guide to gifting vehicles

The Beginner’s Guide to Gifting Vehicles

Christmas is on the way, and it’s bringing a slew of car commercials with it. You know the ones: snow falls gently on a luxury car, wrapped up with a giant red bow, parked in the driveway. An unsuspecting spouse or child is led, blindfolded, to the car. Once revealed, they give an excited, giant hug of approval at the amazing gift. Believe it or not, people do give cars as gifts; although, the scenario probably doesn’t play out quite like that.

Pick a car they’ll love

If you are planning on handing down the old brown station wagon, don’t expect much excitement. In that instance, the giver is probably more excited to be rid of the car than the recipient is to get it. Let’s focus, then, on buying and gifting a new or classic car. In other words, something someone would be happy and proud to have: a really cool car.

Keep the recipient in mind

Before you drop any money on a car, consider the recipient. Think about their wants, needs, and taste. Buying a four-wheel drive, extended cab, super-duty pickup truck for a college student to drive around New York City might not be the best idea. Make sure the vehicle is suited to their taste, not yours. It would be awful to see feigned excitement after so much planning and money went into the gift.

Think about future car costs

Make sure the new car owner can afford the vehicle. They won’t have to pay for the car, but they will have to pay for insurance and maintenance. Insurance rates vary depending on the area it will be driven in and the type of car. A brand-new Maserati will be more expensive to insure than a Nissan Altima. The same goes for fixing the car, should anything go wrong. Replacement parts and the cost to fix certain cars can get very expensive.

Remember the rules and regulations

No beginner’s guide to gifting vehicles is complete without mentioning some rules and regulations. Various legalities need satisfying when gifting a car. To legally give someone a vehicle, you must own it and have the title.

  • Find the title. You must be the vehicle’s owner to gift the vehicle. If you need a replacement title, contact the DMV 
  • Be sure to satisfy liens on the vehicle. Again, you must own the vehicle outright in order to give it or donate it as a gift
  • Fill out the transfer section on the back of the title. There are fields on the back of the title to fill out and complete the transaction. The giver and recipient must sign the title
  • Check with your state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles for any additional requirements you may need to meet. If the recipient lives in a different state, you’ll need to file the paperwork there
  • Research any other fees or taxes you or the recipient may be liable for in your particular state.

When you need that car delivered in an enclosed car carrier, call Intercity Lines. We are a family-owned car carrier that will ensure your gift arrives without a mark on it.

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