What Do Y'all Think About This?? (Buying a Car)

Updated on December 11, 2011
J.J. asks from Dallas, TX
15 answers

hi guys, my ridiculously thoughtful & generous uncle has decided to help me purchase a car. i didn't ask or EVER even incinuate (sp) that i wanted or needed one. mine's got over 200,000 miles on it & does have frequent costly repairs (approx $600 every 2-3 ms). i guess b/c i'm a single mom & such he's showing me pity by helping me out, lol. he said he'd cosign...again, i NEVER asked him, i swear. they day he told me i had tears in my eyes - omg! how wonderful! well, he thinks he can get the pymnt to something i can afford, but i haven't quite done the budget yet to ensure i can afford it plus the full coverage insurance. he's picked out a 2011 ford focus. mine's a 2001! i was ecstatic! but....IF/WHEN i purchased a new-to-me car, i was planning on buying an '06 or '07 honda or toyota, just so i knew they'd last longer. should i say anything?? i hate to seem ungrateful for crying out loud but i will be paying for it, not him. i work full-time at a stable job. he's cosigning for a lower interest rate. what do y'all think?? by no means am i ungrateful or do i want to appear ungrateful....but i wish i could CHOOSE the car i was gonna buy. b/c he just called one day & said he's working w/a dealer he's bought several cars from, i'm thinking of purchasing a 2011 ford focus w/this pymnt per month, and i'll cosign for you for a better pymnt. it was all delivered to me kind of as "this is what we're gonna do".
PLEASE beleive me, i'm so thankful & excited at the prospect of a reliable car. i don't care about color, radio, auto anything - i'm serious! but...i just thought when i bought a new car it'd be honda/toyota. i shouldn't probably say anything, huh? what do y'all think?

thanks :)

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So What Happened?

well, so i also thought this was a controlling way to go about helping me. but today he called me and said he & my aunt would be GIVING me the car....yes GIVING it to me. i pay insurance of course, but OMG, i can't even imagine! i am so thankful!
i was very hesitant on his initial terms so i really appreciate everyone's advice b/c y'all are right i CAN'T afford a car pymnt, which is why i was personally saving up CASH for my own car, just hadn't gotten there yet.
anyway, what a tremendous blessing this will be if everything works out. God is SO GOOD! :)

Featured Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

I had a Ford Focus and it was great until 80,000 miles then started falling apart. Now I have another Honda Civic and expect it to last a whole lot longer.

So, tell him thank you but no thanks.

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answers from Atlanta on

You may just want to mention casually that you are so grateful for his help but you don't have to have a brand new car - a four or five year old dependable car would be fine for you. He may blow it off, but at least you would be throwing it out there in a nice way.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Is there a reason that you can't qualify to purchase on your own, on your own terms? If there isn't, then thank him profusely, but decline the offer. Please share with him your reasons, though. Tell him straight up front, that you are SO grateful that he made such a generous offer, but that you had been planning to purchase a "new to me" (used) vehicle of ___ brand because you have researched their reliability, cost to own, etc, and that you really are not prepared at this time to make payments on a more expensive vehicle. That you think it is unwise of you to commit to something that is not in your budget, however generous the offer for him to co-sign is. YOU will be the one paying for it, and putting gas in it, and paying the insurance costs on it, and repairs when they eventually need to be made.
If you think an older different model/make vehicle is a better fit for you, don't change your mind b/c he has offered to co-sign. Just don't.
If he offered to GIVE you a vehicle, then heck yeah... don't look a gift horse, ya know? But you will be PAYING for what you buy. It isn't a gift. The only real gift is that if you default, the DEALER gets paid. And maybe you shave one percent off the interest rate. But if you can't afford it without the interest rate being shaved, then you can't afford it period.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm a fan of Ford products.
What I'm not a fan of it tying your finances to a family member.
If he wants to GIFT you a car--fine. But to co-sign? Nope. Bad idea.
Holiday dinners will taste different when you're indebted to him.
See--it's already starting--you feel reluctant to tell him your real request.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

If you are going to be making the payments, definitely say something, BUT be prepared for push back and the possibility that he may back out. You have to be happy with it too. Maybe the dealer could look at getting a Honda or Toyota from a trade in or sister dealership and that way your uncle could still be using the dealer he's used before.

Negotiations with the dealer should be made on the total cost, not the payments. Dealers can make your payments be whatever you need by adding months to the loan, but that doesn't help you at all. I hope this works out for you!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

I would do a pro/ con list. Then go from there.

the cost of both.
The extra taxes each year registering it.
The monthly payments
The length of payments
The insurance
The cost of repairs to the vehicle in 1 yr, 5yrs, 10yrs.
What car will last longer
Gas milage.
You get the idea. See what car will be better for you in the long run, then take all the info to him and present it with your final decision if you choose to go with the car of your choice instead of his.

But are you going to be able to keep affording the repairs on your car if he chooses to back out of helping you right now by not going with his choice? I guess that would be one of my biggest factors in my decision.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It doesn't sound like you can afford a new car. Please see Dave Ramsey website... and get his book. His advise would be to just keep your clunker... putting money into the car to keep it going... while you... save $1000 for emergencies (i.e. repair bills), get out of debt, and save money to bump up to a newer used car.

Then... save up more money to bump up to a newer used car... then save up money to bump up to a newer used car. Do it in stages and you'll have NO CAR PAYMENT!

Just keep trading up... as you've saved cash for it. The used car market is very strong right now... you can usually get out a lot of what you buy one for.

It will be quicker than you thought. Just think... if the payment your uncle is arranging is say... $300. Don't buy that car... but start putting aside $300 each month. If you can't do it... then you'll be VERY happy you didn't commit yourself to that loan and ruin your Uncle's credit. If you CAN do it.. then at the end of 6 months, you'll have $1800 you can use to bump up to a slightly newer car than you have. Keep doing this... and every 6 months or so... you can bump up. You'll find you are watching for used car deals all the time... so you'll find a good deal and do it on your own terms.

Don't be pressured into something you can not afford.

Broke people don't buy new cars... when they do... they just get broker.

Be smart and get your financial situation in good standing and you'll feel better all the way around.

Thank your uncle... but tell him you'd rather him buy you the Dave Ramsey Money Makeover book for Christmas... $10 right now on their website.

Best of luck to you...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

older vehicle, shorter loan terms & higher interest rate


new vehicle, longer loan terms & lower interest rate

Sometimes when you compare the 2 situations, you end up with payments which are similar in amount. My vote would be for the newer vehicle - new warranty & more payback. Yes, you're paying more in the long run...but you have "new", not something headed for the repair shop.

& I recommend honesty with your uncle....let him know your feelings upfront. It never pays to hide genuine emotions.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think it's uncool when people offer to "help" or be generous, and then you find out that, unfortunately, they want things done on their terms. It just seems like a control thing, that there are strings attached, etc.

Personally, I wouldn't want to be responsible to anyone for 5 years, let alone deal with a high car payment for that amount of time. It doesn't give you any breathing room. What if the car breaks down after the warranty's out? You'll still have to make car payments & fix the car, plus have a the higher insurance policy. I am not pro-car payment.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from El Paso on

If you want to get an 06 or 07 then maybe you can imply that or just simply imply for the type of car you would rather have. The best way to do that would be to go along for the shopping. And if you feel uncomfortable with the payments, let him know his credit may be in danger if you proceed with the signing. Just remember to be polite about it and im sure you'll be ok.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My sister's in-laws did this too. They now have 2 newer cars that they cannot afford. They make (well he makes) about $1200 a month. Their trailer payment is $400, and their car payments are $600. That leaves them with about $200 for food and bills. They are always broke as heck! She has back problems and can't work and they are on food stamps.
DON'T DO IT!! Gently explain that you simply can't afford that car (he'll be grateful in the long run especially if you can't pay it and it goes on HIS credit). Look for what you can comfortably afford.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I'm an insurance agent in AZ. Honda's are high theft vehicles so the insurance will probably be highest on them. Get the VIN from each car you are considering and call it in to your insurance agent/company so they can quote it for you. It may make a huge difference in determining what you want to buy and the big picture of what you will have to pay for. Congrats and good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'd simply explain that you want a truly reliable, quality car. Get a Honda. You will save sooo much money in the long run.



answers from Dallas on

I have been in a similar situation - with my mom only she bought a van for me. From what I read, he did not offer to just co-sign for a vehicle - he had worked out a great deal with someone he trusts on a really good car and offered to cosign on that one for you......that said, if you want to go see what it would be for what you are 'wanting' then do, and compare...I guarantee it will not be a good a deal - it is the end of the year and dealers want to get those new cars off the lot so they have the incentive to really deal....to me it is whether you want a new Ford Focus with a low interest rate or stay with what you have as he did not just offer to cosign....me? I would take the car.....probably less than $200/mo

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