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Old 10-03-2015, 07:43 AM   #21
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I bought all of my cars as a kid/young adult. But my parents covered tuition and I was happy they could afford it. DW and I were in the generation that did better than our parents so we paid for the kids' education and helped them out a bit with transportation. I gave my son a 7 year old Chevy when he was a senior in college. At the time we were still frantically stashing away $ for ER and couldn't see buying him a new one. When his 12 years younger sister graduated (and we were FI) we bought her a new Toyota Corolla. I paid the five year note on it (excellent rate) and this thread reminded me that the last payment was October 1st. Woohoo, I can splurge on something or another.
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:06 AM   #22
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My folks gave us an old Chevy POS station wagon as a wedding gift. Most expensive car we ever owned, we couldn't afford to maintain it.

Since moving back to the US we've given our two old cars to nieces and nephews. Our children each got a new car as a college graduation gift, although DS has not yet collected on his (he moved to Japan). We have a 12 year old car that will soon reach the end of its useful life and need to figure out what to do.
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:30 AM   #23
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This is a timely and interesting thread for me as I have a HS senior and junior and have been pondering the car situation. I've been putting it off to see if a college car is needed and when. Some schools don't allow freshman to have cars, and the location of the schools may factor in if a car is needed or desirable. He is leaning to attending a relatively local college but we feel he would benefit from being on his own and living on campus which we would cover. If he stayed home, some of what we'd save in housing may go toward getting him a good commuting vehicle (factoring in our 100-200 inches of snow each year). Will have a better idea next spring. Or maybe I'd transfer the old minivan to him and let him make his own decisions from there.

The joys and challenges to transitioning a kid to responsible adulthood!!!

The older one drives our third vehicle, a 10 year old but very reliable minivan most of the time.
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:55 AM   #24
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I bought used cars for my daughter & son when they were seniors in high school . When my daughter was in college I gifted her my two year old GEO prism which she drove to almost 300000 miles when it died .
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:13 AM   #25
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DD and DS are only 14 months apart, bought well used Mazda hatchback for the both of them when they started driving. Can't recall exactly when but as they approached college graduation each got a well used Nissan as the Mazda had pretty much died at 160,000 miles. We were fairly generous with them as both had scholarships for all their tuition; we'd been saving for that so it was a big boost for us. Recently we bought a new car and as DD was repatriating with her family they asked for the 13 yo Acura we were trading in, we sold it to them for what the dealer would have given us. We could have just said, here, take it but it just didn't seem right since her husband makes multiples of what I did preretirement. We were shocked they'd be interested in beater given their past autos.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:47 AM   #26
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We have great kids....as an incentive we bought them each a new car when they graduated college. They were appreciative, took good care of them, had all the safety features and have replaced them on a timely basis. All have good jobs, not a lot of time going back to the dealerships for repair jobs as they get miles on the. On the other hand, my dw father has 245,000 on an old Chevy pickup he keeps for the family when hauling is needed......just got it polished, runs great and has original motor and trans...unbelievable
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:37 PM   #27
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I'm thinking about the new cars we gave our kids and how they came about. DH and I had one car for the family until the oldest kid got a drivers license. We bought a second family car, which she drove (she had a ten-mile commute to high school). She went to college carless. Second child gets his license, we traded in the newer family car for Civic that he drove. He went to college carless. When older child was a junior she had to live off campus (and also had a college job since freshman year that earned her (us) sizeable tuition credits but no $$ for her), so we bought a new Corolla for her. When second child was a junior he also lived off campus a little too far for walking to classes, so we sent him back with the Civic which he kept thereafter. Like I said, they have always been most appreciative.

Funny how things are different for people. My family only ever had a single car. DH grew up with multiple family cars and parents gave him a new one when he graduated from college which he sold shortly after we married and lived without a car (great public transportation) for a few years. I was 25 before we bought our first car--if someone had given me a car I would have fainted.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:55 PM   #28
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New drivers get into car accidents, it just happens. All of my "castoff" cars were sufficiently reliable to give to DD, but lacked the size and/or safety features we wanted her to have. That's still the case today--she's a better driver now, but also has a tot. Neither of the cars I'm about to retire is something I think they should be driving around in. Good enough for me, though.
We'll probably help her buy a car, another large-ish depreciated one with the new-ish airbags and good crash test results. She's not good about taking care of them, so there's not much point in spending a lot, but I feel better if she's in something relatively safe. Maybe another Taurus or a Malibu.
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:09 PM   #29
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When our DD turned 16 we gave her our daily driver. At the time the car was only about 4 years old and probably had about 25k miles on it. When she graduated HS about 18 months later, I offered to either buy her a new car or she could take the equivalent in the cash. She took the cash and kept the older car for another 5 or 6 years.
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:30 PM   #30
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I'm 56 and two years ago my mom gave me her 2001 BMW 330 ci convertible because she couldn't bear to sell it. I have yet to wreck it.
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:41 PM   #31
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My sister's last two cars were outright gifts from my Dad. My sister is 5 yrs older than I am...
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:50 PM   #32
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It's fascinating to see how different family's deal with this.

We gave our kids college educations, but made them buy our old cars from us.
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Old 10-03-2015, 06:28 PM   #33
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When our kids were starting to drive, they bought their own 1st cars. After all, a parent's help, financial or otherwise, suggests a perpetual warranty. Now that they are launched, we gave our discarded cars to them (1 each so far). Told them to do with it as they felt best. Didn't want to trade them and give the dealer a gift and didn't feel like going thru the hassle of selling them.

DD immediately sold hers and kept driving her 10 yo ride. DS still has his after several years. They'll get a bunch when we croak, so why not a bit now?
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Old 10-03-2015, 06:53 PM   #34
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I'm not a big fan of gifting cars to kids at a young age. (See comments about about wrecks). I've let my boys know that we will match them dollar to dollar if they save for a car (so they have to save half before they can get a car.) I've observed that kids that have sweated to get a car tend to take better care.

We'll let them have use of my husband's truck - when it's convenient for us. In other words - it's not 100% theirs to use, and we have higher priority over using it. But we'll insist they help pay for their insurance, as well. And definitely they have to pay for their own gas.

I am a very mean mom.

Upon graduation from college I can see gifting a nice used car.
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:22 PM   #35
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Daughter gets her license in June at 17 - planning on buying a 2/3 year old Toyota Rav4 or something similar. We want her driving something reliable, safe and with all wheel drive. She is very responsible and a hard working student. Goal is to have them (3 kids) graduate college with no debt and get them a new car - a good start in life.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:32 AM   #36
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Giving a vehicle or vehicles to kids can also depend of personal needs and geographical demands. We have handed down many vehicles thru the years, partly due to the fact that we can afford to change cars, stupidly every 5 years, but more importantly to where we live(upper Midwest), and long distances where the kids went to college, and no public transportation to bring them back and forth to our home. Winter driving is also treacherous, and nobody wants an unreliable car in a winter storm.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:45 AM   #37
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Each family is different. We have gifted 2 new cars to my daughter. Paid for her education, expensive wedding, recently gifted a substantial amount of stock to her which will be used for a down payment for their first house. She is our only child and this is not a material amount for us. She is a wonderful, well adjusted, hard working young woman, despite our generosity. I would rather give it to her now while we are alive and she could really use it, than when we pass away and she is much older and may not need it.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:46 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Birchwood View Post
partly due to the fact that we can afford to change cars, stupidly every 5 years,
Some folks might not think it's stupid to buy something you like and can afford as often as you want. I certainly have had (and have) cars that are older than 5 years old but it's been well over 20 years since I have kept a daily driver for more than about 3 years from the day it was bought new.
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:37 PM   #39
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Each family is different. We have gifted 2 new cars to my daughter. Paid for her education, expensive wedding, recently gifted a substantial amount of stock to her which will be used for a down payment for their first house. She is our only child and this is not a material amount for us. She is a wonderful, well adjusted, hard working young woman, despite our generosity. I would rather give it to her now while we are alive and she could really use it, than when we pass away and she is much older and may not need it.
We're probably in the same predicament. Since we were blessed with assets and ability to help, we rather give help now at the most critical part of their young adult life, see how it work out, rather than wait until we're gone. Obviously, there are limits, and she knows it.
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:41 PM   #40
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Some folks might not think it's stupid to buy something you like and can afford as often as you want. I certainly have had (and have) cars that are older than 5 years old but it's been well over 20 years since I have kept a daily driver for more than about 3 years from the day it was bought new.
It was just easier to dispose of something, when I knew, I could just easily withdraw money to pay for a new car, without batting an eyeball. The need was there so we just decided to give and get a new one. Now that I'm ER, things have change.
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