Buying someone a car for a surprise gift even possible?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by coolwater, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. coolwater macrumors 6502a


    Jun 8, 2009
    We see such TV commercials during every holiday season -- a huge ribbon on the top of a fancy new car parked on the drive-way, and a loved one instantly becoming so elated. Sweet.

    However, every time I see such a commercial, I always wonder if it is even possible to buy someone a car without him or her knowing. Every car must be registered and insured so the owner of the car must sign a few documents before you drive it out of the dealership, right?

    Can buying someone a car as a surprise gift be really possible?
  2. d0ster macrumors regular

    May 3, 2011
    For sure. In all the commercials I've seen, its always been a husband buying a car for the wife or vice versa. So essentially you only have one registered owner on the car, that person being your husband or your wife, no need to have both as registered owners. Same applies to parents and their kids.
  3. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    It Used To Be

    I bought a brand new car for my (sadly now passed) wife in 1996. It did involve a certain amount of subterfuge, and like you say paperwork has to be signed etc. Contact your dealer, explain what you want to do, there used to be a way of exchange registration, but I'm not sure that still works.

    It was one HELL of surprise for my wife.....I hope you can pull it off!
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Pay in cash and don't tell the person you are giving it to. Simple.
  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    And That Gets Round The Registration

  6. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    Not sure how this works...can't you just buy the car as if it were yours and just give it to someone permanently (like your kids/wife) to drive?

    You just put your name and your recipients name under 'primary driver' under insurance. As long as they live under your roof (or even not) then it doesn't really affect it.
  7. boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    Transfer the registration at a later date?
    EDIT: I'm not sure how things are in England but in most places I've lived it's just a quick signature on a form and a stamp from the officials and it's done.
  8. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2010
    I've dove this for my dad. I went to the dealer, and negotiated the price of the car, paid for it and brought it home on dealer tags. After I gave him the car, the next day we went back and he signed all the paper work. Easy peasy
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    My Dad got my Mom a car for valentines day as a surprise. Basically he had it kind of like on a test drive over night or something, then after he gave it to her they went to the dealership to sign the papers.
  10. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire
    I'm not sure it's a good idea in any case

    You own a car for many years and everyone has a different preference. A much better idea is to give them a card telling them you will be taking them car shopping and let them pick what they want (In the price range you were considering). This is assuming that you don't know the exact car they want.
  11. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    If anyone wants to try out buying a car secretly to see if it works - I volunteer as a guinea pig.

    Anything in the Porsche 911 series would be fine. :D :rolleyes:
  12. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
  13. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006

    If it is a family member it is not so much of an issue.

    Parents give kids a car well the car is going to be in the parents name any how so not a big issue there. Hell my car is still in my parents name and never will be put into my name for both insurances and money reasons. It has been my car since I was 21 and I am 28 now. We would have to pay title transfer cost plus I would loss all their very nice insurance discounts. Originally it was put in my parents name because the loan was cheaper.

    Husband buying a wife a car, It is again who cares that it is in the husbands name. Insurance is again not going to car they will print out new policy slips and not care.
  14. i4Collin, Nov 4, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011

    i4Collin macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2011
  15. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    My wife bought me a Car for my Birthday some years back.

    They delivered to my driveway on a flatbed and put a big bow on it.

    If you have the money, they'll pretty much do anything you want...
  16. Rooskibar03 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    State of Denial
    Ive been selling cars for the last 8 years so I can answer this definitively for you.

    If you are paying cash you can title a car anyway you want. If it's to be a surprise purchase the car with all the paperwork on your name. Once you receive titlework you can put who ever you want on the title.

    Taking a loan or lease on car is a totally different set of challenges.
  17. Lilkrandle24 macrumors newbie


    Dec 18, 2017
    In my state, you legally cannot purchase a new or used vehicle above 10k without notifying your spouse first. It is impossible, unless you're not married and can hide cash like that.
  18. velocityg4 macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    One may already know their preferences. Many people aren't that picky either. They just want a good value for their money. Can't get a much better value than a free new car. I think most people would be happy with a car that is nice, new, reliable, safe, gets good gas mileage and has decent power.

    It wouldn't be a good idea to just run out and buy a car if you have no idea what they want, how they'd react or if they are very picky about gifts. Nor something absurd. Like a Corvette to a person with 6 kids they need to drive around.

    It all comes down to the person you are buying for. Many people hate gift cards. To them it just doesn't show any thought or care of buying a present. They see it as the lazy way out.
  19. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I don't think it would be hard, especially if you have the credit to secure the financing.
  20. Huntn macrumors G5


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    A wrapped box with a picture of a car in it and a message, let’s go get it. :)
  21. USAFA2008 Suspended


    Dec 1, 2017
    Same here!
    To be fair those cars are probably registered and insured in the parent's names.
    That would work until the dealer sells the color she wants
  22. Huntn macrumors G5


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I’m sure more of the favorite color could be located. :)
  23. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I've never bought a car as a present (but have bought my wife's 3 cars).
    I don't really think as gifts like that as presents. More like the stuff you you buy when you need a new one.
  24. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    This thread is over 6 years old. I imagine at this point that OP isn't still wondering how to buy a car as a gift.
  25. pvmacguy macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2009
    In what world does this rule exist?

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