Chivalry and Money: Who Should Drive the Nicer Car?

by TTMK on August 1, 2014 · 8 comments

chivalry and carsThere are so many quirky things about money and relationships. We each have different perspectives, some of which are of varying degrees of importance to people depending on the situation at hand.

How about this one: should it matter in a marriage who gets to drive the nicer car?

There is a couple I know that got married with each person having a car, yet one was nicer than the other. Both were apparently older cars, but hers had less mileage and was a nicer brand name. When they tied the knot, she kept on driving her long-time car and he did the same with his.

Fast-forward to a year after the marriage. His car broke down, and they decided that they need to get another car. They shopped around, and settled on a very nice used car with a popular brand name and low mileage. He paid for it (remember this). By the way, I don’t think the brand name really matters (at least to me), but it can affect the car’s value and the perception of it by some people.

Once they bought the car, her car which she had brought into the marriage was now the “lesser” of the two vehicles. The new car that they had purchased, while technically used, was now the more desirable of the two.

At this point, he simply expected to drive the car they had just purchased, while she would drive the car she had been driving all along.

She, on the other hand, had the opposite idea. Her expectation was that he would now drive the car she had been driving, and that she would get the nicer car.

He thought that her car was totally fine, she had been driving it, so it was natural that she would continue to do so. Plus, he paid for the new car, so it made sense to him that he should drive it.

Her view is that as his wife, he should want to protect her and display some chivalry. In her view, it didn’t matter who drove what previously, who paid for the newer car, and whether or not they had kids (they did not). She expected that as the wife, she should be driving the nicer and presumably safer vehicle.  Chivalry and money come into play here.

Needless to say, they didn’t see eye-to-eye on this particular issue.

So, what happened? Well, she ended up driving the newer car he bought, and he took on her older car that she had been driving.   It’s been a while since this conversation would have come up, but he rolled his eyes when talking about it. I’m guessing she would have too if she was present, but for other reasons.

My Questions for You

Based on what you have read, who do you think should be driving the newer car that they purchased?

I’m curious what your reasons are, and what role money and gender would play in it.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kasia August 2, 2014 at 2:18 am

I couldn’t help but laugh reading this. Of course the woman should get the newer car. I’m a woman so I may be bias, but the reason I say this is that I have seen it in so many relationships both new and old, is that the woman always seems to get the newer vehicle, it’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Whether this is fair or not is another matter. I’m not sure chivalry has anything to do with it though.
Given that this couple is married I’m not sure you can say that he bought the car, to me once you’re married money becomes not ‘mine’ or ‘yours’ but ‘ours’ regardless of who makes it. Last year we purchased a new car which I drive mostly while the other half drives an older Hilux. However, there are days when he argues he’s taking the newbie, and it’s his right to do so…that is unless I have plans to go out. So what are the reasons behind all this;
– the woman looks good in a new vehicle
– it’s safer
– it’s a status symbol
– a sign of love from the other half
– the man can’t be bothered arguing his case
Whether there’s any truth in that, who knows, relationships are funny things sometimes.

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TTMK August 7, 2014 at 12:09 am

I think there are many that would agree with the general direction in which you’re going with your comment. That does seem to be the way it is. Of course, whether or not that’s fair is another matter as you said. In that regard I think that some would agree that it still is…just because.

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Kathy August 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm

My husband had to drive further to work then I did, so he got the newest vehicle. For years, I drove the truck and he drove the sporty car. It got better gas mileage than the truck so him driving it the longer distance made sense.

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TTMK August 7, 2014 at 12:03 am

I think the gas mileage aspect is the differentiating reason (vs. the new/old issue) here. Drive a long distance, and mileage matters more.

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Tennille August 5, 2014 at 10:13 pm

I know that the post was about who should drive what car, but what stuck out to me was the comment “he paid for the car”. In my home there is no his or her money it is our money. So if they haven’t yet combined their finances and view their finances in that way then they have a fundamental problem. As for the car I agree with Kathy, whoever has the farthest drive to work should get the car with the better gas mileage.

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TTMK August 7, 2014 at 12:01 am

Actually, I do agree with you on this. Money should be shared, ideally. Not sure that this couple had the same approach, but I know what you mean.

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Poor Student August 6, 2014 at 12:18 am

In my opinion, he should be the one who drives the new-ish car, for the reason that it was his car that broke down and her wife’s car was still doing just fine. Nevertheless, I’ve never been in the situation like this though, so it might be just my ideal version of the solution.

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TTMK August 6, 2014 at 11:59 pm

I like how there are different viewpoints on this so far.

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