Author Topic: Would you take the car?  (Read 1619 times)

Weisass

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Would you take the car?
« on: May 20, 2021, 07:19:04 PM »
My FIL passed away about a month ago, and one of the things my MIL brought up within a few days was that she wants to give away his Tesla.

TLDR: They have two teslas, MIL only needs one car, and so she wants someone to take the extra one.

Rest of the story: My FIL was always an early adopter of tech.  He was particularly committed to environmental sustainability, and so his home sported early versions of solar panels, and later greywater systems and roof water heating. He believed that we need to do our part to support technologies that tread lightly on the earth, and he had the funds to sink in these projects, so he was an early adopter of the Tesla.  I think he bought his Tesla in 2013 or so, and he was so proud of it.  It's a model s, and has the trunk seats that make the car a 7 seater. He loved taking it on trips, primarily into the city near his home or up the coast on weekend trips. The car was a major joy, and when he got sick a couple years ago and it became clear he wouldn't be able to drive, he struggled with that a lot.

Cut to now: my FIL passed away a month ago, and my MIL, who had been pushing him to get rid of the car for a year or so, has fixated on it as something she can deal with. My husband has two siblings, and literally within 24 hours of his passing she was asking who wanted the car.  One sibling is categorically not interested, and the other seems to not want it (he researched the cost of shipping it to us), which leaves us. We are on the opposite side of the country, and so it would be a decent expense to get it to us. But should we accept it? Is it worth it? Help walk me through the pros and cons.

solon

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2021, 08:30:42 PM »
I would take a free Tesla in a heartbeat. What's it going to cost to ship? $300? Dude.

Morning Glory

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2021, 08:36:54 PM »
Yeah. Fly there and have a nice visit with MIL and drive it back. See some sights on the way.

norajean

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2021, 09:07:58 PM »
Take it and if you don't like it, sell it and invest the rest.

RWD

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2021, 09:11:34 PM »
Absolutely you should take it. Even if you have to ship it from one coast to the other its definitely worth it (probably will cost over $1k). I also like the idea of driving it back. Would make some nice memories.

jeromedawg

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2021, 09:15:45 PM »
If you don't want it, your MIL can give it to me... I'll gladly take it LOL

Weisass

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2021, 09:32:12 PM »
If you don't want it, your MIL can give it to me... I'll gladly take it LOL

Lol. I think Im just trying to sort through the cost benefits. Like the obvious pro is that it is a Tesla. But what costs am I not seeing?

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2021, 09:38:01 PM »
Before you all say drive it back, keep in mind early teslas had some really dinky batteries. Like 60kw, 208 mile batteries. Age it 7 years, use it some, that's going to be under 200 miles of range. If it was a 40kw (which is probably just a software limited 60kw pack) that'd be 139 miles new. Drive 1.5-2 hours, stop to charge, repeat, across the country? I guess you'll have plenty of bathroom breaks.

Have MIL check the range it thinks it has when charged so you have some idea what you'd be getting into.

I've seen folks at my work moving coast to coast and was seeing car shipping costs quoted between 1k (might have been Chicago actually) and 1.6k. Not insubstantial, but the car is worth way more than that.

Morning Glory

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2021, 10:42:26 PM »
Before you all say drive it back, keep in mind early teslas had some really dinky batteries. Like 60kw, 208 mile batteries. Age it 7 years, use it some, that's going to be under 200 miles of range. If it was a 40kw (which is probably just a software limited 60kw pack) that'd be 139 miles new. Drive 1.5-2 hours, stop to charge, repeat, across the country? I guess you'll have plenty of bathroom breaks.

Have MIL check the range it thinks it has when charged so you have some idea what you'd be getting into.

I've seen folks at my work moving coast to coast and was seeing car shipping costs quoted between 1k (might have been Chicago actually) and 1.6k. Not insubstantial, but the car is worth way more than that.

If you could make the trip over a week or two it wouldn't be bad at all. Drive two hours, eat lunch while the car charges. Two more hours, go for a hike then dinner and bed.  Much better than spending all day in the car.

SunnyDays

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2021, 10:54:19 PM »
What is the likelihood of their being charging stations every 2 hours right across the country?

RWD

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2021, 11:27:19 PM »
What is the likelihood of their being charging stations every 2 hours right across the country?
Very high
https://www.plugshare.com/

lutorm

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2021, 12:13:05 AM »
What is the likelihood of their being charging stations every 2 hours right across the country?
This is literally why Tesla built their supercharger network.

Weisass

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2021, 06:10:31 AM »
Before you all say drive it back, keep in mind early teslas had some really dinky batteries. Like 60kw, 208 mile batteries. Age it 7 years, use it some, that's going to be under 200 miles of range. If it was a 40kw (which is probably just a software limited 60kw pack) that'd be 139 miles new. Drive 1.5-2 hours, stop to charge, repeat, across the country? I guess you'll have plenty of bathroom breaks.

Have MIL check the range it thinks it has when charged so you have some idea what you'd be getting into.

I've seen folks at my work moving coast to coast and was seeing car shipping costs quoted between 1k (might have been Chicago actually) and 1.6k. Not insubstantial, but the car is worth way more than that.

Helpful. This is a model s with a range that was allowing them to drive up the coast across two states without stopping. So I think range isnt a huge issue.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2021, 06:12:02 AM »
Yeah. Fly there and have a nice visit with MIL and drive it back. See some sights on the way.

THIS ^^^

chemistk

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2021, 06:18:09 AM »
If you don't want it, your MIL can give it to me... I'll gladly take it LOL

Lol. I think Im just trying to sort through the cost benefits. Like the obvious pro is that it is a Tesla. But what costs am I not seeing?

I mean, you'll probably want to install a charger at home and there will be registration & insurance costs...but otherwise? It's pocket change in exchange for a Tesla.

Omy

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2021, 06:46:09 AM »
Pick it up before someone else says yes!

Paper Chaser

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2021, 07:16:35 AM »
Free Model S seems like a good deal. It's probably going to have 200-250 miles of rated range, and Teslas often struggle to hit those numbers at highway speed. It's enough range for most normal daily use, but might make a cross country drive pretty lengthy, especially if it can't charge as fast as the latest cars. I vote to pay the shipping. It will probably be under $2k.

A regular 120v outlet will probably add about 4 miles of range per hr, which is likely enough to replenish your daily usage but definitely not enough to allow you to go from 'empty' to 'full' overnight. So a higher voltage charger is nice, but not a must have in most cases. It can probably be done at your leisure.

Some states charge an annual fee at registration for EVs in order to offset the lack of fuel taxes. This can be over $100, and I think the method is likely to spread to other states so be prepared to pay more to register the vehicle than you're used to.

If you try it and don't like it, or you don't have a place at home to plug it in, you can still sell it for more than you'll have into it.

OH, and go ahead and research the MCU issue. It can be a show stopper and a somewhat expensive repair. It was an issue with early Teslas as they aged. There were supposed to be updates that extended the life of the MCU, but as far as I can tell it's still got a definite lifespan. It's probably not enough to stop me from taking a free Model S, but it might mean you should be prepared for a repair bill at some point.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2021, 07:34:39 AM by Paper Chaser »

Weisass

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2021, 07:54:28 AM »
Free Model S seems like a good deal. It's probably going to have 200-250 miles of rated range, and Teslas often struggle to hit those numbers at highway speed. It's enough range for most normal daily use, but might make a cross country drive pretty lengthy, especially if it can't charge as fast as the latest cars. I vote to pay the shipping. It will probably be under $2k.

A regular 120v outlet will probably add about 4 miles of range per hr, which is likely enough to replenish your daily usage but definitely not enough to allow you to go from 'empty' to 'full' overnight. So a higher voltage charger is nice, but not a must have in most cases. It can probably be done at your leisure.

Some states charge an annual fee at registration for EVs in order to offset the lack of fuel taxes. This can be over $100, and I think the method is likely to spread to other states so be prepared to pay more to register the vehicle than you're used to.

If you try it and don't like it, or you don't have a place at home to plug it in, you can still sell it for more than you'll have into it.

OH, and go ahead and research the MCU issue. It can be a show stopper and a somewhat expensive repair. It was an issue with early Teslas as they aged. There were supposed to be updates that extended the life of the MCU, but as far as I can tell it's still got a definite lifespan. It's probably not enough to stop me from taking a free Model S, but it might mean you should be prepared for a repair bill at some point.

Thanks. This is super helpful. Sounds like it is time for some research. But on the other side, Im super grateful for a FIL who loved tech, sustainability, and who took care of his toys.

jfer_rose

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2021, 07:57:39 AM »
One other consideration that seems unlikely to apply in your case but is worth mentioning: would the value of the car be subtracted from any other inheritance you may someday receive? If so, does that change whether you would want it? Also, are there likely to be any hurt feelings among the siblings or other heirs, or feelings later that since you got the car that they should get X or Y important thing of value?

My parents (who have both passed away) left most of their assets to their children, to be divided equally. My brother wanted their vehicle, so the amount of inherited money he received was reduced according to the value of the car. That said, we trusted his estimate for worth of the vehicle and I'm pretty sure we all agree he got a great deal out of the situation. But it was a win for all of us as we didn't have to deal with trying to sell it.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2021, 10:15:24 AM »
I suspect the MIL means who wants to buy it? when she asks who wants it?.

To gift a car to one relative and not another could curdle some mourning feelings into resentment feelings. This sounds like the setup to a relationship column where the headline is I took my late FILs car and now my family wont talk to me. At the extreme, you could be accused of exploiting a mourning elderly widow, rational or not.

Also note the IRS limit for a gift to be tax-free is $15k.

Catbert

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2021, 10:26:53 AM »
What is the likelihood of their being charging stations every 2 hours right across the country?
This is literally why Tesla built their supercharger network.

The Tesla website will literally map your trip for you with their charging stations built in.  Or there are other Tesla focused websites that will do it also.  May not work if you want to cruise the country on Route 66, but major highways are no problem.

Edited to add: https://www.tesla.com/trips
« Last Edit: May 21, 2021, 10:29:22 AM by Catbert »

JLee

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2021, 10:44:12 AM »
Initial cost aside, there are very few cars out there that are better than a Tesla for cost of ownership.  There is nearly no maintenance aside from tires and wiper blades.

RWD

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2021, 12:56:44 PM »
Also note the IRS limit for a gift to be tax-free is $15k.
That is the threshold for reporting for the gift giver. You can gift up to $11.58 million in your lifetime without paying taxes.

Weisass

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2021, 05:17:33 PM »
I suspect the MIL means who wants to buy it? when she asks who wants it?.

To gift a car to one relative and not another could curdle some mourning feelings into resentment feelings. This sounds like the setup to a relationship column where the headline is I took my late FILs car and now my family wont talk to me. At the extreme, you could be accused of exploiting a mourning elderly widow, rational or not.

Also note the IRS limit for a gift to be tax-free is $15k.
Nope. She wants to gift it. Helpful to be reminded of the rules for gifts, though.

As for the rest of what you typed, we all asked her to slow down. The siblings are all in a comparable place, financially, and I understand the dynamics you are describing (I work in a field that regularly negotiates these waters with families) but I am reasonably confident that this is not going to be a factor. This car is a real asset, but it isnt even close to a major one in this family unit.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2021, 05:20:35 PM by Weisass »

Weisass

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2021, 05:18:32 PM »
Also note the IRS limit for a gift to be tax-free is $15k.
That is the threshold for reporting for the gift giver. You can gift up to $11.58 million in your lifetime without paying taxes.

Thanks. I was pretty sure there was a higher threshold than 15k

ixtap

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2021, 06:05:06 PM »
Take it and if you don't like it, sell it and invest the rest.

This may come out of their inheritance, so if they don't want the car, it may make more sense to sell it as part of the estate.

Catbert

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2021, 10:41:11 AM »
Gift "limit" really isn't a problem  A quick search shows 2013 Model S is worth maybe 25K-30K.  If car is given to both you and your wife(15K exemption each) your MIL is within that "limit".  Plus as others have pointed out it's just a form and not an actual tax.

Take the car and have a fun road trip home.

BlueMR2

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2021, 12:21:29 PM »
I wouldn't want it.

Can't talk her into just selling it?  We've been down this road a few times recently in the extended family and just selling the car is usually the best thing to do.  If it needs to be gone fast, used car dealerships will always do it at some price (yeah, you'll never get what you could on a direct sale, but they need margin and you're trading money for speed).

Zamboni

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2021, 07:31:27 AM »
Umm, yeah, I'd take it, mainly because it would completely solve my current car dilemma.

Somebody else mentioned this:
If you take it, will the siblings expect a bigger share of the remaining inheritance, when the time comes? Will MIL reduce your other half's share because of the car? And will they value the care fairly when they are reducing the amount your other half gets, or will they assume something silly like it is worth $60K even though they should know it is not? Or would they understand that you are taking it to honor your late FIL, and that it really isn't worth much to you otherwise? Not sure how you can inquire about any of that without looking like an ass, though. So, I'd probably take it just to honor my dad, and I'd get rid of my other car and enjoy having a car that is pretty cool that reminds me of Dad. Some people wouldn't want a car of that sentimental type at all, so that's a very personal decision.

Weisass

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2021, 09:57:44 AM »
Umm, yeah, I'd take it, mainly because it would completely solve my current car dilemma.

Somebody else mentioned this:
If you take it, will the siblings expect a bigger share of the remaining inheritance, when the time comes? Will MIL reduce your other half's share because of the car? And will they value the care fairly when they are reducing the amount your other half gets, or will they assume something silly like it is worth $60K even though they should know it is not? Or would they understand that you are taking it to honor your late FIL, and that it really isn't worth much to you otherwise? Not sure how you can inquire about any of that without looking like an ass, though. So, I'd probably take it just to honor my dad, and I'd get rid of my other car and enjoy having a car that is pretty cool that reminds me of Dad. Some people wouldn't want a car of that sentimental type at all, so that's a very personal decision.

You have basically nailed it here. We would take the car in a heartbeat, but not if it causes any friction in the family. Its just not worth that. I dont suspect anyone will care (they already gifted a different car to their other son a few years ago, an EV Ford Escape I think, when they upgraded to a second Tesla), but thats hard to predict with certainty.

Zamboni

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2021, 11:40:17 AM »
If that's the case, then you can just frame it that way diplomatically. That fact that another sibling has previously gotten a car from them smooths the road considerably.

Have other half say/write something like
"Well, it seems like no one else wants Dad's Tesla? Hmm, this is definitely not a car I would normally buy. And it will actually cost quite a bit for us to get it from so far away. But, I do like that one of us driving it would make Dad happy if he is up there looking down on us. So, if really no one else wants it, then I'll go ahead and spend the money to accept it as a gift and drive it to honor Dad's memory. Please definitely reconfirm that so-and-so and so-and-so do not want it first, though, as I'm totally cool with them getting it instead of me. Is that okay, Mom?"

Then you've made it pretty clear that no one is chomping at the bit for this car, which is actually costing you money you weren't planning to spend. Lol, is there a way to do that in writing?

People are so weird about inheritances and money.

jeromedawg

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2021, 09:10:17 AM »
If you don't want it, your MIL can give it to me... I'll gladly take it LOL

Lol. I think Im just trying to sort through the cost benefits. Like the obvious pro is that it is a Tesla. But what costs am I not seeing?


https://www.investopedia.com/articles/active-trading/041515/economics-owning-tesla-car.asp

The cost of electricity might go up? And you might consider getting a charger installed at home? But the costs associated with all in exchange for filling up for gas probably make it well worth it. Insurance? Maintenance & repair? Not sure about those but I tend to think it shouldn't be much more, if anything, than most other cars out there.
Either way, you're getting a nice EV gifted to you - take and enjoy it.

Weisass

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2021, 12:02:25 AM »
Hey all! Just circling back. Thanks so much for everyone's advice.  We did ultimately agree to take the car, and I am looking forward to joining the ranks of the electrified drivers.  It will be really neat to drive a car that my whole family fits in that also is electric!

Zamboni

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2021, 04:38:57 AM »
Hooray and congrats! Have fun driving it.

Dicey

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2021, 09:42:12 AM »
I kept thinking of the movie "Rainman" as I read through this thread. Glad you decided to keep it.

I also wondered if FIL was an early investor in technology. From your comment about assets, it sounds like he bought what he was passionate about in more ways than one. I'll bet there are some good stories there..

Finally, when a loved one passes away, there can be comfort in seeing the their things living on. Sounds like accepting the car made MIL happy, which is a very nice thing. Bravo!

TomTX

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2021, 10:36:23 AM »

Cut to now: my FIL passed away a month ago, and my MIL, who had been pushing him to get rid of the car for a year or so, has fixated on it as something she can deal with. My husband has two siblings, and literally within 24 hours of his passing she was asking who wanted the car.  One sibling is categorically not interested, and the other seems to not want it (he researched the cost of shipping it to us), which leaves us. We are on the opposite side of the country, and so it would be a decent expense to get it to us. But should we accept it? Is it worth it? Help walk me through the pros and cons.

If you don't want it, I'll be happy to take it. I'll even pick up.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Would you take the car?
« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2021, 02:11:34 AM »
Hey all! Just circling back. Thanks so much for everyone's advice.  We did ultimately agree to take the car, and I am looking forward to joining the ranks of the electrified drivers.  It will be really neat to drive a car that my whole family fits in that also is electric!

@Weisass How are you planning to transport the car to your place of living? Are you taking the chance to drive it, including many recharges?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2021, 02:41:57 AM by Linea_Norway »