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 demi-god


    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 demi-god


    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 603


    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.

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