The booming car market in Myanmar

Since Myanmar opened up to the world in 2000, the number of cars, especially imported ones, has slowly increased. The estimated number of sales for new cars was of 3,000 in 2014 and it is predicted to double in 2015. And for a good reason: the car has come a long way since its invention in the end of the 1980s and the invention of the internal combustion engine. Current models include features like power assisted steering, air conditioning, or stereo systems. This is why cars are ideal for longer travels, for families or for professionals in need of a convenient mean of transportation. Contrary to a motorcycle, the car isolates the passenger from the outside and therefore provides more comfort and safety. Travelling with a car insure more independence than using public transportation or trains. Most cars have a trunk that can be sued for luggage transportation.

Numerous car manufacturers appeared along the history of the automobile: Toyota, Honda, Suzuki , Hyundai, or Ford with its famous Ford T, Wagon R, Fit models. Different models are issued by manufacturers to suit every need, from family cars like hatchbacks with many passenger seats and space, to sports cars, built for speed and driving pleasure.

Myanmar’s favorite cars

Japaneses cars represent 85% of the cars in Myanmar and are massively imported since the government took the decision to give import permit to car owners willing to get rid of their older cars, in hope of increasing the number of newer, safer cars in Burma. 

Toyota, Honda and Suzuki are among the best-selling car brands in the country, with the notable addition of the American brand Ford. Here are some of the best-selling models:

  • Honda Fit : this 5-seater hatchback is very fuel-efficient which makes it great value for money. It is a compact car which is perfect for daily use. Depending on the year, the price for a second hand Honda Fit ranges from 170 Lks to 200 Lks
  • Toyota Hilux : This reliable pick-up truck is known for its low fuel consumption (38.7 mpg for the 2500 cc Diesel engine).  The price of this vehicle varies from 63,00 Lks to 690,00 Lks in Myanmar.
  • Toyota Probox : This 5-Seater commercial van was imported to Myanmar around 2012. Due to its fuel efficiency and cheap price, it is widely used in Myanmar as Taxi vehicles and as other commercial vehicles. Most attractive feature of this car is the rigidity where it allows owner to take on ridiculous hauling missions. The price for a used Probox varies from  to 100 Lks to 120 Lks.
  • Toyota Crown : since its first model in 1955, the Crown series has become one of the most popular in Asian countries and particularly in Myanmar. This luxury 4 Cylinder sedan is available both in Diesel and Petrol version. Bought second-hand it can be found for any price between 70,00 Lks to 450,00 Lks depending on the build.
  • Toyota Wish : launched in 2003, this minivan is especially convenient for the city. Available in 3 different volumes, its engine consumes 16.3 mpg in highway conditions. You can find a Toyota Wish in Myanmar for 200 Lks for the older models, and around 270 for the newest.

Should you choose a Diesel or Petrol engine?

Usually Diesel cars cost more than Petrol cars, and this is especially true for smaller cars. Diesel also costs more at the pump than petrol, but each tank lasts longer, which ends up being a cheaper choice. Also consider that Petrol car get depreciated faster than their Diesel counterpart, which means you will be able to resell a Diesel car for more money than a petrol one.

Where to buy a car in Myanmar?

Traditional car dealers are always an option: you can try the vehicle and get a first-hand impression on the car. However, online classifieds offer more choices since you can browse offers from virtual car dealers in your entire region. If you live in Yangon, you will have plenty of choice, but other cities such as Mandalay and smaller ones like Mone Ywar also have a lot of offers to choose from. 

How to buy a car online in Myanmar?

When researching a car online, it is important tu pay attention to the following aspects:

  • Build : when was the car produced? Older cars usually require more maintenance even though their price is a lot lower. If you are buying an older car, make sure the price is worth it.
  • Mileage : Also consider how much has the car is been used. Sometimes an older model that has not been used much will be a better value for money than a newer model with a lot of mileage.

Don’t hesitate to call the seller to ask your questions and require a test-drive. When examining the car, don’t forget to check:

  • Tires : changing tires is very costly so you want to know beforehand whether they are still in good condition. 
  • If the car has extra-features like a navigation system, radio or air conditioning, turn them on to see whether they work properly.