Mom drives nice car, Dad drives the old beater- true in your family?

In your family, does Mom drive the newer nicer car while Dad drives an older high mileage “beater?” Or does Dad drive the new nicer car, or both Mom and Dad drive new nice cars or does Mom and Dad share one car?

Since I have been married, I have always driven an older high mileage vehicle while my wife has always been the driver of the newer and better. It has become a family joke. She generally takes the kids around where they need to go, I just drive to work and back by myself. Of course in the evenings and weekends, I get to drive “her” car. My kids beg to ride in my old beater, they think it is an adventure.

Both my parents and my wife’s parents had a similar arrangement. I just don’t see the point of making car payments on a vehicle that I just take to work and back that only I ride in. I must admit, I do feel a little something sometimes when I, one of the bosses at work, am walking with one of the 24 year old newbies to the staff parking lot. He gets into his shiny 2013 Camaro and I get into my beat up 11 year old SUV. “Son, some day, if you stick with the company, you will be successful like me- hey do you got a quart of oil on you? it looks like my head gasket is leaking again.”

God no, quite the reverse, Dad always had the big new car while Mum squeezed us all into the back of her old mini.

This is my common experience in the UK. To the point where my partner (we are both women) has started a new job that comes with a big posh Lexus, and we joke that she has the ‘Dad’ car.

My parents always drive cars that are within a couple years of each other. I don’t think they’ve had a loan on a car since the early 90’s. Dad always wrote a check for his, and Mom did loans but they were 0% interest and she invested what she would have written a check for. They’re smart cookies. It was me who drove the beaters.

Back in the olden days when I was a kid, we had one car - a big station wagon. Dad drove it to work. Mom had a little red wagon that she’d take to the grocery store - thinking back, no one ever stole it even tho she parked it outside the store. When I was 18 and my brother and I both had licenses, they got a second car, a cheapie used one, and Dad continued to take the station wagon, since he drove several people to work.

My husband is a car guy - he likes sporty vehicles, hence (over 30 years) the 'Vettes, the Crossfire, the Porsche, the Midget, the Miata… I mostly had vans or practical little econoboxes. We mostly alternated who got the next new vehicle, but I had fewer that were “my” car than he did.

Now that we’re retired, we have a Sonata and a big pickup. The only thing that is “his” is the Harley - I don’t ride. The vehicles are ours - used as we need them.

My greenie dad would spin in his grave if we ever got a second car. And he’s not even dead! :stuck_out_tongue:

If we ever did have reason to have two cars in the family, I suspect we’d treat them like we do the bikes. Nominally there’s a “mine” and “his”, but in reality usage is determined by what you need to use it for. I certainly wouldn’t buy yet another huge great clunky thing that takes half a dozen people, nor drive in it if I didn’t need it for actually taking passengers.

Well, they’re both beaters, at this point, but I do drive the preferred vehicle. But that’s by my husband’s design. I drive all day to patients’ houses, and I’m in both some pretty rough neighborhoods and highway traffic. My husband feels it’s safer for me to be in the Kia Sorento (SUV) than in the Saturn (sedan). And I prefer it because while I adore Saturns, that one was made during a time period where they apparently thought people liked to lay down while driving or something. The more upright seating posture of the SUV is better on my back when I’m in it for long periods of time, whether that’s driving or working on paperwork. He uses the Saturn for random errands and for taking the kiddo to and from school.

We alternate who gets the newer car when we replace cars. Now I have the older car and he has the newer. In a few weeks we’ll be replacing mine and I’ll have the newer one.

Debone err drives a sporty '05 and it is her precious. I do not drive it. I rarely touch it, and then only for maintenance.

I get to pick from the rest of the fleet. In the winter I drive the '08 soccer van. I hate it but it’s safe & comfortable. Rest of the time it’s the resurrected 92 VW or the '86 Corolla (equipped with yield-inducing, theft-deterring body panels. I get a kick out of making old things work.

My wife always got the new car and I drove the beaters. She took a lot better care of a car than I did. On weekends her car was the family car. The last few years we were married we both had new cars,

My wife has always had the newer car, I’ve always had the beater. She does more driving, especially with the kids, whereas mine is mostly just for commuting to work.

Can I tack on a question? For those where the wife has the newer/nicer car, when you go out as a family in that car, who drives? In our family, the owner of the car almost always drives, but I have friends where the husband always drives whenever they’re together, even when they’re in the wife’s car.

Wife and I got married in '05. For the first six years of our marriage we had the cars we had each separately bought before getting married. She bought hers when she was a grad student, so it was a Civic; I bought mine a few years after starting my job, so it was a Nissan Maxima. Mine was the nicer of the two cars until 2011, when she upgraded to a mid-trim CR-V. I encouraged her to get something fancier - we certainly could afford it - but she refused. Her commute is very short, and she doesn’t like driving, so whenever we go somewhere together, we take my car and I do all the driving. Nonetheless, her CR-V was the nicer (newer, at least) of our two cars until last year, when I replaced my Maxima with an Infiniti G37.

I always say that if my husband ever allows me to drive him somewhere, I’ll take him straight to the hospital, because he’d have to be dying.

“My” vehicle is the nicer one, but he picked it out and drives it as much as I do.

I have just traded in my old falling apart car for a better one, so currently, I have the better car, but it’s usually more even. We are trying to get it back to normal, but life has not been cooperating lately.

Right now, yes, but only because we alternate car purchases. I’ll be getting the next one (well, that’s the plan, anyway).

I had one grandpa who ran his own auto repair shop for 30 years, then he became 25% owner of the local Ford dealership. The other grandpa retired from Chrysler after 32 years on the assembly lines. My dad was a car salesman at the dealership my grandpa co-owned.

So it’s safe to say that having nice, new vehicles was more important to my parents and grandparents than it was to the average family. Until my mom and dad divorced when I was 15, no one ever drove anything over two years old in my immediate family. On dad’s side, it was Fords (and eventually Lincolns for grandma) and on mom’s it was Chrysler and Dodge products. After my parents split in the early 90s, mom still got a new Jeep Grand Cherokee every 3-4 years until her dad passed away in 1998.

My sister (3yrs older than me) started driving in 1987. She made it clear that she wanted a Nissan 300ZX and, because she was the only granddaughter, somehow my grandpa’s Ford dealership acquired a 1986 300ZX for her! By the time I turned 16, my parents were divorced and my grandpa (dad’s dad) had died. I had to actually pay for my own car, but I also picked out what I wanted- a 1985 Honda CRX (well-used in 1990).

Among my friends and colleagues, it seems to be norm for the wife to have the late-model SUV/Crossover (or maybe even a Minivan) and the hubby to drive the 10+ year old beater or stripped econobox.

DH is driving a newer pickup. I am driving a minivan with 140,000 miles, but am due for a new vehicle perhaps this year.

My husband drives the fuel efficient commuting car because he commutes 100km/day. I drive the car that can tow the trailer as my daily car. Right now mine is newer than his because we replaced it in December but it’s more about function than anything.

When the kids still lived at home we shared a single minivan. We could probably with some minor adjustments continue to get by with one car but it would have to be mine and his was cheap to buy and cheap to run so it’s nice to not have to.

When we drive together we tend to take my car and he drives because he is the worlds worst passenger and I really don’t want to be forced to murder him.


It varies some, but 80% of the time we’re in “my” car and he drives. This has very little to do with gender roles, but is because when he drives in city traffic, his blood pressure goes up 10 points. If he’s a passenger in city traffic, his blood pressure goes up 20 points. It’s better for both of us if he drives while I practice my zen meditation in the passenger seat.

At times, yes. My wife generally drove the newer car and I’d drive the older one. That’s changed; I got a Hyundai that she doesn’t like to driver, so she has the Saturn.