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Man’s Plan to Disguise McLaren as Porsche Cayman to Avoid Taxes Goes Wrong

Both mid-engined, but not quite the same thing.

Avoiding taxes is nothing new. In fact, it’s why some Caribbean islands are still on the map and why the entire state of Florida was invented—which judging by Floridians’ many questionable acts, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea in hindsight.

Anyway, tax laws are a sore subject for the ultra-wealthy. It’s pretty hard to feel bad for these people, but more expensive stuff typically carries higher taxes with it. For instance, if you live in the Phillippines and buy a new Mclaren 620R, you’ll have to pay around 51 percent of the car’s value to the government in duties and taxes. Seeing as this is a big chunk of change—around $336,000 in U.S. dollars—the car’s buyer set to avoid this tax by claiming that his new Mclaren wasn’t a Mclaren at all, but a Porsche Cayman. This may seem like a cunning plan, but needless to say, it didn’t go quite as well as hoped.

The owner didn’t attempt to disguise the car in any way, they just said it was a Porsche Cayman. But this kind of makes sense, right? The Porsche Cayman and the Mclaren 620R are both mid-engined sports cars, and perhaps from about two miles away you could mix up the two. It’s unfortunate then that the shipping container the Mclaren was shipped in wasn’t two miles long, or that port authorities have access to Google, because a quick online search would reveal that Porsche doesn’t make a Cayman with 620R written on a massive carbon-fiber wing.

Philippine Bureau of Customs on Facebook

Even though I can’t keep up with the frequency at with McLaren unveils cars, a slightly different model every hour, the 620R is a more powerful version of the 570S with a bunch of race-ready parts on it. It has 610 horsepower (620PS), it will do zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds, and the manually adjusted dampers—located at every corner of the car—have 32 levels of adjustment. 

Also, this might go without saying, but the car has been seized by the Philippine Bureau of Customs. Officials say that “Port of Manila District Collector Michael Angelo Vargas immediately issued a warrant of seizure and detention on the shipment based on the recommendation of IG-CIIS. Allegedly the consignee Llorin Trading declared duties and taxes amounting to only Php 1,500,000 Million thus preventing the collection of Php 15,000,000 worth of revenues to the government.”

In a nutshell, the owner of the car was set to pay the equivalent to $30,557 for the Cayman tariffs instead of $336,000 for the McLaren. Maybe he just thought the government wouldn’t miss a $300,000 difference—who knows?

“The consignee and broker of the shipment are now facing possible charges for violation of Section 1400 in relation to Section 1113 of RA 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization and Tarrif Act (CMTA).”

So it seems like the buyer’s sly plan didn’t quite work out. It’s not clear what is going to happen to this car, but honestly, Mclaren makes a new model every week, so I wouldn’t exactly be broken up too much if it was crushed. That’s happened to supercars in the Philippines before, and it may happen again.

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