7 Helpful Tips to Know When Giving a Vehicle as a Present

Giving a car as a gift, whether it’s for the holidays, a birthday, a first-time driver, or a life milestone, is a special moment. The act of giving a vehicle as a gift is exciting but can also be stressful because it’s such a large purchase.

On top of the financial considerations when giving a vehicle as a gift, the recipient’s style, driving preferences, and any particular needs also must be taken into account. Here are the top seven tips to know when giving a car as a present.

1- Consider the Recipient’s Personal Style

Think about the gift recipient’s personal style and if the car will suit them. Considerations such as if they like dark versus light colors, or if they prefer an SUV over a sports car, are some examples of personal style preferences.

2- Know the Recipient’s Individual Needs

The gift recipient’s personal needs must also be taken into consideration when picking out the best car to give as a gift. Think about needs such as if the recipient requires enough room depending on their height, or if they need a car that sits lower so they can easily get in and out. Test driving a car at a reputable dealership (either yourself or the recipient if they already know about the gift) is the best way to ensure that their individual needs will most likely be met with the final car that you choose.

3- Calculate Future Fuel and Maintenance Costs

A luxury or big car may be a great gift choice, but it’s best to take into account future fuel and maintenance costs to make sure the gift recipient can afford to pay for both. Being practical while still choosing a vehicle that your recipient will love is the best of both worlds when giving a car as a present.

4- Make Sure You Own the Car First

Before you give a car as a gift, make sure that you own the car outright. This means the car is already paid off and there are no liens (such as parking tickets) on the vehicle. Owning the car makes it easier to transfer the ownership to the gift recipient so they can start with a clean slate.

5- Ensure It’s Reliable and Good Working Condition

Whether you choose to buy a new or used car, make sure that the car is reliable and in good working condition. Choose a car that has a reputation for its reliability, and if it’s used then purchasing the car from a well-known dealership or company is key to making sure it’s in good working condition (especially if you’re unable to get the car to a mechanic first before making the purchase).

6- Check Space at the Recipient’s Residence

If your gift recipient will most likely park the car at their home or apartment, make sure that there is space for them to do so. Some apartments don’t have parking spaces so the recipient would need to either rent a space outside or park on the street. If the recipient lives in a house with a garage, make sure they can fit the car in their garage or on the driveway.

7- Transfer the Ownership

While giving a car as a gift is an exciting and memorable moment, make sure that all of the paperwork for transferring the ownership from your name to the recipient’s name is completed in a timely manner. This includes the title, DMV paperwork, registration, as well as the recipient getting auto insurance. Once you give the car as a gift, you want to make sure that you transfer the responsibility of the car completely to its new owner, otherwise, you are personally liable for what happens to the car even after you give it if the necessary paperwork isn’t completed yet.

Giving a vehicle as a present will be very much appreciated by your recipient. Taking the time to consider their wants and needs adds a special touch of thoughtfulness to this already special gift.



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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