Author Topic: Is a gift car really a gift?  (Read 5671 times)

Javelin

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Is a gift car really a gift?
« on: October 29, 2014, 11:05:33 AM »
So my aunt and uncle have a nice Subaru Legacy that they want to "give" to me. I have the car in the garage right now, but we haven't signed the paperwork and all that. She asked that I give her a few bucks for the car. I'm not really sure how much that means. The car is easily worth $7,000, but I'm not even sure if I want it. It's just taking up precious garage space that I need for my bikes.

Adding up all the costs:
Registration, Transfer, Plates, Taxes - $400
City Sticker - $50
Insurance - $350/yr
Maintenance - $100/yr
Garage Space...

We currently have one car and really don't need another, but when I get promoted or transferred at work I may need a vehicle.

So, my question is... Should I take it and how much should I offer them? I'm thinking yes and $200.

GizmoTX

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2014, 11:15:22 AM »
Have you verified this $7K value with Bluebook, other online services, or CarMax?

Not counting what you pay for the car & gas, are you prepared to drop $900 per year on something you may not use? On the other hand, it could be a very sweet deal if you do need it.

Your aunt & uncle could sell the car themselves or may be able to donate it for a charitable contribution (not everyone can do this). You need to find out if their idea of a few dollars is equivalent to this. Would they be upset if you decided to dispose of the car later on?

frugaliknowit

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2014, 11:39:45 AM »
"...She asked that I give her a few bucks for the car..."  Translation:  They do not expect market value, but if you give them $200, they will be badmouthing you behind your back.

If you don't really want the car, pass on it.  Otherwise, give them a reasonable, below market sum ($5,000?).

Seņora Savings

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2014, 11:40:49 AM »
This sounds like a bad idea.  You don't want the car.  They want to sell you the car but haven't told you how much they are selling it for.  The one time a family member wanted to give/sell me something, they thought half the price of item new was generous on their part.

Javelin

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2014, 11:45:14 AM »
Definitely worth $7000+

I've tried to ask her how much she wants, but she always skirts the subject. My uncle jokingly said he wanted to pay me to take the car.

The car will get used randomly. In fact I'll be using it in 2 weeks for deer hunting.

nereo

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2014, 11:59:10 AM »
Definitely worth $7000+

I've tried to ask her how much she wants, but she always skirts the subject. My uncle jokingly said he wanted to pay me to take the car.

The car will get used randomly. In fact I'll be using it in 2 weeks for deer hunting.
Then I would be straightforward and honest - tell them that you appreciate their offer but that with your budget and taxes/title/etc you really can offer ~$200, and suggest that they could get $5-7k if they sold it to either a dealership or a private party.   Make sure they understand it's in their best financial interest to sell it to someone else, and that you will understand if they do that.

If they still offer you the car then they truly don't care about the price, and be thankful you have such caring relatives.

That's what I would do.  YMMV

GuitarStv

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2014, 12:00:54 PM »
I turned down a gift SUV from my inlaws because we simply had no need for it, and it would have been an added expense.

Goldielocks

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014, 12:30:18 PM »
How about offering to sell the car for them, and you take a commission?  e.g. sell it for $7000 and you give them $6000?

RH

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 12:42:05 PM »
"We currently have one car and really don't need another, but when I get promoted or transferred at work I may need a vehicle"

Based on this info, I would pass. Only get a car if you REALLY need it. Otherwise you will get lazy...(drive 1/2 mile to the store instead of walking/biking, etc...). If you eventually need one for work, cross that bridge when you get to it. 

Javelin

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2014, 01:00:48 PM »
I'll probably go with nereo's suggestion, but I'm sure they would be happy with me selling it for them. I haven't thought of selling it for them and I would definitely forego the commision.

My aunt and uncle are amazing people. My theory is they want some token amount of money so they can genuinely tell people they "sold" the Subaru to me. Don't want other family members getting jealous.

Lots of good ideas. Thanks guys!

RWD

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2014, 04:19:31 PM »
Maintenance - $100/yr

A little off topic, but I thought I'd chime in since I own a 2005 Legacy. $100/year for maintenance is very optimistic. That isn't even enough to cover scheduled maintenance (oil, filters, tires, brakes, belts, etc.), let alone the occasional repair. Around $300/year is probably more likely. Subarus are quite reliable, but they can't perform miracles.

We've been very happy with our Legacy. They are great cars, especially if you encounter snow on a regular basis. But if you aren't going to use it I wouldn't take it.

RWD

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2014, 04:22:50 PM »
Also, is it a 2003-2005? It might be affected by the recent airbag recall.

fireferrets

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2014, 07:35:12 PM »
We currently have one car and really don't need another

If you don't need another car, don't take it. You should never take resources just-in-case you might need them someday. Let someone who really needs a car buy it from them. That's my opinion anyways.

Jags4186

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2014, 06:10:04 AM »

So my aunt and uncle have a nice Subaru Legacy that they want to "give" to me. I have the car in the garage right now, but we haven't signed the paperwork and all that. She asked that I give her a few bucks for the car. I'm not really sure how much that means. The car is easily worth $7,000, but I'm not even sure if I want it. It's just taking up precious garage space that I need for my bikes.

Adding up all the costs:
Registration, Transfer, Plates, Taxes - $400
City Sticker - $50
Insurance - $350/yr
Maintenance - $100/yr
Garage Space...

We currently have one car and really don't need another, but when I get promoted or transferred at work I may need a vehicle.

So, my question is... Should I take it and how much should I offer them? I'm thinking yes and $200.

It's not a gift if you have to pay for it. Give the car back.


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Thegoblinchief

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2014, 06:28:52 AM »
I would offer to sell it for them but NOT buy it for yourself, even a token amount. The ongoing costs aren't worth it in your case.

Plus, in general I'd recommend staying a one-car family as long as possible. Once you have 2 cars, it can be very difficult to convince the other family members that you can drop back to one.

Mt Tahoe

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Re: Is a gift car really a gift?
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2014, 07:11:11 AM »
First figure out what they want. If $200-500 (this would be the value they would get from donation to a charity), then I would take it. If it is anywhere near bluebook value, then it is no longer a gift. They are just offloading it without having to deal with the PITA of selling. Since you don't need it, it will become a burden quickly.

As far as maintenance goes, most things you can do on your own. Oil changes, basic repairs, etc... you will save a lot.