How to Buy a Car as a Christmas Gift — the Right Way
We envy Jay-Z. When he turned 41, Beyonce gave him the world’s most expensive car back then — a cool Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport that was worth an eye-popping $2 million. If you’ll try to convert this into Philippine pesos today, it would be roughly around P99.8 million (excluding inflation), which is enough to feed a Filipino family of 4 for 69 years.
Yes, you read the numbers right — it’s almost as long as an average person’s entire life span in years.
We’re not here to bash rich people though. If you have the money, then go ahead and do what makes you happy. And if buying your special someone a car as a Christmas gift will put a smile on your face and a minuscule dent on your wallet, then go ahead and do it. Just make sure you do it the right way by following these guidelines:
Think twice before buying
Before you buy a car, sit down and really think about it first: Do you really want to buy it for Christmas? The truth is that if you really want to snag a better deal, the best time to do it is after Christmas. Some car dealers offer special discounts after the holidays, or give added freebies to make your post-Christmas cash hangover merrier.
Make sure they like the car
You might think that you know the person so well that it’s easy to guess what car to buy. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. It’s always a hit-and-miss thing when it comes to guessing what people really need and want in a car. For all you know, deep down they really need a vehicle with rear lift gates instead of doors that swing on the side. Or they prefer a Toyota Wigo instead of a Mitsubishi Strada. You can avoid the embarrassment by just asking them “subtly” what car they want. It makes things easier for everyone.
Inform the dealer that the car is a gift
There are four main reasons why it’s important to let the dealer know what’s going on: 1) they won’t call you at home to do follow-ups and ruin the element of surprise; 2) they can hold off the car until the date you plan to give it to your special someone; 3) the dealer may work with you when it comes to registering or financing your car; 4) they can (hopefully) give you a nice discount.
The last part is the best one, although you might have to do a bit of negotiating first. Appeal to their emotions, and remind them that it’s something that the person you’re giving to will really appreciate. Sometimes, we tend to think that all car salesmen are only interested in making us part with our hard-earned cash. Don’t forget that they’re also human, and can understand every person’s basic need to show appreciation to those they truly care about.
Think about payment
One important question you need to ask yourself is if you’re going to take out a loan for the car. Obviously, you need to inform the other person about this, especially if you both need to sign the loan documents. The best thing you can do is to explain your dilemma to the dealer and ask if there’s a way to carry out your surprise first and then finalize all the important financial transactions afterwards. That way, it’s a win-win situation for both of you.
Think about the documents
You also need to think about how you’re going to register and title the car. Remember that the car’s recipient won’t be there to sign the papers, so you need to ask the dealer how to take care of this without encountering any hiccups along the way.
Order the car in advance
Make sure to place a huge leeway between the date you plan to purchase the car and the exact date it will be delivered on the person’s doorstep. It’s not unusual for deliveries to get delayed, especially if the car dealer will have to order the vehicle abroad. So give yourself a lot of time. That way, you can fix things or re-order again in case something unexpected happens.
But what if the car gets delivered earlier than the expected date? Then ask your family and friends if it’s possible to store the vehicle in their garages first. Just make sure that they can keep this a secret. The last thing you want is for them to ruin the entire surprise because “it just slipped out of their tongues”.
Giving a car as a Xmas gift can be a bit tricky, since you need to tie up a lot of loose ends before you can carry out your surprise. However, it’s truly worth it if you take time to plan ahead. What truly matters is making someone you care about happy this yuletide season. And that nice, shiny, piece of new car you’re giving as a gift? It’s just an added bonus in spectacular proportions.