Author Topic: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?  (Read 6428 times)

Lizzy B.

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Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« on: November 10, 2015, 02:27:38 PM »
Hello, fellow Mustachians,

I have a burgeoning first-world dilemma which I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on.

My wonderful in-laws are getting a little older and have realized that they don’t drive as much as they used to, and when they do drive, they’re nearly always together.  So they’ve made the decision to get rid of one of their cars.  Being extremely generous, they have offered us the car as a gift.  The car in question is a 2013 (possibly 2014) Ford Edge, very nicely appointed, very low mileage, and well maintained with no issues.

We currently have two cars, a 2009 Honda Accord and a 2012 Subaru Impreza hatchback (yup, facepunch away).  If we took my in-laws up on their extremely generous offer, we would sell the Accord and use the Subaru for our daily driving (we carpool 90% of the time) since it would get better mileage than the Edge.

My question to you, dear reader, is would you take the Edge?  They are offering it as a complete gift; we would only pay the $10 gift vehicle registration fee.  The Edge and the Accord (which the Edge would be replacing) have very similar fuel efficiencies (22 city, 31 highway).  Insurance will be slightly more per year for the Edge, but the increase will be nominal.

My big problem, though, is that I feel strongly (and perhaps irrationally?) that we shouldn’t own an SUV.  I was all set to say that we shouldn’t take the Edge because its MPG is worse, but then I checked, and it’s really not.  I wanted to say that insurance and registration fees would be much higher for the Edge, but they’re not.  I wanted to say that the car was so HUGE, but it’s actually shorter than our Accord.

To be clear, neither of us would consider purchasing an Edge (or an Accord or such a new Subaru, for that matter, but those are holdovers from our pre-mustachian days).  Before this offer came up, our plan was to own both our current vehicles for several more years (5+), and then perhaps trade in the Accord for a small electric for commuting.  However, I think the calculus changes a little when the vehicle being offered is free and the additional ongoing cost increases are minimal. We’d end up with a great vehicle, and we’d add at least 4 years to the date before we need to get a new vehicle (The Edge is 4 years newer than the Accord), and we’d pocket the proceeds from the sale of the Accord.

Our current Subaru fits our very limited outdoorsy needs, and also does a pretty darn respectable job as a cargo vehicle too.  The Edge is certainly bigger than the Subaru, but I’m not sure the difference between them is big enough that the Edge would solve a cargo transportation issue we currently have.  (E.g. it won’t be able to fit 8” boards in it, so we’ll have to tie them to the top, same as we currently do with the Subaru.)

I recently got an Edge as a rental car on a business trip, and really liked the way it drove and handled, particularly in relation to the Accord.  (Gah, that thing’s a BOAT and it doesn’t even have any useful cargo space.  But I digress.)  We’re hoping for little ones in the very near future, so the Edge would probably be easier with car seats, but we would have made it work (and work fine, I’m sure) with our current cars.

I can’t even say why I don’t really want this car; when I look at what I’ve typed above, the case seems pretty clearly in favor of accepting their gift.  Maybe I’m afraid having another newer model car will spoil us, and get us used to newer, flashier, larger cars.  Mostly I think I’ve just been so anti SUV for so long that I really dislike the idea of having one even when the things I dislike about them are no worse than my current vehicles.  In this case, it seems my dislike is irrational.

So, what do you guys think?

AZDude

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2015, 02:30:55 PM »
If it gets the same gas mileage, I'm not even sure what the issue is. Its the same fancypants luxury as your accord, just newer and in a different form.

Is there someone else in your family that could use it more? If not, then take it.

JLee

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2015, 02:34:43 PM »
You're asking us if you should pay $10 to replace a vehicle that you really don't seem to like (and is also out of warranty) with one that you seem to thoroughly enjoy, that's 4-5 years newer and has a warranty? Plus you get to sell a car, which will probably get you $8-10k (or whatever '09 Accords go for these days)?

That's a pretty easy decision.

Bob W

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2015, 02:39:02 PM »
I would pick it up today before they change their minds. 

Lizzy B.

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2015, 02:42:31 PM »
Haha, yeah, it seems pretty obvious when I spell it out. Some little voice in my head has been whispering "but it's an SUV" over and over. I'm clearly WAY overthinking this. Thanks for the reality check.

JLee

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2015, 02:56:21 PM »
Haha, yeah, it seems pretty obvious when I spell it out. Some little voice in my head has been whispering "but it's an SUV" over and over. I'm clearly WAY overthinking this. Thanks for the reality check.

Maybe SUVs aren't always as evil as people would like you to believe. :P

Lizzy B.

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2015, 04:48:50 PM »
Maybe SUVs aren't always as evil as people would like you to believe. :P

Next you'll be telling me Santa isn't real.  Then all my cherished beliefs will be gone. :-)

lizzzi

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2015, 07:52:48 AM »
Take the Edge. Immediately. The only reason I wouldn't, as someone said upthread, would be if another family member genuinely needed it more.

Making Cents

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2015, 07:57:19 AM »
I get it. I was actually in this situation 3 years ago and felt like an ingrate but had some qualms about it. Still driving the SUV (RAV 4) instead of a Honda Fit and kicking myself for the extra gas I don't need.

But it is the most extravagant gift I've ever received in my life and I'm so very lucky to have it.

Just repeat after me.... "my car is not my identity...my car is not my identity.... I do like the environment!"

undercover

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2015, 08:04:54 AM »
Huge difference between buying an SUV and accepting one for free. If you really want to profit you can sell the Accord, drive the SUV for 1-2 years to satisfy the donors, then sell it and buy a reasonably priced truck which would be much more useful :)

CmFtns

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2015, 08:30:09 AM »
I don't know why so many people consider these types of SUV's in the "antimustacian" sense. So technically they fall into the SUV category but that doesn't mean they are any worse than any other large sedan... In reality these cars that are just a large sedan that is jacked up a few inches and really doesn't get bad mileage at all.

When I think of SUV I think of the car my parents used to have... a 7000lbs 2000 Ford Excursion with 6.8L V10 that got 10mpg city and 14 highway... not these silly 32 mpg crossover 4 cylinders... you shouldn't be ashamed to drive a free ford edge that gets 30mpg.

The real way to save money is to drive the damn thing less... not beat yourself up over a 5mpg difference between an econobox and an edge.

Now if they were offering you a Hummer H2 then that might be a different story... I would tell them to sell that monstrosity and give you the money.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 08:33:00 AM by comfyfutons »

SwordGuy

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2015, 09:01:04 AM »
But it is the most extravagant gift I've ever received in my life and I'm so very lucky to have it.
It will give your parents a lot of joy to give you this car, and give them no hardship in return.

Since you are well aware it's an extravagant gift - instead of thinking you are entitled to it - it will do you no harm either.

Enjoy your good luck.


Easye418

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2015, 12:27:40 PM »
If it gets the same gas mileage, I'm not even sure what the issue is. Its the same fancypants luxury as your accord, just newer and in a different form.

Is there someone else in your family that could use it more? If not, then take it.

I'd disagree with this statement.

Take the car.

GizmoTX

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2015, 12:59:10 PM »
Take the car. 

I prefer what you are calling an SUV -- I sit up higher to see the traffic, getting in & out is easier these days than a smaller vehicle, & the fold down rear seats provide cargo options. To me, a true SUV is an Escalade, Navigator, Land Cruiser, Range Rover, & so on -- huge & expensive, & seems to be the "family" car around here.

lhamo

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2015, 01:09:29 PM »
I would accept the gift, keep the car for a year or two  and see if it works for your lifestyle/family, and if not sell it and get something that better suits you. You probably will put minimal miles on it, so it will retain its value well.  I think a year or two out there will be enough distance between the gift giving and your decision to take another route with your vehicle that there would not be any hard feelings.  If your parents did seem put out that you were getting rid of the car, you could just gush about how it was in such amazing shape, allowed you to get top dollar for the resale, and move to something that would save you more money through better gas mileage, etc.  I doubt they would have an issue with it at that point in time, though.

russianswinga

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2015, 03:33:50 PM »
Take the SUV.
Sell the Accord, pocket the cash, invest.
In 2-3 years, sell the SUV, pick up a used Nissan Leaf for $9000 + $500 for wall charger, and justify it to your parents that you decided to go electric as a family, even though you really liked their car.
And if you're even a bit outdoorsy, definitely keep the subaru.

Capsu78

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2015, 04:11:50 PM »
Flip the equation a bit- maybe finding a nice home for their SUV is making the decision to go down to one car transition easier on them.  Maybe they would like you to fill the back seat with a couple of car seats ! 

Take it, enjoy it as your primary vehicle and earn the payback by not needing a car payment for a very long time, let them enjoy watching you drive it.

 

mxt0133

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2015, 04:24:55 PM »
If you don't need a new car why take it?  Look at it this way would you take 15-17K cash gift from them?  If not then you have your answer.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2015, 04:37:53 PM »
Yeah it sounds like it's not a bad idea to take it and sell the Accord. Then in a year or two get rid of the Subaru (as the Edge does much of the same things) and either get a Honda Fit,  a Prius or a Leaf as a commuter.

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okashira

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2015, 04:41:42 PM »
I'd take it and sell it a few months later?

The problem is you're living in relative mode. Your current car doesnt get good gas mileage, so you look at the edge, and say "meh, it's about the same."


The truth is 20mpg is terrible for a vehicle outside of a 9 passenger van, and that is what the Edge averages, per fuelly:
http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/edge


JLee

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2015, 08:10:23 AM »
If you don't need a new car why take it?  Look at it this way would you take 15-17K cash gift from them?  If not then you have your answer.

You're not finding low-mileage well-optioned 2013/2014 Edge's for 15-17k...and if you are, congratulations! They start at $27k new and can run up to a lot more than that:

zephyr911

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2015, 08:38:07 AM »
It's a net win for you financially, it'll make them feel good, and you can eventually trade it for something more efficient. Agree with the above that the mental block of "SUV vs car" is artificial, especially since the gas mileage is the same and it's essentially a backup vehicle anyway.
As long as you feel you can make the eventual trade in a way that won't offend them, have at it. +1 to the "go electric" plan, BTW. Did it, will never go back.

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2015, 09:01:47 AM »
I prefer what you are calling an SUV -- I sit up higher to see the traffic,

:(

I hate driving behind all these over sized vehicles and it sounds like the logic is to buy the next big sized one so you can see over the other big one. :(



catccc

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2015, 09:09:52 AM »
SUV hater here, but it's too good of a deal on which to pass.  I would take it.  And then find myself constantly saying "I never would have bought and SUV for myself, but the in-laws just gave it to us, so I couldn't say no."

dcozad999

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2015, 09:49:52 AM »
No brainer. You make $10k on the deal by selling the Accord.

If you feel guilty about accepting an extravagant gift, sell the Accord and use the money to return the favor. Send them on their dream vacation (my vote). Buy them something they would love to have, but never consider buying on their own. For instance, my mother has always wanted to visit Hawaii and my father has always wanted to visit New Zealand. Even though they have always had the money, they have never done either.


catccc

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Re: Gift Guilt: Accept SUV or not?
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2015, 10:15:09 AM »
No brainer. You make $10k on the deal by selling the Accord.

If you feel guilty about accepting an extravagant gift, sell the Accord and use the money to return the favor. Send them on their dream vacation (my vote). Buy them something they would love to have, but never consider buying on their own. For instance, my mother has always wanted to visit Hawaii and my father has always wanted to visit New Zealand. Even though they have always had the money, they have never done either.

This is a great idea!  I think you'd have to ask them first if they are okay with it, but it's a very lovely gesture, even if they nix the idea.

Do you have kids?  Selling the accord to fund a 529 is also another way to alleviate guilt around it.  I get cash gifts from my parents, and I'd feel guilty about it, except that it usually goes into the kids 529s.  Any money I feel funny about having I put in the kids 529, boom, guilt erased! (i.e., only gave employer a week's notice before leaving to guarantee my bonus payout.  But it was for the kids!!)