A few years ago, my mother-in-law called and asked my husband to buy his college-aged niece (his sister's kid), a NEW car. The kid's old car had died and hubby's sister could not afford to buy her another one. Basically, they wanted to take the kid to a dealership, let her pick out a car, and put hubby on the hook for the monthly payments.
He said HELL TO THE NO. For one thing, when he was that age, nobody bought HIM a car, new or used. He had this little thing known as a JOB (which his niece does not have), bought himself an old junker van, and learned to fix it up himself. These people also live in an area where there is decent public transportation, so why can't the kid take the bus until she can get a job and save for a car?
Also, our current car was starting to die, and we were trying to decide if it was worth fixing, or if we should just replace it. At the time, we could only afford one car payment, and we actually need a car because there is no public transit to his work. He might have been willing to contribute something toward a used car, with the stipulation that niece get a job and pay her share. He did not want to be tied to a debt for someone else. But no, it had to be NEW, and getting a job was not an option, as she was SO BUSY with school. Yeah, right, when hubby was at MIT, which IS a hard school, he still managed to work weekends.
We ended up buying a new car for ourselves, but never told his family (they live hundreds of miles away from us, thank goodness!), because then we'd never hear the end of it. MIL ended up giving HER car to the niece and buying a new one for herself, then blamed hubby because she couldn't really afford the payments. Well, if niece were willing to step up, look for a job that she can take the bus to (plentiful where they live) and accept help toward a used car, we would have helped. As it was, she had to settle for Grandma's used car anyway.
I just get annoyed when people are so free to try to spend other people's money, but things change when they have to spend their own.