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 |  Dec 26 2010, 1:50 PM

We’ve all seen those commercials where a lucky recipient is surprised by a new car complete with a festive bow waiting for them in the driveway on Christmas Day. But do you know anyone that has actually received one as a holiday gift? You’ll be surprised to know that it happens a lot more than you think.

According to CNW Marketing Research, this holiday season a total of 14,994 new car purchases will be vehicles that will be given as gifts (out of an estimated 980,000 new car sales this holiday season).

That number grows considerably when you take into account used cars being given as gifts. Of an estimated 2,950,000 used vehicle sales this holiday season, 41,890 of them will be earmarked as gifts. That’s a total of 56,884 big expensive presents, or a 1.45 percent share of all car sales during the holidays).

Possibly a sign of the improving economy, that’s roughly 4,000 more cars given as gifts compared to last year. Still, it’s roughly half the all-time record for vehicular gift giving, with a total of 138,269 cars and trucks being bought as presents in 2005.

Who says the best presents come in small packages?

[Source: ConsumerSearch.com]