Purchasing a Car as a Gift

Purchasing a car as a gift

Buying someone a car as a gift is one generous and exciting thing we can do for a loved one. If you have a kid or a family member who needs a car and has not been able to afford to buy one, you are probably pretty excited at the thought of getting them the car of their dreams for a present. Carmakers show us how exciting this can be each year at Christmas through commercials about gift-giving and its excitements.

This kind of gift-giving can be a lot of fun for everyone involved, but there are some logistics to think about when you are making a big purchase like this for another person who you want to be surprised by the gift. It is less complicated when the car is for a family member, but there are still some things that you need to think about before you take the plunge and buy that dream car for your best friend or your wife or husband.

From logistics involved in a surprise purchase to considerations about how to get the car to your location, there are factors that must be planned carefully before you buy a car to give as a gift to another person.

If you are ready to learn more about what you should consider before purchasing a car for someone else, read on!

Purchasing a Car as a Gift

There are many things to consider when you are contemplating a large purchase for yourself, but there are some added considerations that you need to think about when you are buying a large gift for someone else. We will talk about these considerations in more detail so that you can make sure that you have thought through the buying process with care and attention to detail.

1.       Know What They Want Before Buying Someone a Car as a Present

This is the biggest stumbling block of all gift-giving. You might think someone in your life wants an item and then find out they don’t want to have that item. This can be a big surprise to you as the person buying what you believe to be a thoughtful gift!

If you are not quite sure what make or model of car that your loved one or friend is looking for, you can ask careful questions about cars when you are with them, or you might be able to have another friend or family member fill you in on their wants and needs. You will not be able to give back a car that they do not like, so you want this purchase to be right for their needs.

2.       You Cannot Return it

buying a car as a gift

Dovetailing with the item above, remember that you cannot just return a car that someone doesn’t like. A car purchase is for good until you sell it to someone else or pay it off. You therefore need to be okay with keeping the car if your friend or loved one does not want it.

If you have financed the vehicle in your name alone, this will be easy enough for you, but you might be frustrated that you now have two cars, and you only needed one! Make sure that you are able to afford and maintain this additional car if your friend or your family member does not want the car after all when you give them the gift.

Furthermore, think about buying a used car or buying with cash if you’re not sure the car will be accepted. This makes it easier for you to find a home for the car. It also makes it easy to afford to keep it if you need to. It can be hard to predict people’s reactions to this kind of gift. Also, sometimes people will refuse to accept such a large gift out of a sense of honor.

3.       Make Sure That You Can Afford The Car That You Want To Buy as a Gift

While giving large gifts can be exciting, remember that you might not normally finance large purchases on your own. You will not be able to have the other person’s name on the title of the car either. Also, they will not be involved in the car purchase process, so you will have to finance this item alone.

For many people, this is actually a financial burden, and there is no recourse that you can leverage to make a friend or someone that you have a falling out with to pay for the car that you got them that is only in your name. Be careful not to hurt your credit if you cannot afford to finance a second car for a loved one. You can always buy in cash if you are worried about this part of the purchase.

4.       Figure Out Shipping for Your Surprise Auto Purchase

buying a car as a present

If the car that you have purchased is not close by, or if you do not have a friend or family member who can help you drive it home for the surprise, you may need to have the car brought to your address. You always want to be careful about the car transport company that you hire for this job as it is important that a car that you have delivered for a surprise arrives on time and in perfect condition.

You may want to opt for a car shipping company that can haul the car in an enclosed trailer so that the surprise is not ruined. This will add extra expense. However, it’ll assure that the car will be concealed, clean and ready for gifting when it shows up.

A quality auto transport company will be able to provide you with a detailed quote. This quote should show all the costs associated with their work. It should also show information about their insurance, and their stated transit time and arrival date. You should always make sure that they can provide this information. If they cannot, you will need to look for a new auto transport company to work with for this job.

5.       Make Sure the Car Dealership Knows That Your Purchase is a Surprise

If you have a really savvy family member who might catch on about this exciting gift, you might need to have the dealership call you on a temporary phone number through Google voice or a secondary phone like your office phone. Dealers often enjoy this aspect of car sales just as much as buyers. Thus, they will probably be happy to play along. You might be able to get your loved one in for a test drive if the dealer is willing to help you keep the secret.

Some dealerships provide a large bow and other gifting items if they know the car is a present. You may have to pay for the bow. However, there’s no trade for commercial-style gifting options that a huge red bow offers you when you give the car.

6.       Order Your Vehicle Gift Well in Advance

If you are buying a custom car, make sure that you give yourself enough time to get the car if you are giving it for a holiday or a birthday surprise. It can take months to get a custom-ordered car. Also, it is not uncommon for there to be delays of weeks after the stated delivery date. Even shopping online for used cars can be associated with delays related to shipping and transport. It can also be associated with slowdowns with financing and other details of the purchase.

You may be able to store the car at the dealer for a fee if it arrives early. Also, you can make plans with a friend or family member to hide the car at their house or garage. This could be done in advance of the date that it is going to be given.

Buying a Car as a Gift Can be Fun and Exciting

Purchasing a car as a present

If you consider all the details related to this large purchase, you can have a lot of fun gifting your friend or family member with a car. There is something really special about giving someone their first car or giving them their dream car to drive daily. If you consider all the logistics carefully, there does not have to be any reason for unwanted surprises or difficulties with this kind of purchase.

Buying a car as a gift requires research, planning, and making sure you’re not exceeding your financial comfort zone. If you are not making a decision that will cause you stress or worry, you are going to love giving a car as a gift!



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We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

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There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

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