Man looking at cars inside dealership

When buying a new car, the brand name is usually among the first things people consider. Some might be loyal to one brand, only supporting vehicles from their favorite automaker. Others might not care about the cars as much, preferring to decide based on performance and features. We all have different opinions and experiences, so does it really matter whether you get a Ford, Toyota, or Nissan?

Toyota emblem

Brand name matters a lot, but not for the reasons you might have in mind. Superficial things like brand image and popularity aren't what we're talking about here. Instead, brand names matter because each car manufacturer has its own history, reputation, and track record. Learning about these can help you make a better buying decision.

So, if you're looking to buy a new car, one of the best things you can do is to spend time researching your options. You can join online forums or Facebook groups that bring together owners of a particular brand or model. Our car reviews can help you get a better feel for the latest models out there, while our Car Guide can give you a detailed look at all the brands and models available locally. You can also use the New Car Comparison feature to weigh the design, performance, and various features you're getting out of your choices. Doing all this will give you valuable insights into the different owner's experiences of each brand.

What you shouldn't do is pick a brand because it's making noise at the moment. Trends change and disappear—that's the nature of a trend. What stays the same is how the brand operates as a business. It makes more sense to bet on a solid, time-tested company than a popular one.

On top of that, you should avoid choosing a brand based on stories or rumors. Believing every negative story you encounter can take away your power to make informed decisions, especially with a purchase as large as a car. The more you take control of the buying experience, the less likely you'll regret your choice down the line.

Man holding steering wheel

We can go a bit deeper into this topic by exploring several related issues to consider when researching car brands.

  • The brand's history. A company like Ford, which traces its roots way back to 1903, rightly commands more respect than some of the newer names in the industry. Of course, that's not to say that newer automakers can't make good products. Tesla, for example, is proof that a car brand can climb to the top in a short amount of time. Another example is Geely, with its well-designed models and advanced feature sets. The Chinese company has quickly made a name for itself in the Philippines. So, it can be worthwhile to research a brand's history, if only to understand the quality and appeal of its vehicles.
  • The brand's local presence. Apart from its global history, it can also be helpful to find out how long the brand has been operating in our country. Older brands tend to have stronger relationships with local customers, so they're better positioned to understand our market's needs. In recent years, there has been an influx of new companies entering the local car scene. Some might say that these new players have to earn the trust of Filipino car buyers. We're inclined to agree.
  • Maintenance costs, after-sales service, and parts availability. The responsibilities don't end when you drive off the dealership in your new car. Likewise, a good car brand stays connected to the customer even after it's made the sale. Consider maintenance costs for each model carefully, and don't buy a car you can't afford to maintain. You should also find out the terms of the given warranty period. Some brands even offer extended warranties for an added cost. Additionally, you should check if the brand has had any recent recalls for its vehicles. While recalls are fairly common in the industry, too many from a single brand can be a red flag. As for parts, popular models like the Toyota Vios usually enjoy good availability due to the large number of them on the road. If you're buying a rare or luxury car, expect to pay a premium for maintenance and parts.

Once you arrive at a decision, make sure it's your own. Seeking opinions from friends and family is perfectly fine, but at the end of the day, it's your money that's getting spent. The brand name is certainly important to consider when shopping for a car. As we've shown, though, there's more to it than that. With enough thought and research, you should be able to buy a car that you love to be in, no matter what brand it is.

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