already, try to look into the car’s real value. Knowing the used car’s worth is one of the best thing to do before you decide to haggle for the price. Remember that the market value of the car must come first. There might be used cars priced higher than its value.

Third, you now have the opportunity to get to know the car dealer. Try to reach out and talk to him about the car. You can also distinguish how much a car dealer would want to sell his used car, so you have the ample time to ask your car dealer the reason why he is selling the car and everything about the car’s condition and usage.

Lastly, you now can negotiate with the car’s price. When your car dealer already picked the price, try to use the method of haggling for the last price until you come up to a desirable price. After haggling, and if you are already satisfied with the final haggled price given to you, finally you can now close the deal.

Tis’ the Season to Buy a New Car

It is the time of the year again where almost everyone who has worked so hard in 2014 will receive a bonus from their various employers. If you are one of them, well it’s the right time for you to invest your Christmas bonus and buy a car for you to enjoy and utilize.

Well, we know that not all of the hard working employees get to receive their bonus, but if you are one of the lucky employees, what would you do with it? Now is indeed the best time to invest your money on the things that matter the most to you, and it is also good to reward yourself once in a while, because you also deserve it.

Nowadays, there are a lot of good deals when you plan to invest your hard earned bonus to buy a car. It doesn’t need to be a new one. You can always score a quality used car online. Try to search for marked down surplus cars on various websites and get a good deal from the car dealer. Now is the best time to negotiate the price of your car. You get the chance to receive more discounts while purchasing a car with a good condition.

Remember, you wouldn’t want to spend your bonus on the stuff that would easily depreciate. A car is one of the many good investments that you will make at this time of the month, where everything is at its lowest price. Go online and browse for your dream car. Talk to your dealer and before the year would end, you just made the right decision in driving home a new car. Trust me; it’s the best gift you can give yourself this Christmas.


What To Do If Your Car Won’t Start

Perhaps nothing is more annoying than a car that won’t start when you turn the key. Today, we will give you tips on what to do whenever this happens. You must follow the order and not jump from one to another. Here it goes:

  1. Pull out your jumper cable. By the way, get a good pair of jumper cables. Don’t just go for cheap ones because they might just melt when you use them.
  2. Now, open the hood and find the battery. Then, first connect the red cable to the positive terminal of the battery and connect the other end of the red jumper cable and connect it to the positive terminal of your donor battery.
  3. Next is to connect the black jumper cable to the negative terminal of your donor battery. Now comes the tricky part, you don’t want to put the negative terminal of your jumper cable to your battery because it could cause an explosion! You have to put it on a solid metal part of the engine like the hook for pulling the engine.
  4. Be patient. Wait about five minutes for the donor battery to charge up your car battery. When all that is done, crank it up! If it starts, then you did a good job and the steps end from here.

Let’s say it didn’t start.  So please don’t be shy to read on. Here’s what to check next:

  1. Find yourself a big stick. An old broom handle would be perfect. Stop asking why, just do it.
  2. Find the starter. The starter motors are always between the engine and the transmission where they bolt together. So it’s either in the front or in the back of the engine.
  3. Use that stick to whack the starter a few times. If that doesn’t work. Have one person to crank the key while you whack the starter simultaneously. That should do the trick.

Remember, don’t turn off the engine until you reach your final destination. The last thing you would want to do is redo the steps again from the beginning. Oh, and if your car still didn’t start, here’s a last tip:

  1. Check your gas gauge. If it is completely empty and the meter is obviously below the empty line, don’t forcibly start the car. The reason is because most modern cars have their fuel pumps inside the gas tank. So if you run out of gas, the pumps will suck in air and burn themselves out. So make sure you put some gas in the tank before starting the car.


Should You Purchase A Used Car Or A New One?

Many people ask, should I purchase a new or used vehicle? From a purely financial standpoint, buying a used car can be the smarter option. New car resale values drop the most after first few years due to depreciation. Which means you can often pick up a late model used car at 20% to 30% off the price of a comparable new model or you can choose to use the savings on a more premium used car. For example: You could buy a late model “3-series” over a brand new Camry, A used Honda Accord over a brand new Honda Civic. If you choose to buy a used car, you should be prepared to invest some time and energy.

You’ll want to search websites like kotsekoto.ph to see what’s available from car dealers and private party sellers. If you are in a hurry to buy, you may have to settle for a car that doesn’t have the exact color features or options that you prefer. You should now as well that buying a used car comes with some risk. You should obtain a vehicle history report and have your mechanic check it out to ensure that the car doesn’t have any hidden problems. To mitigate the risk, you can buy a certified pre-owned car by the dealer or invest in an extended warranty. However, those items will reduce some of the saving in buying a used car.

kotsekoto.phEven though it may cost more, purchasing a new car has its advantages. First, you don’t have to worry about how the previous owner treated the car. Second, all new cars come with a standard warranty to help reduce the cost of mechanical repairs. Third, by buying new cars you’ll get the latest technology, latest safety features, cool designs, color and option you like, and best of all you get that new car smell!

In the end, the choice is up to you. try to weight which option suites you better and go with your guts! Good Luck!

Dumb Things Not To Do To Your Car

A good looking car is definitely what we are trying to have, but what does that benefit us if the performance is not that good? Well, poor performance is probably caused mostly by what the driver or owner does to the car. We are going to talk about some of the dumb things owners do to their cars so that you won’t do them to your own car.

  1. Never jumpstart your car backwards. If you look at any car battery, the terminals have signs on them. The other says positive and the other has the negative sign. So make sure you hook up your cables to the right terminals, because if you hook them up backwards, you are in for some serious electrical problems.
  2. Don’t start your car when you are running out of gas. If you keep cranking the engine with the car out of gas, the fuel pump will suck air and burn itself out. That’s because most modern cars have their fuel pumps inside the gas tank. So the next time your gas gauge is stuck on empty, put some gas on it first before starting your car.
  3. Not changing your engine oil frequently. Change the oil every 3,000 or 4,000 miles. Most modern cars have variable valve timing engines, which means there are smaller holes for the engine oil to go through, and if those get clogged and get ruined, it will cost thousands of pesos to fix.
  4. Not changing the coolant in your car. Coolant wears out overtime and should be changed out. If you have conventional anti-freeze, then you change it once every 3 years. The reason is because modern engines have a lot of aluminium parts and corrodes very badly if the anti-corrosion parts of the anti-freeze coolant breakdown.

used carSo now you know the dumb things people do to their cars. Learn from their mistakes, avoid doing these, and keep your car running smoothly down the road.

Where to Look When You Really Want a Car

When you happen to pass by a shop full of used car displays or you were able to scan through the internet, and saw a lot of surplus cars for sale but still, you don’t have any idea on what car you’re looking for, you have to take it easy and note the things that you want in a car.

dealersRemember that buying a car would probably be one of your biggest spending, so you wouldn’t want to waste your money and make sure that you will be able to purchase the vehicle that you really want. When asked about where to buy, the answer is too many to mention because you can already look into various websites which would enable you to buy a car.

Now, when asked about what car to buy, the best recommendation would probably be the car’s total condition. A buyer doesn’t simply purchase something without aiming for the quality. So, as a buyer you have to know the brand of used car that you are buying and try to go over a number of reviews about this particular car brand. If it satisfies you, then you can now look for the car dealer who sells the brand that you have been looking for.

Take not that you have the entire options online, search for the best car deals and be able to set an appointment with the dealer. Nowadays, it’s not that hard to do that because different websites are now offering a virtual assistant, which would connect you to your dealer. Fast and easy car dealership transactions happen when you have chosen the right partners to deal with.

Checking a Surplus Car before Purchasing

Buying a surplus car is not as easy as going to the grocery store and pick whatever you want to put into your cart. When deciding to buy a used car, a buyer must take it easy and try to do a lot of random check-up before doing his purchase.

Since nowadays, there are a lot of ways to look for a surplus car, it is also a lot easier to contact the owner or the car dealer, and set an appointment with them for you to be able to get to know more about the details of the car. One of the most important things to consider is being able to see the actual car you are eyeing to buy from the dealer. There is also no harm if you would ask them, if you could check and test the car on the road.

surplus carsAgain, the rule here is not to “Rush” because you’ll never want to buy a car that is not worth your hard earned money. So a few tips will do on how you can check the surplus car before buying it.

First, get to talk to the owner of the car. Know where he bought it and how long he has been using it. It’s also good to note about the cars history, does it have any random problems that you have to be aware of? Or are there any touch ups done to the car before he tried to sell it? These are only a few of the questions you might want to keenly ask the owner because you would always want the truth about the car.

Second, see the car for yourself, check its interior and exterior and then go check the car’s engine, try to bring an expert like a mechanic to see to it that the car’s engine still works well and also do a random check on the car’s tires, because this is also equally important as to the rest of the car parts.

Lastly, go and take the car out for a drive. This is one of the best things to do before even deciding to purchase the car. You’ll be able to experience how the car runs if you are driving it. So, when you are satisfied, it’s for you to decide if you would want to get and finally own the car.