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Graduation Gift Ideas

It’s that time of year!  GRADUATION.  Here are some great tips if you’re thinking of buying your student a car as a graduation gift.

(published by RoseAlexis on Yahoo!, April 18th, 2008)

“When considering an automobile as a graduation present for that special young adult in your life there are some tips to consider before making your purchase.One: Make sure that the vehicle you are purchasing is in very good condition, if not new, and that it has a really solid warranty on it. Many times this car will be the first one your graduate has ever owned and you want to be sure that they are safe in it. Make sure it has not been in any previous accidents, that upkeep and maintenance has been documented and consistent and that all items, right down to the seatbelts, wind shield wipers, headlights and turning signals are in working order.Two: Check with Consumer Reports and online forums from actual customers of the make and model of the vehicle you are going to purchase. You want to make sure that you are buying a vehicle with a solid reputation for performance and safety.

Three: Purchase a vehicle for more than its good looks. Sure, most graduates would love a brand new Mustang for a gift but other factors must be taken into consideration, such as what type of weather will the car operate in (Winter is never a good season for a Mustang or many other brands or types of cars), how many passengers will be in it regularly, what type of trips will be made (long-term or short hauls), if you will be purchasing a conventional or hybrid model (taking into consideration the applicable tax breaks that come with the latter), how much storage is need in the actual vehicle itself, etc.

Four: Make sure that you check both the heater and the air conditioner in the car prior to purchasing it, if it is a used car. Replacing or repairing either of these items can be very costly, more costly than most brand new graduates can comfortably afford, and driving without them can prove quite uncomfortable and even downright dangerous.

Five: If the owner of the car lives in a cold climate, make sure to have the dealer rust proof it. This can be done prior to pick-up or you can have it done separately at a place such as Ziebart. The job is warrantied and guaranteed to prevent the car from rusting in inclement weather. It is a wise investment, well worth the relatively small amount that is charged for the service.

Other factors that you may want to take into consideration, or not, depending on your personality, responsibility towards the gift and graduate that you want to take, and cost are what the insurance costs are going to be and who will pay them initially, how much it will be to purchase the tag and title, and what type of warranties are purchased (GAP insurance is a wonderful investment above and beyond a typical warranty, and often charged separately, that more than pays for itself should an accident of unthinkable proportion occur). You might also want to consider how many miles per gallon the vehicle takes in gas; this is especially true right now with the price of fuel rising steadily.

Purchasing a vehicle for your graduate can be the perfect gift for introducing them to their new adult life but exercising caution is always advised when doing so. Make sure the driver knows the responsibilities that come along with owning a vehicle (oil changes, engine maintenance, the aforementioned insurance costs, etc.) and that they must be aware of when these actions are needed and take prompt measures towards them to ensure the longevity of the life of the vehicle. Also, if the graduate is to live at home still, and rules will be in place for curfew, despite their newfound freedoms, be sure those are discussed well in advance to the gift giving as well.”