Difficult situations when buying a car for a family member

The other day on the TV show Pawn Shop, Rick (the owner of the Las Vegas shop) decides to buy a car for his daughter, she’s around 20 years old. So this became a sort of comedy segment for the show. He & daughter visit the used car lot, Rick tells the salesman “I want a safe, reliable used car for my daughter to drive to school. $10k is my budget. Max!”. So the salesman shows them a restored and hot-rodded open air vintage Jeep. $30k. Daughter looks interested. “No! Too expensive, not safe, not reliable”. Next the salesman shows them a $69K BMW. “No!” says Rick “She’s not gonna be driving a better car than mine.”

So Rick looks around the lot himself, sees a beater for $3300. Salesman “Rick must not love his daughter.” Next Rick sees a used SUV. Daughter “There’s no way I’m driving an SUV dad!!” Next Rick sees an econobox, $9k. Daughter: “It’s brown! yech!! No way I’m driving a brown, ugly car.” … lol …

In the next segment Rick comes back to the shop, looking like he wants to be left alone. The staff asks him what car he bought for his daughter. Rick “I bought a safe, reliable used car, nothing more need to be said.” Staff: “But kind of car?” Rick: “It’s a good, reliable, safe, used car”. Then the daughter comes driving up to the shop. In a one year old $29k Mercedes .

I’m thinking many of us have run into a similar situation. In my experience the sales-staff seem to pounce on this like it is a free hamburger sitting on the table, turning one family member against the other as a way of getting them to buy a more expensive car. Anybody else notice this?

No one ever bought me a car. I never bought any of my children a car. My children never bought any of their children a car.
I found good, inexpensive cars for my kids,but they paid for them. When they broke, I laid underneath the car with them and shower them how to fix them. None of them got a license until they showed me they could change a tire.
I had to drop out of school to go to work full time at 16. 3 of my 4 kids have 4 year degrees, 2 of them added a master. I have a grandson with a doctorate who is a professor. They all bought their own cars. My oldest son, the only non graduate, retired at 51 and moved to Florida.

I am proud as all get out of all of them. They all put themselves through school with scholarships, work study jobs and teaching assistantships.


She’s 20 years old. Go to work at the pawn shop or somewhere lese and buy her own car.

I bought my first car when I was in high school and paid every dime of it myself while working part time and summers at the local university. At the time I was making the princely sum of 1.25 an hour. Took home 84 bucks every 2 weeks and saved it al until I could buy me some wheels.

oldtimer_11 did the right thing and sounds like he raised some quality kids. My kids went through the same thing roughly. Due to school crap that was irritating to no end, we allowed my daughter to drop out of HS about 3 weeks into her junior year. She took the GED and nailed it. She was then accepted into OK State U at the start of the new year where she maintained a 3.6 GPA. She was given better scholarships than if she had stayed in HS for the rest of her junior and senior years.


No one ever bought me a car. Can’t say the same for my sister.


However, I think that most of us are losing sight of the fact that “reality” shows–such as this one–are almost always highly scripted. My best guess is that the daughter picked-out the Benz, her father willingly paid for it, and everything else that was depicted was placed there for its entertainment value.


VDC is correct . Things that happen on shows like this are not even worth talking about .


What model Mercedes did she get?

Yep, these “reality” shows are about as real as Bigfoot, extra-terrestrials, or honest politicians. In theory, these things exist, but no one has ever been able to find them!

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It’s a TV show. IMO, it’s a put-on. Rick’s Panamera is getting long in the tooth, he can just give that to her and get a new one. Maybe a Bentley GT this time.

During the oil crisis the wife was going after her advanced degree and would need to commute to school about 50 miles several times a week. We were looking for a small economical car but they were all too expensive. Then we spotted a 73 Lincoln Continental for $850. Sold. It was a fun car for her. Did a little body work and some repairs and when we traded it for our 81 Olds, I got $1000 for it. Our neighbor, the SAAB driver, called it a pimpmobile. I guess he was just jealous. I don’t remember the mileage it got but really not that bad compared to it cost about a third of what a decent small car would have cost.


Do Mercedes and reliability even go in the same sentence ? To say nothing about the cost to fix anything on a Mercedes .


Yes, they do, as long as you insert the prefix “non” before the term “reliability”.

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Didn’t you remove the shag carpet from the dashboard and rear deck when you bought the car? :wink:

No disagreement, that segment as well as most of the show was obviously at least partially scripted to make it more concise & exaggerated to be amusing. But the part where the salesman says "Rick must not love his daughter to suggest this old beater ", that guilt-trip sales tactic holds some truth in the way the car sales-staff strategize. I never benefitted from someone purchasing me a car either, but my parents let me use their 10 year old Ford econobox when I was in high school, something which was helpful to me and I appreciated. I expect daughters are more likely to be given a purchased car than are sons.

Teenage Son: “I’d like a Mustang”
Father: “Are you kidding? Get a job!”

Daughter: “Daddy, do you think I could have a Mustang? It’s really important. Please?”
Father: “I think that might be possible.”

Don’t forget the daughter also used the puppy dog eye’s.


George, you can be sure every word and situation you saw was 100% scripted. Who knows if any car was actually bought.

It’s like other shows, like “House Hunters”. In reality the house is already bought, and they find two other houses for the couple to “consider”. All fake.


Remember that movie “Say anything” . . . ?

I recall the dad gave his daughter a Ford Tempo as a graduation gift . . . needless to say, she wasn’t too excited about it :laughing:

When I was in high school, which was from 1993-1997, a Ford Tempo was a very common car, and many of the kids drove them. They were as comfortable and reliable as anything else that a young person could afford. I would have been happy if my dad gave me one.

Kinda like when someone gives someone else a dog? I’ve made it pretty clear for the dog’s sake that I just wouldn’t be a good partner so the dog would be better off not being rescued. I know my limitations.

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I think in the movie, the dad was considered wealthy, and as such, the daughter was hoping she would get a sporty car as a gift