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Would you accept a new car as a gift?

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Poll: Would you allow your PIL to buy you a new car?

Would you allow your PIL to buy you a new car?

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#1 USANatalie


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Posted 13 February 2004 - 12:54 PM

My PIL want to buy us a car as we don't have one at the moment. The trouble is this makes me very uncomfortable as I was bought up to believe that I/we should earn the money to get these things ourselves, whereas my husband was bought up in a culture where giving gifts this large is considered normal.

The thing is, it's not that we can't afford a car right now, it's that my husband wants a sports car and my PIL want to buy us a BMW. Now I don't mind what kind of car we get, it has to be parked on the street so I say get some basic model normal car. I've tried to let my PIL know that I am not comfortable with this offer but they are trying to get around it by saying that they will just buy it for my husband for his birthday. As they see, we don't have one, they can afford it and we would be silly not to take it. In their culture whats theirs is ours anyway, my husband says when this happens in other Indian families, the child takes the car and then pays for their parents to go on a holiday or something a few years later when the "child" has their own money. But you know what? I'm not a child and neither is my husband. I don't know whether to kick up a fuss or just go along with it. At the end of the day I'm very uncomfortable with the idea and don't know what to do!


#2 ~Nat~



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Posted 13 February 2004 - 01:40 PM

At the moment I would say yes, provided I knew it wasn't a financial burden to the the person giving it to us. However, our car is about to die and we have absolutely no hope of buying a new one, so I guess that colours my decision a bit!
I don't mind the idea of accepting a big gift with the understanding that the favour will be returned eventually, as long as it's not held over your heads and used against you IYKWIM. I like the idea of families helping each other out and doing nice things for each other when they can.
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#3 Luca's mum

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 01:48 PM

Gee, this is tough! I have no idea what i'd do, like you I'd feel very uncomfortable and like to get assets on my own biggrin.gif
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#4 Kat


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Posted 13 February 2004 - 01:51 PM

I agree with Maria on this one, I would have absolutely no idea what I would do, I would like to think I could say yes without feeling uncomfortable but I doubt it.

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#5 ~~KylieB~~


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Posted 13 February 2004 - 01:57 PM

Geez guys, that is a tough one. I can see there point as to why they want to buy you one, but I can also see your point, I guess if I was in the situation, I would try and talk to my PIL and maybe offer to pay them back in installments. Good Luck wink.gif biggrin.gif

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#6 mookers


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Posted 13 February 2004 - 02:25 PM

I think it depends on the relationship you have with your PIL. Will they give it with strings attached (especially hidden ones)? If I thought they might use it as leverage in the future, I wouldn't accept it (if they say there won't be strings attached, I'd still evaluate based on what they're likely to *really* do).
Also, would you take care of it as if you had bought it yourself (for better or for worse, depending on your personal standards!) If I thought they'd expect me to treat the car differently just because they bought it for me, I wouldn't accept it.

Forgive me if I sound cynical here, but my background (my mum's family, anyway) is an environment where something of that magnitude is never done between family members without some sort of subtext and obligation implied. And I don't like to play that game!


#7 Callinda



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Posted 13 February 2004 - 02:33 PM

I agree - this is a hard one!

On one hand its a great offer, however there could be a few problems, especially like what Derek mentioned about them using it against you in the future ("could you please do this for us, after all we bought you a car"...)

I think it totally depends on your relationship with them. From the sounds of what your husband has said if you were to accept the car, then you would have to "repay" them in a few years. Personally though a holiday in return for a BMW sounds like a great deal to me, LOL!
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#8 Jane



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Posted 13 February 2004 - 02:46 PM

Personally if it was me I would just accept the gift and not make a fuss, but that's me and I was brought up to always accept gifts graciously no matter what because it makes the person giving it to you feel good, that's just common sense when your talking about a regular gift but a BMW is more then that. Maybe you can negotiate to get a cheaper car or ask them if you can go halves or something. But it in the end if they can afford it and they are giving to you out of the kindness of their hearts then there really isn't any harm in accepting it and especially if they'll be offended by you not accepting it. Maybe they figure that by doing a good dead and helping you out it will come back to them, like karma or something.

My parents still help me out when I need it either as a gift or a loan and they are always clear on which is which so there's never any confusion or guilt involved and if I was in the position to do the same for them then I would.

I think your being way to hard on yourself about this.
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#9 Mrs_Stevo


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Posted 13 February 2004 - 03:03 PM

At first I'd be really thrilled to receive a car as a gift, but I can see where you are coming from.

I tend to agree with Derek. If they later start saying stuff like 'well we did buy you a car' or start telling you how to look after it, where & when you can drive it then I'd be inclined to say no.

I've always been brought up to save up for what I want, I guess because my parents never had any spare money. Although they help us out whenever they can with other things.

I'd say yes accept the car, providing there is a mutual understanding.

#10 Anita


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Posted 13 February 2004 - 07:31 PM

QUOTE (USANatalie @ Feb 13 2004, 01:54 PM)
In their culture whats theirs is ours anyway, my husband says when this happens in other Indian families, the child takes the car and then pays for their parents to go on a holiday or something a few years later when the "child" has their own money.

I would be inclined to accept the gift, but make it clear at the time that you intend to repay their kindness as soon as you are able.

For me, I think my own feeling uncomfortable would be preferable to my making them uncomfortable.

I htink if you accept and indicate your intention to repay the favour they will also appreciate your understanding and acceptance of their culture.

#11 MrsV


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Posted 13 February 2004 - 08:05 PM

Well if I was in this situation I probably wouldn't accept the car. Only because it would come with strings attached and I'd be blackmailed with it for the rest of my life.

So really, it comes down to the type of relationship you have with them. Would they use it against you, and how would it come into play if you had a tiff with them? I personally wouldn't like the idea of "Well, we gave you a car, now we want a holiday".

I'd be a bit uncomforable with it myself Nat. I'm more like 'If we need a car, we buy the car and if you need a holiday, you buy the holiday'. Because it's a cultural thing it does become a little difficult however having said that, you've got your own culture and that needs to be respected also.

#12 hap2bme



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Posted 14 February 2004 - 12:37 AM

For me it depends. One question is accepting the idea of a car as a gift. The second is the type of car.

If I was in your situtation, unless we desperately needed a car, and they were offering to buy a basic one. I would not accept their kind gift, I would feel as if there were too many strings attached and I was being dictated which type of car I should drive.

But you are the only one who knows the personality of the people involved and the entire situtation, you are the only one who can make the decision. Good luck, hopefully all will work out the best for you.

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#13 Nat B

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 12:13 PM

I'd also be sus about what may happen in the future.
One tough decision for you to make, Nat! Good luck smile.gif

#14 USANatalie


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Posted 14 February 2004 - 12:26 PM

Thats the thing though, there would be no strings, they wouldn't think twice about it. They live in London so aren't in a position to say how we should drive or question whether we are taking care of it. There would be no ramifications down the track, it's just what they do, they see it as helping us, not as a way to control us. I just don't like the idea of taking something for nothing (they would never think to us it against us, they just don't think like that). I just have to keep discussing it with Ash I guess, he understands to a certain degree the way I think but seems to think that if we can have the car we (he) wants now then why wait?

grrrr, I hate stuff like this, why can't they just be like my parents and never give me anything unless I deserve it!

Thanks everyone for your advice, I'll let you know what happens.

#15 Caz



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Posted 15 February 2004 - 09:53 AM

Hi Nat,

This is a hard one. If it were me, I'd feel terribly uncomfortable accepting such a large gift. I've been brought up much like yourself and honestly, I don't think such a wonderful and kind offer would ever sit well with me.

Then you get into the whole repaying, holiday thing.

I'm not sure what your relationship is with them but if it's relatively good, I'd try and sit down with them and politely decline listing out both your partner's and your own reasons for not accepting while at the same time letting them know you're appreciative of their help. It would be important that they understand it's a collective decision of both your partner and yourself so maybe if you asked him to explain the reasons while you're there.

Good luck, let me know how it goes.


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