If you're considering slipping the keys to a brand-new car under the tree, you have a daunting task ahead of you.
Not only do you have to find the perfect car, it must be paid for, titled and insured without tipping off the object of your affection. On top of that, you somehow have to get it home late on Christmas Eve with a big red bow mounted on the roof.
Advertising campaigns such as Lexus's “ December to Remember” have helped drive both holiday sales and car gifting in general. Lexus started the campaign in 1998 and has turned December from its worst sales month into its best.
According to Oregon-based CNW Marketing Research, more than 17,000 new cars and 41,890 used vehicles were given as gifts in 2010.Spokesperson Allison Takahashi says Lexus doesn't keep statistics on the number of vehicles given as gifts, but one dealer, Jack McCartney, told The Philadelphia Inquirer last Christmas that he had 10 or 12 vehicles already paid for that were sitting out back waiting to be picked up on Christmas Eve. Graduations and anniversaries rank high as car-giving occasions as well. If you are considering taking the plunge, you will need to be both sneaky and thorough. You can't leave a shiny new car at risk, even in the few days between when you buy the car and when you hand over the keys. (See “ How to insure a new car.”)