What to Know Before Gifting a Car for Valentine’s Day

Gifting a car requires more than slapping a bow on the hood and handing over the keys.

If you’re planning on giving your sweetheart a car for Valentine’s Day this year, know that there’s a lot of paperwork and financial information required beforehand. It’s a great (and grand) gesture, but know that this is a gift that’s far less simple than a box of chocolates.

Pay Off Any Loans
First things first, you’ll have to own the new car lock, stock, and barrel or finish paying off any existing auto loans before giving it as a gift.

Be Aware of a Gift Tax
You may have to pay a gift tax depending on the value of the car. If the car’s fair market value is less than $15,000 (the maximum the IRS allows as a gift as of 2019) when you give it away, you will not have to worry about taxes, but if it’s more than that, you will. For example, if the car is worth $30,000, you will have to pay a gift tax on the extra $15,000.

Transfer the Title
In the state of Colorado, you have 60 days upon the transfer of a motor vehicle to have the new owner either register the vehicle or present the certificate of title with an application for title to their county of residence.

Be Sure the Recipient Can Afford the Upkeep
A car is a generous gift, but it comes with the need for insurance and maintenance—all of which add up over time. If you don’t plan on footing these bills, make sure that the recipient views the gesture as a blessing—not a curse.

Make Sure the Car Is a Good Fit
Would you gift a vintage Volkswagen Beetle to someone who lives a rural, outdoorsy lifestyle? Probably not. It may help to take your sweetheart to a car dealership for a day of test drives to see what size and type of vehicle work best for them and their needs.

If you’re planning on giving a car as a gift this Valentine’s Day, make sure you come to Bighorn Automotive in Parker, Colorado, for any automotive repairs and maintenance needs.

What kind of car would you gladly receive from your sweetheart?

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