Ease of movement and road trips are some of the main uses of cars for college students. It in college that most students get their first car. Although exciting, this is a tough journey if one does not have the right guidance. Before you sign that deal, there are things you need to keep in mind to ensure that you get the right car for your budget and needs. Here are guiding tips on buying a car for college students.
Buy a Used Car
This is especially important if you are in your first year, and you are not likely to be getting a significant income not until after graduation. Buying a used car will help you avoid accumulating huge debt that will drain your finances.
Look for a car that is more than 2 or 3 years old after which the car will have significantly depreciated. With enough research, you can find a dependable car in good condition at a much lower price than you would have if you bought the same new car. The cost of insurance for used cars is also significantly cheaper, which brings down the overall costs of getting the car.
Buy from a Dealer
It is possible to get a good deal by buying a car straight from the owner, but it is safer to buy one from a dealer. This is because dealers can sell you a certified pre-owned car which is not likely to have challenges, and they are also supposed to adhere to laws relating to implied warranty.
If possible, pay cash for the car or wait till you can afford to pay cash. But if you have to get financing, familiarize yourself with the available lending options. A dealer can promise to finance you, but dealers don’t finance cars. They find banks to finance the car, and the bank includes a finder’s commission in your interest rate. It is better for you to go directly to the bank and get the rates yourself. Getting quotes from different banks will help you compare and choose the most favorable interest rate and repayment plan.
Family is another source of cheaper and more favorable financing than the banks. If you can, get a loan from a family member as they are likely to lend to you at a lower interest rate and they are likely to be more understanding in case of tough times when you can’t make the repayments on time.
To keep recurring car expenses low, buy a low fuel consumption car, especially if you drive for a considerable distance. It saves your money and ensures that you still afford to meet your daily needs and a few luxuries without getting into bad debt.
Avoid Shopping Alone
Some dealers will omit some information about a car to lure you into getting it. It is important that you go with an experienced person who knows exactly what to look for in a car. It is also helpful to schedule an appointment with a trusted mechanic to perform a pre-purchase inspection.
As you prepare to get a car as a college student, you will not be disappointed if you follow these tips. This learning experience will guide you in the future when buying your next car.