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The Philippines is not messing around when it comes to correctly importing vehicles. The Philippines Bureau of Customs recently crushed more than 20 luxury cars brought into the country illegally, including a McLaren 620R. Why did the government destroy these vehicles? Taxes, of course.

The McLaren 620R was one of the smuggled luxury cars

Smuggled Luxury Cars, Including a McLaren 620R
The Philippines crushed $1.2 Million in smuggled luxury cars, Including a McLaren 620R | Philippines Bureau of Customs via GMA News YouTube

The Philippines Bureau of Customs seized seven luxury vehicles in the last three years. People brought the luxury cars into the Philippines illegally between 2018 and 2021. Some of the confiscated cars include a 2007 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, a McLaren 620R above, a Porsche 911, and a few others such as a Mercedes SLK and a Lotus Elise. Someone’s random Toyota Solara was also crushed.

The Philippines has been cracking down on smuggling and used this initiative to make an example of the cars. The Philippines Bureau of Customs believes that if people have enough money to purchase these expensive cars, the owner should also be able to cover the taxes. In 2021, these luxury cars were worth more than $1.2 million altogether.

Who decides to destroy the smuggled luxury cars?

The Department of Finance (DOF), Commission on Audit (COA), and Bureau of Customs gathered together to destroy the cars with heavy machinery. Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero finished the job by taking some luxury car mirrors off with a sledgehammer.

“This malpractice has to stop once and for all, and so does the acquisition of smuggled vehicles back to the smugglers, disguised as legitimate auction proceedings. Only by doing so can a level playing field be available for legitimate and responsible business enterprises.”

Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero | Philippines Bureau of Customs

While this event does an excellent job of making a point, there has to be a better way to go about this. Can’t the Philippines use the cars as police cars or incredibly small ambulances? Using a seized McLaren 620R as a police car would be a total power move.

This isn’t the first event the Philippines has held to crush vehicles illegally brought into the country. It seems like a good idea to do all of your car buying and selling legally if you are in the area. Otherwise, you might have to watch your luxury car get torn apart by an excavator.

There are a lot of stiplations to importing a vehicle

According to the Philippine Consulate General, there are many stipulations to bring a car over. You must be a citizen that has been in the country for more than a year or that has legally entered the country. The vehicle cannot weigh more than three tons and must be for personal use. If you import a car, it cannot be resold for three years and should be left-hand drive. Buyers need to fill out an application and confirm various things before the car can hit the ground in the county.

According to the document, “Whether brand-new or used, purchased or donated, the imported vehicle is subject to 40% Customs duty, 10% VAT and Ad Valorem Tax from 15% to 100% depending on its piston displacement.” The value is to be determined by an official source, depending on the origin of the vehicle. It sounds like the actual amount of taxes charged can range from obscene to impossible, especially for more expensive luxury cars. Today’s lesson is always to pay the taxes on your McLaren 620R, or it might get destroyed by the government.