Cars for kids upon college graduation

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psteinx
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Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by psteinx »

What have you done or do you plan to do with regard to vehicles and your kids' (college) graduation?

We're financially positioned to buy cars for our kids easily, but I'm not sure where my comfort level is on this topic. Our oldest is a college sophomore, so about 2 years from graduation, but thoughts and plans for what we'll do in 2 years may shape our intermediate decision making (additions/disposals from our family's group of vehicles).

FWIW, back in the late 1980s, while I was in college, IIRC, my parents paid half of the cost of a new, albeit relatively cheap, car for me (I paid the other half with summer earnings/miscellaneous income). I think they paid my car insurance too. Even though they paid half, I owned the car completely I think, and used it for a few years after college.
livesoft
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by livesoft »

Our kids have gotten "hand me down cars" to use at some point before college graduation. Then at graduation, we gift them the 13 to 15 year-old vehicle with 200K+ miles on it that they have been driving by filling out a form from the DMV and transferring the title.

We don't care if the child sells the vehicle then or keeps it.

No new money is spent on any of part of this transaction.
Last edited by livesoft on Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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IMO
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by IMO »

I asked the forum a question about high schoolers and driver's licenses. My conclusion is the vast majority on this site will get their kid a car in high school along with their driver's license of course.

I would presume your question involves kids that go to college and live on campus with no car? Did they have a car before?

I think there is a mixed view on 1st cars:
a) Get a used cheap car as one will get into a fender bender.
b) Get a reasonably priced up to date car with safety features such as auto braking since the kid is especially inexperienced.

There are other factors such as what type of job/career opportunities they have, how much school debt, where they will be living, how far is the commute, do they have some requirement to drive others and need a respectable car, your thoughts on car safety features/car size, etc.
MathWizard
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by MathWizard »

We gave each a car after college graduation once they had a stable job (one of our cars, and we upgraded without a trade-in.)
My wife insisted that they get a car, since she never got one. I bought a car on payments when I graduated because I thought I would
need to drive a long distance to interviews, and my old car was not reliable. (I paid 18% interest).

We paid for one month of insurance and had the insurance company bill them from then on.

Both boys turned out fine.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by bloom2708 »

Does the kid/kids have a car? Or made it through college with no car at all?

Tricky question. If you buy them a new car, then they will have to carry more expensive insurance. If they get a used car, they may choose to have lower coverage.

If they have a car with higher mileage, you could give them an option $20k cash or a $20k new car. Some kids might choose to drive the beater.

You could encourage the $20k to fill up their Roth IRA for 3.33 years. :wink:

Most likely you set them up with low/no student loans. If a decent job looks likely a "not quite new" car is probably the best route.

I enjoy a new car, but those first dings and the wear/tear can be tough to accept. You get a new car for ~3 months and then you have a used car the rest of the time. The warranty is nice.
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runner3081
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by runner3081 »

Guess it depends on your preference, do what you want and what you can afford.

I have never personally had a car bought for, or given to me and turned out okay :)
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by Doom&Gloom »

This obviously varies according to the parents' means and philosophies, but what we did:

I "gave" DS my 10 y/o Toyota during his junior year in HS. He drove it all the way through high school and college. And I do mean "drove" it. We never expected it to last him that long and had anticipated replacing it midway through his college years. Since we avoided that additional expense, we felt we could re-title DW's 3 y/o Subaru Outback in his name upon college graduation. He was thrilled, DW got a new car, and I continue to drive my 5 y/o car that I still like very much.

If we had found it necessary to replace the old Toyota prior to his college graduation, we probably would have re-titled that replacement vehicle in his name upon graduation. In fact, we had offered to replace it earlier, but he declined.

Win/win/win! :sharebeer
livesoft
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by livesoft »

I asked my son what all his friends were driving nowadays since they have graduated and gotten jobs. All except one were driving the same cars they drove in high school. The guy who didn't graduate from high school and got a great job at a startup in California is driving some $100K+ car and making more money than 5 of his friends combined.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I have not yet talked with DW about this but expect my thoughts will be agreed upon.

DS#1 graduates in May. Between transfers, summer classes and other things, his current requirements only require a couple classes per term so he's commuting (was on campus previous years) and driving one of our cars. I would expect he'll be fine driving this once employed. He actually interviewed today and was told an offer would be incoming. It's a long commute, but for New England, par for the course (an hour). Car he's driving is AWD with snow tires for the winter and gets mid 30's gas mileage. At some point, he'll buy himself a new $36k STi but until then, he can drive the Crosstrek.

DS#2 commutes to community college in another Crosstrek with snows, getting mid 30's gas mileage. It has just over 100k miles. He may transfer and live on campus after community college. When he graduates from there.....who knows. We have a lot of cars, so it's not going to be a sudden cost that has to be spent. 4 drivers in the family and 5 cars. All us guys are car guys and I could see adding cars to the fleet as tuition payments end.
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Broken Man 1999
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

One DD bought herself a car during the summer before fall university classes started. A Nissan Hard Body truck. She drove it until she needed a car as she was about to birth a baby.

DD at private university didn't buy a car until she graduated with her MBA. Another Nissan, an Altima.

FWIW, I didn't contribute to buying the vehicles, but I did cover the insurance until DDs were launched. Fortunately they launched quickly after their degrees were earned. And, since I couldn't come to their aid (though they always called me first) with car issues, I paid for AAA until I took their hands out of my pocket after they married.

They bought new, and drove them for about ten years.

DW and I are far better off today vs when we were launching them into life. I will step up to the plate immediately for the vehicle needs of the grandchildren, if needed. I do not want them driving around in a junker, lacking safety features. Parents should be able to handle, but DW and I buying vehicles could drain our retirement portfolio some as well. An advance on their inheritances, so to speak.

My father allowed me to purchase a car when I was in HS. A 1963 Rambler American 330 for $400. Had AC and it blew cold.

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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by cadreamer2015 »

We paid for our kids college education. We did not buy them cars, either in high school or upon college graduation. For one son we sold him my 10 year old Toyota Camry for the Kelly Blue Book value for a trade-in. The others have purchased used cars at some point after graduation from their own money they accumulated from summer jobs, gifts from grandparents, etc.

On insurance, when the kids were living at home they were on our auto insurance policy and we paid the premium. When they moved out they were responsible for insurance.
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psteinx
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by psteinx »

Part of what spurred my post was the realization that if I buy the kind of cars I'd prefer (new Honda Civics or similar) for my kids to use at appropriate/preferred times in HS/college, then there's some potential unfairness at college graduation time. We'd have extra Civics, which I'd kinda like to then give the kids (or perhaps sell them, at a very favorable price) as they graduate, but the age of these vehicles might vary widely - one kid getting a 5 years old car while the other got a 1 year old car or whatever. First world problem, admittedly.

Yeah, we could buy used Civics instead, but I think the sweet spot for these kinds of cars is new, and I'm a fan of the newer safety technology which can be hard to find in even ~3 year old cars.

Then there's the possibility that a kid ends up in a city where a car isn't really wanted or needed. We're in a midwestern city (not Chicago) - if the kids ended up here or in a similar city, they'd almost certainly need a car for work. But if they ended up in NYC, Boston, or the Bay Area?
123
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by 123 »

I was working for one company when a new hire, who had just graduated college, joined the organization. She drove to the office in a new sports car which had been a graduation gift from her parents. She acquired the reputation as the "Spoiled One" on the sly which followed her for at least the next 10 years I worked there. Her contemporaries all had older vehicles which they replaced as they could afford to do so (based on their own earnings).
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by TomatoTomahto »

livesoft wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:19 pm I asked my son what all his friends were driving nowadays since they have graduated and gotten jobs. All except one were driving the same cars they drove in high school. The guy who didn't graduate from high school and got a great job at a startup in California is driving some $100K+ car and making more money than 5 of his friends combined.
I don’t think any of my son’s friends have cars. They mostly live urban and take Uber/Lyft, renting for the occasional weekend trip.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

psteinx wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:29 pm Part of what spurred my post was the realization that if I buy the kind of cars I'd prefer (new Honda Civics or similar) for my kids to use at appropriate/preferred times in HS/college, then there's some potential unfairness at college graduation time. We'd have extra Civics, which I'd kinda like to then give the kids (or perhaps sell them, at a very favorable price) as they graduate, but the age of these vehicles might vary widely - one kid getting a 5 years old car while the other got a 1 year old car or whatever. First world problem, admittedly.

Yeah, we could buy used Civics instead, but I think the sweet spot for these kinds of cars is new, and I'm a fan of the newer safety technology which can be hard to find in even ~3 year old cars.

Then there's the possibility that a kid ends up in a city where a car isn't really wanted or needed. We're in a midwestern city (not Chicago) - if the kids ended up here or in a similar city, they'd almost certainly need a car for work. But if they ended up in NYC, Boston, or the Bay Area?
Well, if they end up eventually where a car isn't needed, they can sell it. If they end up in a big city, their other expenses will probably be higher, cash might come in handy.

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MikeWillRetire
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by MikeWillRetire »

We paid for their education, but we did not buy them cars. In college, they didn't really need one anyway. Both have graduated and moved out of state, and they still don't have cars. They work and live in areas that are somewhat walkable, and they get by with Uber and Amazon Prime.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by manatee2005 »

livesoft wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:19 pm I asked my son what all his friends were driving nowadays since they have graduated and gotten jobs. All except one were driving the same cars they drove in high school. The guy who didn't graduate from high school and got a great job at a startup in California is driving some $100K+ car and making more money than 5 of his friends combined.
Do you know how much money he’s making?
livesoft
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by livesoft »

I was told over $250K, but he started work full-time when the others were still in high school. He now manages a software group.
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NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

123 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:39 pm I was working for one company when a new hire, who had just graduated college, joined the organization. She drove to the office in a new sports car which had been a graduation gift from her parents. She acquired the reputation as the "Spoiled One" on the sly which followed her for at least the next 10 years I worked there. Her contemporaries all had older vehicles which they replaced as they could afford to do so (based on their own earnings).
Sounds like sour grapes, I wonder why she stayed at that toxic place for 10 years. Different people have different budgets, it has ever been and will ever be thus.

We bought the most boring cars we could think of (beige Civic) in high school, and transferred the title to them when they graduated from college. They turned out fine. My parents did the same for me, I must have turned out ok I'm on this forum a lot. DH's parents never bought him a car, he turned out fine also. So do what you and your offspring feel comfortable with.
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psteinx
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by psteinx »

FWIW, we have 2 kids in college at the moment.

One's at an urban campus (in our city, but she lives on campus) - doesn't need a car for now, but depending on her living situation next year, we may want one for her (safety issues, mainly).

The other is about an hour and a half away, and while he *could* rely on rides from others to get to and from home, we like him having a car there to come home a bit more readily, and also, because his campus has relatively limited amenities (for those not into the drinking/partying scene), he uses his car to go places locally, including archery (a hobby of his). I don't begrudge him the car, and his college is MUCH cheaper for us than his older sister's :)

So we currently have 2 vehicles for the parents, plus one used for now by my son. This summer, though, we may want/need another vehicle for summer jobs. And there are various possible needs/wants for vehicles not too far down the line (including a younger sibling in HS).
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Watty
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by Watty »

Before his senior year in high school we let our son have my wife's Subaru Outback which was about 8 years old and had a big dent in the door. This was before the Outback was as upscale as it is now.

Part of it was we did not want him catching rides with random teenagers.

It lasted him all the way through college and about a year after he graduated he bought a new Prius.

All the way through we paid for his insurance and to keep him under our umbrella policy. If he was in an accident we did not want him to be caught with insufficient insurance.

I don't recall it needing any significant repairs while he had it. I think one year new tires may have been his big Christmas present.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by Kenkat »

livesoft wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:05 pm Our kids have gotten "hand me down cars" to use at some point before college graduation. Then at graduation, we gift them the 13 to 15 year-old vehicle with 200K+ miles on it that they have been driving by filling out a form from the DMV and transferring the title.

We don't care if the child sells the vehicle then or keeps it.

No new money is spent on any of part of this transaction.
This is what we have done or will do as well.

We just transferred the title for Son #1 who recently graduated and got the 2004 Monte Carlo he was driving - low miles (50k), it was my mom’s car for the first 11 years of its life.

Son #2 is about a year out from graduation. He’s driving my hand me down 2005 Toyota Camry and will get that when he graduates. 135k miles but it’s more reliable than the Monte Carlo so its roughly equal and they both are happy with what they drive for now.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by mhc »

my DS got his license this year and my 16 year old CR-V. I got a new Civic. In 2 years, I may get another new Civic when my DD gets her license in 2 years. All the cars would rotate down. I then may do this again 2 years after that when DD #2 gets her license. My current thinking is that they will all have a decent car when they go off to college. I'm tired of being their driver.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Our son still in college got a Volvo XC70 when he got his permit in HS. I made it clear that it was a present to us (regret avoidance) not him. He still has it at college, in part because it’s a rural campus and public transportation is minimal.

We made it clear that if he is partying, or likely to be, to take a Lyft. Based on charges we see, he does so occasionally.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by ncbill »

Bought the kid still in college the used truck he wanted since his scholarship kicked in this fall saving me ~$40,000/year on college costs...though I told him that was his graduation gift as well.

Oldest just graduated & is currently driving a truck I'm leasing to see if he wants to buy something similar.
theplayer11
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by theplayer11 »

We encouraged our son to buy a used car with savings he had and my recently graduated daughter will need to get a loan on a used car. We thought a first vehicle should come from their own money..makes it more special IMO.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by Horsefly »

livesoft wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:05 pm Our kids have gotten "hand me down cars" to use at some point before college graduation. Then at graduation, we gift them the 13 to 15 year-old vehicle with 200K+ miles on it that they have been driving by filling out a form from the DMV and transferring the title.

We don't care if the child sells the vehicle then or keeps it.

No new money is spent on any of part of this transaction.
+1

This is what we did with our oldest. Once she was out of the dorms, she got to drive one of our old cars (actually, the one she drove while she was a Senior in H.S.). Then when she graduated I signed the title over to her. Years later she sold it for $5K, and bought a new car.

For the younger daughter (who went to the same out of state school her sister did), we ended up buying a cheap ten-year old car and letting her drive it until she graduated. We then signed over the title, and 2+ years after graduating, she is still driving that "Frankencar" (re-assembled from parts of two cars that were totaled).
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by fatcharlie »

I'm intending on buying a car for my kids when they're legally able to drive alone, just so that they can get some practice - driving is very dangerous. If I were going to give them something after graduating college, I'd give them money rather than a car so that they can choose their own trade-offs.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by Horsefly »

fatcharlie wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:03 pm I'm intending on buying a car for my kids when they're legally able to drive alone, just so that they can get some practice - driving is very dangerous. If I were going to give them something after graduating college, I'd give them money rather than a car so that they can choose their own trade-offs.
Some related thoughts:
  • Although insurance costs have been mentioned in this thread, I think most of us older folks may not really understand how much insurance costs now for anyone (especially boys) under age 21. Your idea of helping them get some practice is good, but they have to be insured. The generally recommended approach is to buy a real beater car: old and not much value. Insure it for liability only.
  • As I mentioned above, I either handed down a car (to our oldest DD) or bought an old beater car (for our youngest DD), kept them in our name and paid insurance until they graduated, at which point I signed over the title and they took over all costs of the car (including the insurance). I recommended to them the same thing I said above: Get liability insurance, but for collision and comprehensive, either don't get it or get the highest deductible you can.
  • When both my daughters were born, 529s had not been invented. I opened up UTMA accounts for both of them when they were born (1991 and 1994), and actually put money in every month for a few years. Fact is, even after 529s were invented I didn't know about them. So I just kept putting $$ into them, with the intent of using it to pay for college. Once I knew about 529s, I switched over to them, and just let the UTMAs sit. When they went to college I ended up having enough between the two 529s to pay for both kids. They never knew about the UTMAs, so when each reached age 21 (age of majority in Colorado) we gave them a birthday gift. The older daughter's UTMA was valued at $35K at that point, so I had to bump up the UTMA of the younger one to even the score. So they both got brokerage accounts at Fidelity at age 21, so immediately were learning how to invest. I've tried to teach them my methods (BH-lite), and they are doing very well investing more when they could (after Roth and 401K). Oh, and back to the subject of this thread: The older daughter finally pulled some of her investment $$ out to buy a new car. The younger one is staying on the cheap, still driving the frankencar, and now has close to $90K in her Fidelity account. Makes a father proud!
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by livesoft »

fatcharlie wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:03 pm I'm intending on buying a car for my kids when they're legally able to drive alone, just so that they can get some practice - driving is very dangerous.
I made my kids drive me around for everything. I basically stopped driving myself when the first one got their license. They drove my car, so they didn't need their own car. Plenty of practice.
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WildCat48
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by WildCat48 »

livesoft wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:27 pm
fatcharlie wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:03 pm I'm intending on buying a car for my kids when they're legally able to drive alone, just so that they can get some practice - driving is very dangerous.
I made my kids drive me around for everything. I basically stopped driving myself when the first one got their license. They drove my car, so they didn't need their own car. Plenty of practice.
I did the same thing, and whenever they come to town now I still make them drive me around. They get upset when I sit in the back and treat them like a UBER driver.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by livesoft »

WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:29 pmI did the same thing, and whenever they come to town now I still make them drive me around. They get upset when I sit in the back and treat them like a UBER driver.
??? What? You tip your kids? And you're polite to them? What is this world coming to? :shock:
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WildCat48
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by WildCat48 »

livesoft wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:38 pm
WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:29 pmI did the same thing, and whenever they come to town now I still make them drive me around. They get upset when I sit in the back and treat them like a UBER driver.
??? What? You tip your kids? And you're polite to them? What is this world coming to? :shock:
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by Katietsu »

-Inexpensive new car
-hand me down car
-cash towards new car and help selecting and negotiating the car with or without additional cash
-nothing

All are reasonable options, IMHO. How do you feel about helping children differently? Maybe your oldest would benefit from a car but your second kid needs help with the upfront costs for an apt in a HCOL area with no car living. Would you want to help each based on need? Or would you want to set aside a fixed number dollars for each to use to get started? I do not think there is a right or wrong answer.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by WhiteMaxima »

I bought a used Mazda 3 hatchback to my daughter in college. I told her to drive it until it breaks. Save $199 into her Roth every month. It is a very puppy small car and reliable. Zoom Zoom Zoom
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by LawEgr1 »

Note that I didn't read the responses.

I was the benefactor of such a decision, except in high school.

My sibling and I utilized a 'hand me down' 11+ year vehicle from our parents. That got us both through high school.

Upon graduation from High School we were given new(er) vehicles. One was a few year old Pontiac Sunfire, the other was a new Chevy Cavalier (because they were DIRT cheap new <9k).

Held on to that car for over 12 years and although it was an insanely cheap automobile, it taught me a great lesson on buying for value in a vehicle (A to B) and allowed me to spend money elsewhere in lieu of a car payment like many of my peers had. Sibling was the same way.

Of course, as a high school kid I wanted something 'cool', but as a few years went on and I went through college then graduated college I realized what a tremendous gift that vehicle truely was. Thankful for it to this day. Plus, everything seems like a luxury vehicle after riding in that Cavalier for so long. :sharebeer

Now, these vehicles weren't amazing automobiles by any stretch. They were unsafe by todays standards, loud, but relatively economical and moved us from A->B for over ten years. Mine didn't even have power locks, windows or tranny. I didn't have power locks and windows until I was 29! (Didn't buy my first car until I was 29 y/o)

Also note that our parents set identical cost limits on the purchase of the vehicle and any difference (i.e. if one was cheaper or not) resulted in a cash payment to balance out the delta. If one cost $8,000, the other $7,200, the max was $8,000...then one kid received $800. For all the goofy things my parents did, they always had 100% fair treatment with respect to $$.

So, my opinion, is that this is an awesome gift and I'd recommend it.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by GCD »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:41 pm I don’t think any of my son’s friends have cars. They mostly live urban and take Uber/Lyft, renting for the occasional weekend trip.
How do they date? Or is guys asking out a girl and then driving and paying for the date no longer a thing? Just curious. I'm increasingly out of touch it seems.
psteinx wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:56 pm What have you done or do you plan to do with regard to vehicles and your kids' (college) graduation?
Just as a data point...

My MIL has a car fund for each kid. I'm not sure what's in it, I think about $15-20K each. We just bought 2 new Subaru's for family use. Those go off with the kids to college in a couple years. Those will be their cars through college and revert to general family use during the summer. My wife and I don't anticipate using a car much during the school year. When they graduate they can sell the cars for whatever they get, combine it with Granny money and buy whatever they want.

We wrung our hands for a bit about basically giving them 2 fairly new cars, but fell on the side of "safety". We also wrung our hands a bit about spoiling them, but decided we were worrying too much about that. YMMV.
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

My youngest lives in a big city with good public transportation, and has no car either. Hasn't seemed to be a problem with social life, but has saved money on parking/gas/insurance.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by stoptothink »

NotWhoYouThink wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:09 pm My youngest lives in a big city with good public transportation, and has no car either. Hasn't seemed to be a problem with social life, but has saved money on parking/gas/insurance.
I lived in LA, Houston, and Mesa finishing school and starting my career with no car about 75% of the time, had no problems dating seeing as I am on wife #2. I did have a car when I moved here to Utah, but now wife and I share one (I walk/ride bike 99% of the time) and we are both working professionals (and have 2 kids). It's not all that difficult in many areas of the country.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by quantAndHold »

When the kids started getting driver’s licenses, we got a beater 1999 Corolla for them all to share. The youngest (now just out of college) still drives it. The middle one bought a car when she got a job she needed to drive to.

The oldest lives in the city and doesn't need or want a car. If they go out at night (she’s married now) they take a Lyft. If they want to go somewhere for the weekend, they rent. Much cheaper and easier than owning a car.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

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GCD wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:28 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:41 pm I don’t think any of my son’s friends have cars. They mostly live urban and take Uber/Lyft, renting for the occasional weekend trip.
How do they date? Or is guys asking out a girl and then driving and paying for the date no longer a thing? Just curious. I'm increasingly out of touch it seems.
I guess it depends on many things, but paying for a Lyft is an option. For reference, my son considered getting a parking spot for his bicycle (at the time he lived in a 5 floor walk up) and the monthly rent for a bike was iirc $200. So, not great for parking in NYC.

Kids find a way: subway, Lyft/Uber, walking, etc. Paying for dates is more democratic/shared than in the past.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by MarkerFM »

We bought a used Lexus RX SUV for our kids to share in high school (one grade apart). The older one took that car to college when the younger one left for college. When the older one graduated, the younger one took it to college.

We paid the cost of their college (expensive small top-tier liberal arts schools). They worked a bit for extra spending money. When the older one graduated, we bought them a new Toyota 4Runner as a graduation gift. Has kept it since and put lots of low-cost miles on it. Youngest one went the big city route and got cash instead. The cash was spent on dumb things and travel and is now gone. Both kids turned out fine. City child still doesn't need a car and makes 2+X more than the other one.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by earlywynnfan »

Have 10th and 11th graders. Both are/will be taking college prep programs at different HS 20-30 min away, plus both are taking classes at local colleges. We have bought both late model used Hondas. We don't want them breaking down, we want recent safety features. The goal is for them to be able to use these through college with some quality left over for them to start their adult lives. When the cars finally die, they will (hopefully) be in a position to get their own.

We have the ability to provide this without blowing our financial picture. Being two high-quality, money-conscious young ladies who so far are leading the kind of lives that make us very proud, we don't feel this is giving too much.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by Feb29 »

When both of our kids were halfway through college we gave them each a Honda Civic that was our family car. The cars were well maintained with about 60K miles.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

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In addition to the regular modern safety features, the Volvo our son drives can detect (so they say) pedestrians. He’s a very attentive driver, but with MA pedestrians who have internalized their “automatic right of way” to the point that they just step into traffic, whether at a crosswalk or not, without looking, I was happy to have this feature.

Besides being good for pedestrians, I wouldn’t want him beginning life with the burden of having injured/killed a pedestrian. The law that gives pedestrians the right of way, while well intentioned, has had unintended consequences. I have almost hit a few pedestrians, stepping out mid street at night wearing dark clothes, seemingly with a death wish.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Well, DS#1 has an offer and has accepted, so will start working after graduation in May. Commute is 50 miles each way. He did the math. We agreed that the best course of action would be for him to drive the family "extra" car. It's an 09 Ford Fusion with 85k miles on it (my mom bought it new and doesn't drive much). It was totaled last year and I bought it back. Since the commute is going to put a lot of miles on the car, it makes the most sense to use this car.

He will be saving to buy his own "fun" car. But the Fusion will be his commuting car.

We don't feel we need to buy him a car for graduating. We've already paid a 2020 Lamborghini Huracan Spider in college costs. And my garage lacks any Italian supercars.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by White Coat Investor »

psteinx wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:56 pm What have you done or do you plan to do with regard to vehicles and your kids' (college) graduation?

We're financially positioned to buy cars for our kids easily, but I'm not sure where my comfort level is on this topic. Our oldest is a college sophomore, so about 2 years from graduation, but thoughts and plans for what we'll do in 2 years may shape our intermediate decision making (additions/disposals from our family's group of vehicles).

FWIW, back in the late 1980s, while I was in college, IIRC, my parents paid half of the cost of a new, albeit relatively cheap, car for me (I paid the other half with summer earnings/miscellaneous income). I think they paid my car insurance too. Even though they paid half, I owned the car completely I think, and used it for a few years after college.
Why would you give them a car at graduation? Seems a lot more useful at enrollment. They can buy their own shortly after graduation.
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psteinx
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by psteinx »

White Coat Investor wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:34 pmWhy would you give them a car at graduation? Seems a lot more useful at enrollment. They can buy their own shortly after graduation.
It's moreso that I'm thinking of how many vehicles to accumulate, and what to do with them as the kids go through their HS/college years. One of our two college kids is driving, for now, a Civic that we bought when he and his sister were in HS. The other college kid doesn't need a car for now (but we may add one more car for the summer). I don't want to gift the Civic to the one kid now - we're shuffling vehicles around at the moment.

We may gift that car to one of the kids around graduation time, or perhaps sell it to them cheaply (half of KBB or whatever). Some of my reluctance is a question of how much support to offer the kids - there's a gradient line of lavishing stuff on kids at one end, and "back in MY day my parents didn't give me a nickel after I turned 18" on the other end.
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Re: Cars for kids upon college graduation

Post by wcinnn »

We bought low mileage cars as graduation gifts for 2 of the 3. One's 1st post grad job was in a place with no public transportation and one was going to graduate school where a car was handy. The 3rd returned to the city where we lived for her 1st job and used the car the kids had in high school. Plus each got a new lap top. Our kids are now near 40 and all successful, productive members of society. We too struggled with how indulgent to be but have found that as we saw they were serious, mature adults we've helped occasionally. We can afford it and it makes their lives a little easier. A word of warning - after college graduation while it seems that they should be essentially independent they sometimes need support until the first few checks come in.
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