There are some occasions in which cars can be gifts. Say, you turn 16 and your parents give you the hunk of junk in the garage that barely runs. Or you’re on The Price is Right and Drew Carey tells you you’ve just won one. Other than that, the image — popularized by commercials — of a new car with a giant bow on it sitting in the driveway on Christmas morning are nothing more than an attempt at inception by ad wizards.
As The Dog Ate My Wallet points out, spouses who give one another cars aren’t really giving gifts. They’re unilaterally making colossal financial decisions and most likely plunging one another into five years of debt.
There are no doubt exceptions to this rule, but by and large, the car-as-a-gift move is just an evolution on what you tried when you were seven and bought your mom a Man-At-Arms action figure that you reserved the right to borrow and store in your room.
Annual Rant: Cars are NOT Gifts [The Dog Ate My Wallet]