25 August 2014

Car Purchasing 101: How to convince your significant other

It's hard to tell your significant other that you want to buy another car when the garage is packed full, or perhaps when you have unfinished projects and the house could use a few repairs. Time and time again the phrase “It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” has proven to be a myth, leaving many poor souls trapped between a rock and a hard place. How should you approach the situation, you ask? Well, as an avid car gal, I’m here to shed some light on the issue.

Make your case: If you have to, write it all down. Listing the reasons why you want the car — why you deserve to have this particular car — will show him or her how much you really need it.  You only live once, and you work hard every day to take care of the family; a classic car is the ultimate reward for a job well done. Most importantly, don’t forget to slip in a heart-melting “because I love you.”

Acknowledge concerns: Your significant other is sure to have concerns; otherwise you wouldn’t be searching for ways around them! Budget, space and life events such as a child’s wedding or even a baby on the way have the potential to derail your attempts to purchase your dream classic.  Try to preempt any concerns that he or she may have, and explain your solutions in a non-argumentative sort of way. Have a shield ready in case this step backfires.

Prove that it is an investment: Show your better half the trending values of the vehicle in question using Hagerty Valuation Tools and indicate that your "sweat equity" will build an additional asset for your family.

Tell them it’s really for both of you: Let him or her know it’s not just for you; it’s a way for the two of you to spend time together by getting out of the house to enjoy a cruise. Also, if you have children, imagine the influence a classic could have on their lives!

And most importantly: Never, ever add up the receipts. You must never lie, but if you’re asked how much you have invested in the car, you need to be able to honestly say: "I don't know, dear; I haven’t totaled the receipts."

19 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Jeff G Boynton Beach, FL August 27, 2014 at 15:45
    We were living in Detroit when the Dream Cruise was born. The first year we went in our mini-van, the second year we rode in the back seat of a friends '50 Ford. The third year I looked at my wife and she told me to buy something so that I wouldn't pester her any more. Still have that '66 Impala!
  • 2
    John Plainview TX August 27, 2014 at 16:52
    I still recommend going with "easier to get forgiveness" , it is much quicker____ :):):):):)
  • 3
    Denise N Minneapolis, MN August 27, 2014 at 17:04
    If my husband is selling a car and the prospective buyer says he has to ask his wife if he can buy it, my husband says "Good, because I have to ask mine if I can sell it"!
  • 4
    Paul Holliday Bluffton, SC August 27, 2014 at 18:05
    I like the comment from Denise in Minnie. My wife and I have always had a muscle car of some sort (GM). She puts up with me on these and has never had a problem with my purchases as long as I don't have too many at one time. The way that she puts me in the hot seat before any purchases is when we discuss a potential purchase she says if you really want it - buy it. That puts the whole monkey on my back for the decision.
  • 5
    Jim Proper Charlotte, NC August 27, 2014 at 18:32
    When I showed her the used Porsche 911 Carerra 2 cabriolet, she said that it was very nice, but that we had two kids to put through college. "Why don't we wait?" Ten years later... we bought another nice Porsche. My plate: "2KDSLATR. " After the past 11 years with it I'm getting ready to move up to the wide body with turbo suspension and brakes, but not the turbo maintenance expenses or the weight of the 4WD system.
  • 6
    Bruce Connecticut August 27, 2014 at 18:51
    I have been 'trickling' info to the wife about the Porsche that is being resold. It comes out of the body shop tomorrow night. We may make it to Lime Rock this weekend with it..... The 'keeper' is on my lot at the office, ready for the body shop. The 'plan'..... Take the profit from the first one to make the second one cheaper.... And after. Owning it for a few summers, sell it and recoup the funds.... Also, look how reasonable the Hagerty insurance rates are!!!
  • 7
    hal simi valley, ca August 27, 2014 at 19:35
    Just buy one for your 'other' - then the conversations turn to who gets to use the budget for parts and maintenance, not can we have another car. Problem solved.
  • 8
    Scott Fisher Tualatin, Oregon August 27, 2014 at 19:44
    Not an issue here. As I was looking over the list of things I wanted to do to prepare my '96 Miata for the upcoming 25th Anniversary event, I questioned whether it might be less work and expense to just find a car that already had what I wanted (new interior, fender repair, replace the track-day suspension with something more suitable for a 750-mile drive). About a week ago my wife texted me photos of an M Edition for sale near our daughter's work. "You should buy this one," she said. "It's already got everything you wanted done to yours, and it's in great shape." It's in the driveway now, ready to take to Laguna Seca next weekend. It'll be a while before the Miatas are old enough for Hagerty, but when the time comes I'll add them to the policy with my classics.
  • 9
    Charles Lutz United States August 27, 2014 at 21:09
    I just added my second "classic" car and I use that term liberally, a 98 Z 28 Camaro convertible, and during the on going discussion with my wife of 37 years, she woke up one morning and said life is too short and there is no guarantee of tomorrow so go for it, I was both surprised and very happy.
  • 10
    Larry B United States August 27, 2014 at 21:35
    I used the excuse of the car being hers because it had a back seat so the grand kids that live with us can ride in the back seat and not in the front. This car is a 1948 Plymouth Deluxe Sedan four door. Some how it worked and I got the car although I had to put seat belts in it.
  • 11
    Natalie C. Rochester, NY August 28, 2014 at 20:24
    I am the one who had been looking for a classic, but my husband was the one who spotted "Margaret ", our 1966 Ford Thunderbird, just a few blocks from our house. When we went over to look at her, and I saw what great condition both the exterior and interior was in, I said if it starts, I'm making an offer. That was a Saturday, by Tuesday, she was in our garage You just have to want it. And Margaret won her first trophy at an all T Bird show in Buffalo recently. Not bad for the second year on the road
  • 12
    Suzanne C Dallas, TX August 28, 2014 at 10:20
    I've wanted a 67 Galaxie since I was a kid. My husband loves early tbirds. We have the luck of living a couple of miles from Minter's Early Birds, internationally known for tbird restoration. It's easier to get parts for a tbird, so I decided on a 1957 in great condition and when I approached my hub about the purchase he didn't think it was a good idea. We both have worked hard all our lives and have no kids. All I had to say was, dear, I have not asked you for trips, jewelry or expensive clothes in our 24 years, together - actually have never asked for a thing - but now I want this car. That did it! Love my willow green tbird and I drive "Lucy" most evenings. Very happy to have made that purchase! I'm learning a lot about classic car maintenance and enjoying it!!
  • 13
    Tony K. Hamburg, NY August 28, 2014 at 10:54
    Five years ago, my son, who was living in Washington DC at the time, asked me to help him find a 1980's BMW convertible. I looked on line for eight months before I found "the one" owned by a "meticulous BMW lover" located in Chicago. New top, new water pump, new tires, etc., and the pictures were terrific. I spoke with the owner and when my wife got home I excitedly told her I found a car for us! (The next one I find like this will be for my son). She thought the on line pictures looked great, but said "We still have two kids in college" I retorted with, "But the cost of this classic is just three months tuition". Negotiations slowed a bit--I debated whether or not to use this strategy (the year before I had open heart surgery)--then I just looked at her pointed at my chest and blurted out "Who knows how long I've got"!! That is the only time I have ever played that card, but for the past five years we have been the proud owners of a 1987 BMW ic !!
  • 14
    Mr Gale Meier Boring, Oregon August 28, 2014 at 11:49
    very important to get Your Spouse involved, that way the whole family can enjoy the hobby, 54 yrs. of marriage taught me things.
  • 15
    Jonathan H Mount Hope Alabama August 28, 2014 at 12:35
    The old question of wants getting in the ways of needs. It's like I want to work on my 77 Bronco but I need to work on the wife's 84 Mercedes 500SL euro. Once you become a two classic car family it becomes much more fun; always need a his and hers so that the race to and from the car shows become a little more interesting. I am blessed with an awesome understanding wife that is not afraid of a little hard work or grease on her hands. Do we always get what we want? No - but at the end of the day we are blessed with what we have....old classics, dirty hands and each other.
  • 16
    Brian Gould Ontario August 29, 2014 at 16:10
    Geez. Whipped or what?
  • 17
    Frank Wichita, Ks August 29, 2014 at 10:38
    GREAT picture, but the chick holding the can of WD-40 with the new "can't lose nozzle" kinda kills the nostalgic value.
  • 18
    Jeff H. Layton Utah August 30, 2014 at 12:18
    I got my problem solved. After buying and getting halfway finished with a 56 F100, my the soon-to-be ex wife filed for divorce and left saying I spend to much on toys. Now I can do what I want.
  • 19
    Rusty Asheville, NC February 4, 2016 at 09:25
    It's like buying black guns, buy the same color and they don't notice. Make sure she has what 'she' wants to drive. Or, while on a walk, casually mention you've always wanted a GT40. Eight months later take her to the garage and introduce her to the car. She said "Its beautiful".

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