Your child is going to need a reliable car to get them around their college campus. Check out this guide to find the best used car for your student.
Contrary to popular belief, college students don’t need cars to be successful college students. Some surveys have indicated that fewer than 50% of college students bring cars along with them to school.
But a car will be a necessity if a college student plans to live off-campus or live on-campus but maintain a job somewhere else. You should consider treating your college student to the best used car money can buy when this in the case.
Just make sure it’s the right car. Find out how to track down a great car for a college student below.
Always Go With a Used Car Over a New One
Your college student is probably going to push for you to help them find a new car as opposed to a used one.
Don’t take the bait.
While a new car might make them look cooler while they’re driving around on campus, it’s not the smart choice. Used cars cost just a fraction of what new ones do and will get the same job done.
Look for a Car That’s Great on Gas
Gas prices have been on the decline in recent months, which is great for drivers of all ages. But there’s no telling when they might skyrocket again and that could be bad news for college students.
Don’t put your college student in a position where they’re driving around in something that guzzles gas like no other.
Find a used car that gets great gas mileage so they don’t have to worry about spending a small fortune at the pump.
Search for a Car That’s Easy to Maintain, Too
The best used car is one that doesn’t require much maintenance at all. You can always have a good auto repair mechanic check over the car your interested in to make sure its in good shape.
In a perfect world, your college student should be able to make it through all four years of school without performing any major repairs to their car.
The occasional oil change and tire rotation are to be expected. But the last thing you want to do is have a college student sending their car into the shop every other week so that more maintenance can be done on it.
Pay Cash for a Car, If Possible
Regardless of whether you’re going to be paying for your college student’s car or they’re going to be paying for it, you should try paying for it in cash.
Most college students don’t have an extra $400 or so lying around at the end of every month. But that’s what they’re going to have to pay on average if they finance a used car.
They’ll be much better off buying a used car outright with cash. The car might not be as flashy as they want it to be, but it’ll be a much better option than something that comes with a payment plan.
Buy the Best Used Car for Your College Student
If your college student can make do without a car while they’re away at school, they should. They’ll have plenty of time later on in life to worry about buying a car and maintaining it.
But if they absolutely have to get one, look around for the best used car you can find. It’ll be the best option for them at this stage in their life.
Read the articles on our blog for more car-buying tips.