Post # 1
Hi Bees- I am asking this question for a coworker and I honestly do not have a strong opinion any way, so I thought I’d put it up for vote.
My coworker and her husband are pretty well-off. A few years ago, they bought a cheap, weekend “tool around town” third car. It cost around $5,000.
About a year later, they realized that they hardly ever drove it and it basically just sat in their garage collecting dust. Her sister lives in a big city and never had a car (or asked for one), but had recently gotten a job that required over 1 hour of commuting on public transportation each way, so my coworker decided to gift her sister the car. Her sister was very grateful and drove it everyday.
Fast forward to now – 2 years later – the sister is in a position to buy a new car and sold the old car. It’s worth about $2,000 now. My cowowker was surprised that her sister did not offer to give them the profit she made from the car. She wouldn’t have accepted, but it would have been nice to offer.
She asked my opinion (whether her sister should have offered to give her the money from the sale), and I can honestly see both sides. What are your thoughts?
Post # 3
Honestly, I wouldn’t think to offer the money for the free car. I would automatically plan to use the money towards the new car expenses. I could understand offering money though of the car was given and the person sold it within less than a year.
Post # 4
i can see both sides here but how you worded it, the car was a gift, not a loaner.
Post # 5
A gift is a gift. It would be nice though, if someone had a rough time gets some help that they do something nice for those who helped them once they are better off.
Post # 6
@Rouquine: I agree — it would be one thing if she sold the car really quickly after getting it, or if she sold the car and then just kept the money instead of getting a new car. But if she’s just trading in the old car for a newer car, I wouldn’t expect her to basically offer the trade-in value to the original gift-giver!
Post # 7
The car was a gift so, no, I don’t feel she should have offered the money or felt obligated to pay anything back. If the car had been only loaned that would be a different story, however. But the gift was hers to do with as she chose. What if it had been a necklace? And a few years later she pawned or sold it, would she expect her sister to give her the money back for the necklace? If she expected the money back from her sister, the car wasn’t a true gift.
Post # 8
I’m in the “a gift is a gift” camp on this one. If they had turned around and sold it the next DAY or something, I can see myself taking issue with it….but in this case, no.
Post # 9
I gave my dad a car once. He sold it and kept the money. I remember being slightly annoyed, but he reminded me that he had also put money into the car after I gave it to him, so I let it go.
Post # 10
If it was a gift, then no pay back necessary. My grandma gave me her old car, and when I sold it, I put it towards my new car, not paying her back. She would have looked at me cross-eyed if I had offered to give her the scrap value for her old car 2 years after she had given it to me. I’d say, same principle applies here.
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
I have to say after years, the car was hers (and I assume titled to her), so it was her decision. And I’d happy that she was able to afford a new car with the help of our old one.
Post # 12
I can see both sides and I think it honestly depends on what was said when the car was gifted over. Was it “Hey, you can use this car for the time being until you get a new car”? Because then it sounds like it was a loaner, not a gift. Or was it more like, “Hey you need a car, we’re not using this, you can have this one?” Because then it sounds like it was a gift.
Also, if the girl offered money when she first received the car and the money was declined, I would say that’s even more reason not to offer the profit b/c it’s more evidence that this was a gift and that if no money was accepted when the car was gifted over, why would money be accepted or expected 2 years later?
I voted gift is a gift b/c that’s probably what happened here.
ETA: As a PP noted about title – chances are if she sold the car, then the title was in her name. If the car was really just a loaner, then the car’s title would probably have remained with the original owners and just “lent” to the girl who was driving it. That’s not what it seems like happened here. I don’t think that the profit should have been offered.
Post # 13
I think the intention of the gift was for the sister to have a car, and she still has a car (albeitdiffer stent one) so I wouldn’t expect to be offered to be paid back assuming she still needs a vehicle.
Post # 14
I would have offered to give the money back. Even if I know someone will refuse, it just seems polite and grateful. But then again, I doubt I would have accepted such a generous gift in the first place, it would make me feel uncomfortable.
Post # 15
I would say no, because in this case the sister was using it more which means paying maintenance to maintain the car so technically she’s getting her money back on the car.
Post # 16
So if you gave my a purse for my birthday and I later decided to upgrade and sell the purse you gave me would you honestly expect me to give you the money I made from selling the purse you gave me? Uhh, no.