It is hard to know where to begin when looking to give away a vehicle over the holidays. In terms of insurance, you will need to pay equal attention to giving a vehicle for the holidays. It is going to be hard to get insurance on a car, since insurance companies do not typically write policies for someone without an ownership stake in the vehicle. When transferring the ownership of your car, you will need to get a vehicle inspection.
Your recipient will then need to present proof of insurance to their states DMV before they are allowed to register a classic or historical vehicle and obtain a new title. The gift recipient can expect to receive their new vehicle title from the DMV within several weeks after registering their vehicle. To make your gift official, you will need to give your car title over to your gift recipient. Your gift recipient will have to hold the title in order to become the sole owner of the vehicle.
You will need to get someone to sign your gift, if you are sharing the car title. You will have to give this document to the person to whom you are giving the vehicle. You, the one who is giving away the car, will be required to supply your signature, your drivers license information, and the cars odometer reading as of the current date. If the person to whom you are giving a car lives in a different state, then you must comply with the laws regarding the transfer of ownership of that state, which can be a little different.
If you have inherited a car and want to give it away, you will need to go through a probate court in some states, or just sign an affidavit in others. In most, but not all, states, recipients of gifts to donated cars are required to visit them in order to hand over their original car title (with all completed transfer information turned over and signed), as well as a fee set by the state to transfer the title. The recipient is not charged any fees, unless the gifted vehicle is valued at over $15,000. This means that there is no sales tax collected when cars are given as gifts among family members.
If a vehicle is registered in Maryland, an excise tax (6 percent of a vehicles value) can be waived when a family member gives you the car as a bona fide gift. When an aunt and/or uncle is younger than age 65, transferring the vehicle cannot be considered a gift, and excise taxes will be collected. Note if the gift’s (current co-owners) and recipient(new co-owners) all fail to fulfill relationship requirements, then the vehicle is not considered a gift and excise tax will be charged to the new owner(s). To qualify as a gift, money or a precious good, including services, cannot be exchanged for a vehicle.
If the possibility exists that a gift could be rendered unsafe by the vehicle, then the vehicle should not be used. You cannot take a tax deduction on gifts of vehicles, unless you are giving to a religious organization or charity. Before you can give the car away, be sure to settle with any lien holders. To find out whether a dealer will allow you to finance the car for a gift, with no signature required from the receiver, is a good idea.
Just be sure that the gift recipient gets a vehicle insured in their name, so that once you have given it away, you can suspend your own car insurance on the vehicle right away. If you are already on a shared policy, all you have to do is add the new car to the one that is already active. You may buy a vehicle under your own name, and then transfer ownership of the car to the recipient when he or she has purchased his or her own insurance policy. Keep in mind, the rules for buying an automobile vary from state to state, and may require your recipient to be present in order for you to transfer ownership of the car.
The lien holder must sign off on your title certificate before you are allowed to send your car as a gift. Other state requirements that you should take into consideration are laws surrounding the delivery of cars for gifts to family members, particularly for cross-state vehicle transfers. It is simple to give a loved one, typically a spouse or child, a vehicle during the holidays by purchasing the vehicle in your name and adding your loved ones name. A note of caution, however, if you think buying a car as a gift will really make anyone happy.
If you are thinking of buying a car as a gift for your spouse, think that he or she might not be as appreciative of the monthly payments. Owning a car comes with many additional expenses, and if your budget cannot afford the insurance, gas, maintenance, and other costs and fees, it might not be the right decision to give them a car that could leave them in debt, even though they would have no obligation to pay for the vehicle. Also, if the vehicle is a family vehicle, then it is less a gift than something they have to pay off, each month, over the coming years.
As the gift-buyer, you might not know what kind of gift they would value or find useful. As you shop, you might discover one present your drivers absolutely love, but some automotive accessories may prove to be more dangerous than helpful. Many of our Associates are adept at determining what methods will work best with each gift — whether it is insulate homemade holiday treats, keeping delicate items intact, or finding the right way to pack an unusually-shaped gift such as guitars.