Buying Cars for College Students

(By, Fast Eddie)

This is a guest post from my good friend Edward with I love this subject, and have often heard comments from college students about their need…and in-ability to purchase a car while in college. Well, here are some pretty awesome tips that can help you! Some of you may feel quite intimidated when looking for a car to buy. Check out these tips on how to deal with that.


At some point or another, as a college student you will need access to a car.  This is especially true whenever you’re working in addition to going to school.  There are many things that you need to consider when buying a car in this situation, though most are straight-forward.

Fir$t things fir$t…

First, you can have many factors working against you if you’re looking to get financing.  Since you’re in school, you won’t be working on a full-time basis, therefore, employment history and limited funds may be a problem.  You’ll also need to compensate for a limited credit history.

THE best ways to overcome most of these problems is to get someone to co-sign for you.  One of your parents will do if they have a decent credit history. If that is not accessible, a close relative or neighbor might also do it, but you may need to persuade them more (their credit is on the line, after all). There are a ton of benefits of using a co-signer instead of going about things by yourself.  You’ll almost certainly get lower payments and have to put less money down.  Bottom line: you’ll save money over the long-term by taking advantage of a lower interest rate.

New or Used?…

When buying a car, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is whether to buy new or used.  Obviously, a new car won’t cause any problems as far as reliability is concerned (or at least it will be fixed by the dealer for free).  However, getting a used vehicle will undoubtedly be the less expensive (and better) option in our opinion.

Price will be one of the biggest factors in your decision, since you may not have that much money to pay for car payments every month.  Therefore, you’ll want to pay the lowest amount possible whether you buy new or used.  To help with this, you should do a little bit of research on the internet on what are the best values.  You’ll find plenty of websites that can help with this, and the best part is there are many cars out there that you may not be familiar with but will fall in love once you see them. You should also read the car reviews on sites such as Automobile magazine to see how they stack up.

If you have some money saved up and want to do this in style, it’s usually best to get from a car dealer.  If you’re looking to buy used though, we still think you should get a certified used car and have to worry less about maintenance problems.  Dealers may also offer discounts for students such as zero down payment and extended warranties. College students looking to buy a used car should pay close attention to its condition though.  You don’t want to have to spend a lot of money for maintenance and repair costs.

The warranty really does help…

It’s always a good idea to get a car with a warranty or buy a certified pre-owned car if you’re buying from a dealer.  This could end up saving you a lot of money if something major goes wrong.  You can save money by purchasing an extended warranty through a company yourself instead of going through a dealer. Just make sure that you choose a warranty company wisely.  These third-party companies can go broke, and you’ll just be left holding a piece of paper.  Do your research on the internet and look up complaints with the Better Business Bureau before purchasing a warranty.

Breaking down on the way to work or classes just won’t do either. When you’re buying a car, it’s important that you get a thorough history of it (and this goes for everyone).  You’ll need to write down the VIN number and use a website such as to see its history.  You’ll be able to see if it’s stolen or even been damaged in an accident, flood, or fire.

You should of course also pay attention to fuel economy.  There’s no need to state how high gas prices are nowadays.  With limited income, you’ll want to pay as little money for gas as possible.  Fuel economy is also very important if you’ll frequently be making trips back home too, or if you commute.

The inevitable coverage…

Finally, many people buying a car don’t factor in insurance before buying it.  If you’re young, you’ll be paying more average. If you’re young, male, unmarried and buy a fast car, you’ll be paying 2-3x more.  This is just the nature of the game, and we all have to go through it. Try to determine how much your insurance will be based on the type of car you’re interested in buying, and when you call up an insurer and they get your info, pitch them 4-5 potential cars to see the variance in premiums.

“Source: – Fast Eddie shares his knowledge about the automotive industry, and is thrilled to be featured on The Career Closet.”

NOTE: I welcome the opportunity for guest posting. I love sharing what you have and know with anyone that I can! I try to keep it to at least 2-3 times per month, so if you have any interest in posting an article that is in some way related to college students, career-seekers and those needing some career exploration assistance. Email me anytime!

Your Success is My Success,

Keith Lipke

I’m a careers and college recruiter, coach, mentor and blogger at The Career Closet. His passion is to educate, inspire, and give hope to young people who need it upon their search for the right career and college

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