What's the Worst Automotive Holiday Gift?

With the giving season upon us, what would you hate to receive?

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Pink gift box, containing a 2002 Ford Thunderbird in bright yellow.
Be very, very careful when buying someone a car as a surprise.
Photo: Jpquidores, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons, IFCAR, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so they say. Now that Thanksgiving is over, we’re finally officially in the holiday season — yes, you can legally start listening to Mariah Carey now. But you also need to start thinking about presents, and what you’ll get for the wrenchers, gamers, and entirely normal adult people in your life. Perhaps more importantly, you need to also think about what not to get them.

Today, we’re talking about the worst automotive gifts; the most useless, impractical, or downright insulting presents that could be exchanged this holiday season. This winter, when you unwrap that final gift, what are you absolutely dreading to see?

December to Remember Car Commercial - SNL

My pick is a car, but it’s a pick that requires a couple qualifications. See, a car can be either the best or worst gift to give for the holidays, and it all depends on your relationship to the recipient. If you’ve got a freshly-licensed kid, just starting out, a car — any car — should be greatly appreciated, a peak gift that can never be outdone. Get the kid a ‘98 Camry, go for it.


But if you’re shopping for a significant other, a car is a major purchase decision that should never be made as a surprise. There are budgetary limitations, practicality considerations, even simple matters of taste. Please, involve your spouse in five-figure transactions.

That’s my pick for the worst automotive holiday gift, a surprise motor vehicle. But what’s yours? Leave your best-worst answers in the comments, and we’ll collect them tomorrow afternoon.