A new car with a large bow strapped to the top is a familiar image many commercials have incorporated into holiday campaigns. However, if you are thinking about gifting a new vehicle, you should consider a few factors.
“Last December was absolutely the best month of the year for deals,” said TrueCar spokesman Alan Ohnsman, according to Consumer Reports. “Black Friday has become a major opportunity for dealers to promote year-end deals.”
Kiplinger echoed this sentiment noting that prices usually fall because dealers are looking to make room for the new models coming in. Consumers purchasing a vehicle at the end of the year can save as much as 10 percent of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
Research deals on various makes and models before heading to the showroom, and ensure you know what you are looking for and how you plan to finance the vehicle.
Pick a car that fits
If you decide to give a vehicle as a gift, Auto Trader noted you will need to make sure you select a car that’s appropriate. Consider their unique needs and how a set of wheels should accommodate them. Size, horsepower and fuel efficiency should all be considered. Remember, you are not purchasing a car for yourself, but for another person.
You also want to ensure that a car is the right gift for the person you are giving it to.
“A woman told me her husband gave her a car with a big bow on top for Christmas, just like the ads you see on TV,” said Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist who teaches at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, according to Consumer Reports. “But unlike the scenes in the ads, she wasn’t delighted by it. She felt cheated because she’d had no say in picking out the car, and it was really a family purchase, rather than a gift specifically for her.”
Before picking out a car for your spouse or family member, reflect on the decision and ensure it is appropriate. If it is, find out their car preferences and match them as much as possible. Have other people ask about dream cars, colors or other preferences and report back to you.
Let the dealer in on the surprise
When working with a professional, you will probably want to let him or her know that you are planning to surprise someone special with the vehicle. If you are gifting it to your spouse, he or she will also need to sign the paperwork. However, by notifying your dealer that you plan to give the car as a holiday present, you may be able to put off finalizing the purchase until after you have surprised your husband or wife.
In addition, by letting the dealer know it is a surprise, it can prevent them from calling and unintentionally letting the cat out of the bag.
Understand registration and taxes
There are a few other considerations regarding the purchase of a vehicle that are different when you are giving it as a gift. According to The Nest, you can give an individual up to $13,000 annually to a person. If the car you purchase is more expensive than that, you will need to file a gift tax return. However, this does not always mean you will owe any gift tax.
You will also need to think about registration. Register the car to the individual who will be driving it. The sooner this can be done, the better it will be for the person receiving the gift.
Wrap it creatively
If you have gotten the car and plan to surprise the recipient, have some fun with the presentation. This is an opportunity to be creative and make the individual feel celebrated. Consider wrapping the keys or a framed photograph of the new vehicle. For a little extra fun, wrap one of these items in a small box, then wrap that box in a larger box, and so on. It’s a fun way to throw the recipient off when giving them the gift.
Mr. John Peine is an Assistant Vice President Financial Center Manager at UMB . He is responsible for leading banking centers in Olathe, Kansas. In his time at UMB, John has built his career from teller to personal banker, and he is now manager of two branch locations.
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