How to Give a Car as a Christmas Gift

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A car may be the biggest Christmas gift that you can give. You could easily take the person you're buying for to the dealership and allow the person to pick his or her gift out. There's no fun in that, though. Surprising your loved one with a car on Christmas morning is a moment that neither of you will ever forget.

Make a list of the types of car the person would like to drive. This will prevent you from buying a car that you would like. The two of you may have similar tastes in vehicles. However, it's still important to consider what they would like to drive. Your wife may not want the same car that you would.

Look at car dealer advertisements in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Every year, dealerships knock their prices down to attract customers just like yourself -- people who are searching for a car as a Christmas gift. Search in newspapers and online for the best local deals you can find.

Go to local dealers and tell them why you are there. As hard as it is to believe sometimes, car salesmen are human. Telling the person that you are buying a car as a Christmas gift is an almost guaranteed way to knock the price down on the vehicle, especially if you go a week before the holiday. Play on his emotions and use phrases like “I don't know if I could afford that...” Since you're not buying for yourself, the dealer will be more likely to negotiate.

Take the car for a test drive, and make sure the person receiving the car will like how the vehicle handles. You will know what she likes to drive. Be absolutely sure that you're making the right decision before you take the vehicle off the lot.

Buy the car (at least) a few days before Christmas. You don't want to wait until Christmas Eve to get to the dealership, only to find that the car you wanted to buy was sold the day before. As with any Christmas gift, it's better to have the car early than not get it at all.

Talk to friends or family members about storing the car at their place until Christmas. You'll want to choose somebody that won't give the surprise away. Also, choose a place that the person receiving the gift won't visit while the car is there.

Sneak out on Christmas Eve night to retrieve the vehicle. This can be very easy or incredibly difficult depending on who you're giving the car to. If it's your spouse, you may need to use your kids or other family members to distract her while you get the car. If you're buying a car for somebody who lives outside of your home, you could wait until the early morning hours to get the car.

Wrap a large bow around the car before you give it to the person. Yes, this is a little cliché. It's a very nice touch, though, and makes the Christmas gift just a little more special.

Tips & Warnings

  • Look at both new and used cars as Christmas gifts. Many of the used cars will be from the previous year and have very little mileage on them. You may get a great deal.
  • Ask the dealership if they have any large bows. Around Christmastime, many dealerships will actually have them as a marketing ploy.

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