Which car to give?

We have a 1994 Honda Accord EX, and a 2003 Prius, both with 83,000 miles. The Prius has been perfectly reliable, the Honda
less so, but as far as we know, we have fixed all its glitches.We want to give our 24 year old son one of the cars as a college graduation gift. I drive the Prius. He drives the Honda when he is home, as he is 6’4" and finds it more comfortable. (My husband drives our newest car, a Rav4, which we are NOT considering giving.) Our question is, if we want the car to last through grad school and until he has saved enough money to buy himself a car - perhaps never, given the size of his loans - is it a mistake to give him the Honda? Thanks!

Not a mistake, it’s barely broken in at that mileage. But he is going to have to keep up on maintenance and repairs.

Give the Honda to your son. It’s the easiest to maintain for a busy young guy.

I’d give him the Honda. It’s the older vehicle. He likes it. It has low miles. It will be less expensive to insure.

The worst enemy is rust at that age. If it’s pretty rust-free, there’s no reason it can’t go a few more years through grad school.

If it breaks, you can shoot him a few bucks to fix it. Not a big deal. You keep the nice car. :wink:

Yes - the Honda. You don’t want to saddle a school kid with the extra complications that might come with a hybrid. If the Accord gets its basic maintenance, it’s true that it is barely broken in. It can be serviced pretty much anywhere by most any general mechanic and the parts are easy and plentiful. Once you get into a Prius, it can get more complicated and more expensive to have it serviced and repaired.

Give him the Honda.

Yeah, give him the Honda. You’d probably be stuck paying for that $2800 battery when it goes south regardless of which car you let him have. Since you’ll be paying for it, you might as well be the one to enjoy it.

The Accord, IF you have a good mechanic give it a thorough exam, and make sure all the maintenance is up to date.

How long is graduate school? If it is no more than 3 years, the Accord might make it. If he will take 5 or more years to finish his advanced degree, I would give him the Prius. The Honda is 20 years old, and any 20 year old car is near the end as a daily driver. Does it burn oil? What about rust? If the Honda dies in the next 3 years, will you give him the Prius?

Thanks everyone. Would anyone change his/her answer if giving our son the Prius meant we would use the Honda as a down payment for a new Prius?

No, because a 1994 Accord isn’t worth much in trade, so why bother? Give it to your son. If it bites the dust before he makes it out of school, then you can give him your Prius and buy yourself a new one.


I think that’s a bad idea

The Honda is a perfect car for a graduate student. Relatively few miles, relatively simple to work on, and not worth a whole lot.

An older reliable Accord or Camry is the ideal car for a student.

Not to mention that the Honda still has a few good years left . . . for your son, ideally

Give him the Accord and stash the “payments” for the theoretical new Prius in an account for when the Accord is not worth fixing any more, so you can help him with his next car.

Most of my friends are still paying their grad school loans well into their 30’s and 40’s and things are just getting worse. I was lucky I got semi-free education.

My vote is still for the Honda. Catch up some maintenance including the timing belt and it should easily last through grad school if not neglected or abused.

Eighty-three thousand miles is nothing on that car. Besides, a '94 Accord presents less of a problem when it comes to comedians at the university who may opt to mark a car up.