The Complete Guide to Buying a Car for Someone Else

Cars are an essential cog in the lives of millions of workers in the United States, with 66 percent of workers reliant on automobiles to travel to and from work each day. Buying a car for someone else is one of the most profound gifts you can give to a friend or family member. The car makes access to education and work a tangible prospect.

Still, there’s much to consider when learning how to buy a car for someone else, especially if you want the vehicle to be a surprise gift for the recipient. The wrong steps could ruin the surprise and create a complex financial situation.

Luckily, you’ve found the right guide to walk you through buying a car for someone else. Continue reading to find the best cars for sale for your giftee today!

Consider the Recipient’s Situation

Buying a car as a gift for a friend or family member requires significant research and consideration before moving forward. It’s vital to weigh ownership costs beyond the down payment and monthly premiums. The cost of ownership extends to the price of gas, insurance premiums, preventative maintenance, and unexpected repairs.

It’s crucial to determine that the giftee can afford all those expenses before checking out the types of cars they’d like. The cost of ownership will continue increasing as years pass, so consider those extra costs when picking out cars for sale. Reliability is a top priority for lower costs to maintain and own the vehicle.

If you plan to buy the car as a gift, consider speaking with the giftee beforehand to ensure they can afford to own and operate it. You’ll better understand their budget and what they can afford to find the ideal car.

Dive Into Financing Options

It’s also beneficial to dive into the financing options available when buying a car for someone else. The simplest solution is paying for the vehicle in full to eliminate the need for monthly payments. Auto loans are feasible, but you must follow your state’s laws while purchasing.

The best way to finance a vehicle for someone else is by co-signing with the recipient. Your name must be on the title, but you can leave it off the insurance policy and vehicle registration.

It’s also possible to have the car recipient apply for the loan. Consider that option and decide based on the best credit score. A higher credit score will help you get better terms when purchasing a car from CardinaleWay Mazda Mesa. After securing the purchase, you can decide whether to take over payment.

Determine if you can afford the down payment on the car before committing to the transaction. It’s best if you don’t put your financial wellness at risk on a purchase you can’t afford.

Know the Title Requirements

Knowing the title requirements will help you ease through the process of buying a car for someone else. Each state has different requirements, and you can learn more about your state’s regulations at a local DMV. Most states will only allow you to add the recipient’s name to the title with their permission and signature.

Some states will allow the car dealership to process the paperwork for the transaction and wait to sign the title until after the big reveal to the giftee. Communicate the situation to the dealership to get help with the car documents.

A dealership that knows the situation will use their knowledge and experience to help you navigate it. They’ll also help you list both names on the title with an “and/or” to allow either party to purchase or sell the vehicle at a later date. Work with the dealer on their cars for sale to make owning a car seamless for the recipient.

Sort the Insurance

You can only purchase a car from the dealership with proof of insurance coverage, so sorting the insurance policy should be a top priority. Compare your options based on the coverage’s value and the monthly premiums’ cost. Ensure the monthly costs fit within the recipient’s budget before making a deal.

If you plan to cover the cost of insurance premiums, it’s cheaper and easier to add the vehicle to your existing car insurance policy. You may save more money through bundling with your insurance provider.

If the recipient plans on getting their policy, you’ll need to temporarily put the car on your policy to complete the purchase. The giftee can pick a policy they like best after receiving the car from you.

Manage the Taxes

You’ll also need to consider the taxes involved when purchasing the vehicle as a gift for a friend or family member. You’ll face the sales tax on the car, but you can save money by gifting a vehicle of less than $17,000 to a friend or family member without needing to report it to the IRS.

The process still requires you to pay taxes on the vehicle, but you can save money with this buying method when filing your taxes. It’s also beneficial to sort the property taxes. Some states charge an annual property tax on vehicles based on their value.

Plan the Surprise

The last step to follow when buying a car for someone else is planning the big reveal. A car is a fantastic gift that provides freedom of movement and independence, and your recipient deserves a special day to commemorate a special event.

Plan the surprise and return to the dealership with the recipient to complete the process of signing the car’s title. It’s the best way to make for a memorable day.

Consider Buying a Car for Someone Else Today

One of the best ways to make a difference during hard times is by buying a car for someone else. A car provides freedom of movement and access to better job opportunities and education.

Finding cars for sale is the beginning of the process, and you’ll need to determine if you want to finance or pay in full. Notify the dealership that the car is a surprise for guidance through learning how to buy a car for someone else.

Shopping for cars can be overwhelming, with so many options to weigh. Check out more of our Auto blog content to find the best guides and tips for your car shopping journey!

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