3 ways Metro Manila residents can maximize car ownership

Working in the National Capital Region (NCR) comes with advantages like access to opportunities provided by multinational firms. But there is also one disadvantage that often sours the experience of having a nice job and a rewarding take-home pay: traffic congestion.

In particular, those who own a car or are planning to buy one face this problem. In 2017, a ridesharing company-commissioned study found that Metro Manila car owners spent an average of 66 minutes daily in traffic gridlock. That accounted for 16 days wasted on the road annually. In this case, while leaving early or learning how to “deal with it” are generally good tips, you can apply available, practical, and specific solutions to ease your driving woes.

Metro Manila workers maximize car ownership

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Try carpooling with friends, even strangers

There are several ways to see the positives that you can derive from carpooling. First, you can split fuel costs with friends and colleagues. Second, you can switch from driver to passenger on days you are not allowed to pass through the megacity’s major thoroughfares. Next, you can get ahead of the new anti-traffic measure that the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has been mulling over, the banning of public and private vehicles from plying EDSA if only the driver is onboard.

Finally, you can do all of the above with a little dynamism and assistance from technology. With the help of an app, you can share seats with people who are from your area and are off to your destination. It’s a different approach from ridesharing in that you have control over the pick-up and drop-off locations.

Businesswoman standing and using mobile phone
Image courtesy of Pexels

You may be worried about letting an unknown person in your car. But all safety and security factors considered, here’s your chance to extend convenience to strangers while saving money.

Since you may find yourself as the passenger on a coding day, seeing things from that perspective can help. Nica Lalata, who works in Makati City, says that by hailing a ride from a willing carpool driver, she saves up to an hour of travel time to and from Cavite. Both she and the driver choose the best possible route, like traversing NAIAX, to get to their respective offices on time. She’ll take this option over commuting or ridesharing because it yields the most value for her money and time.

Make money on the side

For those who can afford it, car ownership remains the most convenient way to move around the metro. But if you’d like to be more strategic about it, why don’t you wear the enterprising motorist’s hat? Beyond personal use, you can buy or leverage your existing vehicle for business purposes, including but not limited to offering ridesharing services through the likes of Uber.*

You can augment your day job salary by accepting trips after work or during weekends. If you’re in the consideration stage, you can check out if the dealer provides a leasing plan with an Uber tie-up. Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, helps prospective owners through Toyota Financial Services (TFS)’s custom financing plans. For instance, you have a TFS-leased vehicle, you are eligible for TNVS accreditation, an important legal requirement for aspiring Uber Partners.

Go around the city driving your brand-new car–Toyota Wigo. Image courtesy of Toyota Motor Philippines’ Official Facebook Page.Go around the city driving your brand-new car–Toyota Wigo. Image courtesy of Toyota Motor Philippines’ Official Facebook Page.


Work on being a responsible owner

It may be just as hard to stomach traffic jams as it is to digest some of the proposed short-term traffic solutions in the metro. But it does not take a lot of thought to grasp the practical sense of, say, getting a garage before buying a car. Double parking in narrow streets can still inconvenience other drivers as well as pedestrians. At the same time, leaving your vehicle in the open makes it more prone to theft and damages.

Working in the big city can feel worthwhile if you are driving around it with a nice car. On days you are cruising along EDSA, that sense of fulfillment can melt all the traffic frustrations you’ve had. The daily grind can bother you tomorrow. And when it does, you can be (street-)smart about dealing with it.

* In 2016, Japanese car marker Toyota announced that it had invested in Uber as part of its strategic partnership with the ridesharing firm.

This post was created in partnership with Toyota Philippines – Batangas City.

Shadz Loresco

A full-time editor turned freelance writer, Shadz has worked for local publications such as Entrepreneur Philippines, Forbes Magazine - Philippine Edition, and Rappler. She also collaborates with startups as a content strategist and an online marketing consultant. At PSST! PH, she serves as the head of the Digital Sales & Marketing Team. Coffee, films, and photography keep her on her toes. She dreams of documenting the lives of the voiceless from around the world.