To Buy a Car or Continue Taking Uber/Grab + Car Starter / Essentials Kit

How to Set Up Your New Car

Sorry, it’s been a while since I last posted on the blog. Still feeling “holiday” and I know I need to get back on track 🙂

A friend of mine recently purchased his first car and I am so excited for him!

He’s been wanting one for a long time, and after realizing that his Uber bill averaged about P15,000 a month for the last year, he asked me if just getting a car was more feasible instead.


After thinking about his situation, we both concluded that it is more feasible for him to just get a car. Also, with the price increase that the new TRAIN tax reform law will bring (estimated 10% increase), this might be his last chance to get a car before the inevitable price increase starting 2018.

Here are a few of the reasons why we thought buying a car was a better idea:

  • he spends 15k a month on Uber, anyway, so just channel that into his car payment instead
  • he can drive himself anywhere, anytime without worrying about “surge”
  • with any increase in prices, he would shoulder more as an Uber consumer than if he was the driver; if he drove his own car, he would only shoulder his own cost for gas, parking, etc… if he was an Uber or Grab customer, the Uber/Grab rate increase will also include gas price increase + the cost of labor of the Uber/Grab driver + Uber/Grab fees, all of which will increase because of TRAIN, which will definitely total a higher Uber/Grab rate in the long run
  • he can bring anything he wants in his car (big purchases, food, pets, etc…)
  • he can sell his car if he ever needs to and get some money back, whereas with Uber/Grab, the money spent is 100% gone
  • but most importantly, he makes one of his dreams come true 🙂


  • having to look for parking every time and paying for parking
  • color-coding (the stupidest P.O.S. law ever, but that’s a rant for another day)
  • car maintenance stuff, registration, insurance, etc..

Even I was surprised at the 15k monthly Uber expense. When he started using Uber, he only averaged about 4k a month, then 8k, and now, 15k??? The high amount is mostly due to surge, going to and from the office. He only used to take Uber “as needed” but Uber was so convenient that he eventually stopped taking public transportation altogether.

Take note that the list of pros and cons above is based on my friend’s personal situation. You might have a different situation and it may not be feasible for you. I am sharing this to help those who may be in a similar situation. Also, I am not a tax expert, but based on my understanding, all prices will increase after TRAIN because everything is affected by the increase in fuel prices. I expect a domino effect of price increases on everything.

When is taking Uber/Grab more feasible than buying your own car(assuming you are financially ready)

  • if you spend way, way less on Uber/Grab per month than the cost of a monthly car amortization
  • you don’t have parking
  • you don’t want the headache of car ownership
  • you don’t like to drive


So my friend finally bought his car! I must say, I feel like I am more excited about it than he is, hahaha! This was in late 2017 so before TRAIN. Pahabol pa, haha 😀

I thought I would put together a small “starter kit” for his car, but we didn’t want to spend if we didn’t have to. I used whatever extra stuff I had at home, and the only things we are going to buy are the items we don’t have. So that’s the reason why the items don’t look color-coordinated, but I did try to get them to look as color-coordinated as I could. You can make it as pretty or as color-coordinated as you want, that’s up to you 🙂

I made a video showing the items that I put in the car starter / essentials kit:

The items I think he needs are:

  • simple filing system
  • notebook
  • pens & note paper
  • tissues
  • wet tissues
  • alcohol
  • band-aid & cotton buds and other emergency items like safety pins
  • small towel
  • duster
  • umbrella
  • eco bag
  • scissors
  • tape
  • extra cloth
  • car hammer
  • sunglasses
  • cellphone holder
  • other car accessories like better car tools, jumper cables, etc…
  • map

Car Essentials Kit / Starter Kit

This is my friend’s first car, so he has to start maintaining a file for his car stuff; keep this file at home, DO NOT KEEP IT IN THE CAR because if your car gets stolen, the thief will also get all the car paperwork and it will make it easier for them to sell, and it will be harder for you to claim since you don’t have the paperwork.

Car Essentials Kit Filing Paperwork

My friend already has one of those accordion file things that he will be using to organize copies of the OR/CR, insurance, and other documents that need to be kept inside the car. It is very important to have a copy of your OR/CR in the car at all times. Take note, photocopies – keep the originals at home.

Notebook, pens, paper – to keep track of things and to write things with

Car Essentials Kit Preventive Maintenance Checklist

Tissues, wet tissues, alcohol, band-aid, cotton buds, safety pins, small towel (feel free add other things you may need) – for cleaning your hands, dealing with accidents, spills, etc…

Duster – dust your car while waiting if you have nothing better to do

Umbrella – keep this always within easy reach

Eco bag – in case you need to buy groceries and don’t want to pay for the plastic bags

Scissors & tape – I just always find myself needing scissors and tape, to cut tags, tape things closed, to wrap gifts on the go, etc.. and on the subject of cutting things, I also keep a nail cutter in the car. I don’t know if this happens to you, but sometimes I go to a meeting or attend some party and while driving, I notice that my nails are long. It’s good to have a nail cutter available, you know what I mean?

Sunglasses – there will be times when the sun will be too bright. Sunglasses help with that, get polarized ones for best results

Extra cloth – all-around useful – can be used as an extra blanket, can be used to cover your car seat or trunk when you don’t want them to get dirty. For example, you just bought some real plants and want to take them home, but the pots are full of soil and dirt. Just spread the cloth on the backseat or trunk, then place the plants on top. This way, the cloth will catch all the dirt and hopefully keep your car clean. The cloth can easily be washed in the laundry.

Car hammer – this is actually not as expensive as I expected, so better to have it than not. In case you get stuck inside the car, the car hammer can help you get out.

Car hammer

Cellphone holder – Last year, the Anti-Distracted Driving Act was implemented, ’nuff said. Just avoid getting into trouble with it.

Better car tools – since the car is new, he will just take his time slowly buying better tools when they are on sale – these tools can range from a better car jack, to umm… other stuff. I’m not really into car mechanics stuff so I’m not really sure what those things are, hahaha. Some of the tools in my car are gifts from my uncles. I know, I should really learn what they are and how to use them 😀

Map – not really needed as much now that we have Waze, but if you are not familiar with the city you live in, it’s good to have it just in case

An optional thing you can add is a small trash can. Personally, what I do is just keep a small paper bag in the car and put all my trash there. When it’s full, it’s easy to take the paper bag out and throw it away.

You can also add an air freshener, but I’m not a fan of those because I hate the strong, artificial scents.

As for food & water, I don’t think we need to keep those in the car, not when we’re just driving around Metro Manila. Unless you have a medical condition where you need to eat/drink constantly. I do take a travel water bottle with me when I feel like I’m going to need one, but it’s not something I keep in my car all the time.

I would also suggest keeping an overnight bag in the trunk, with a toothbrush, clean clothes, etc…, just in case you can’t get home because the roads are flooded and you end up staying the night at the office, or at a friend’s house. We live in Metro Manila, where it gets flooded several times a year. 🙂

If you drive around with kids or pets, you might need to add the things that you’ll need for them.

And because I’m a woman, I also keep stuff like hair ties and a comb, as well as small bottles of hand lotion and sunscreen. 🙂

Note: a reader also suggested adding a small cooler for fresh or frozen items – I think that’s a great idea!

I hope this helps those of you who are excited about organizing their car 🙂 Let me know if I missed anything. I’d be happy to know if there’s something important that I need to add to my car essentials!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!

To get the latest updates, please follow me on Facebook and Instagram.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.