Instead of china and silverware, brides-to-be can register for a steering wheel. Dodge has introduced its Dodge Dart Gift Registry that lets friends and family help new couples buy cars.
Taking a page from wedding registries, the Dodge registry lets friends and family choose a specific car part to fund, so instead of choosing between fancy silver candlesticks and a more practical microwave, gifters can choose luxury items such as heated seats or safety features like multiple airbags. While Dodge points out that the gift amounts don't reflect the actual prices of the car parts, the gimmick helps people feel like they're giving a more personalized gift.
Dodge has also tapped into several social trends. Similar to Kickstarter , a crowdsourcing site to raise money for new projects, gift givers can contribute as little as $1 and up to $5,000. According to The Knot's 2011 bridal registry study, friends spend about $79 on gifts, family members spend close to $150. And group gifting is on the rise — 77 percent of couples received at least one group gift.
However, the cost of a new Dodge Dart is about five times the cost of the average gift registry of around $5,000 — it's going to take a lot of generous friends and family to put a new car in the newlyweds' driveway.
Registered couples are encouraged to share their new car registry to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, but that advice may be ignored by couples who don't want to seem greedy. Only 11 percent of couples share the details of their gift registries, The Knot said.
And here's the risk: Participants aren't charged for their car contributions until the couple decides to buy a Dart. If they don't, will guests buy another gift? Crowdfunding company RocketHub is handling the group gifting process for Dodge and has allowed 90 days for car contributions. (The registry can be used for any gift-giving occasion, along with weddings.)