College is a stressful yet exciting time in a young person’s life.  A new found independence comes with a new appreciation for frugality as most college freshman aren’t pulling in significant amounts of income, if any at all.  We thought we would help by giving a few tips for that college student that is looking for their perfect vehicle to get them through the collegiate career.

1.       Buy a pre-owned vehicle

·         Paying money for books and tuition, which can cost in the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars, is not the time to rack up a bunch of debt.  Although brand new vehicles look pretty, you can find just as nice of a vehicle that is just as dependable for way less money than you would pay for new.  New cars depreciate so quickly that you can end up owing more than the car is worth a lot quicker with a brand new one.

2.       If you do need to finance, finance smartly

·         Sit down and figure out your budget.  You need money to live on, food, rent, utilities.  You don’t want to put yourself in a position where your car payment is not leaving you with any money to live on.  Also consider that having a car, means insurance payments, fuel money and regular maintenance to keep your vehicle running in tip top shape.

3.       Research gas mileage

·         When looking for a vehicle, it is important to consider your daily commute.  Trucks and SUVs may look nice and be fun to drive, but if you have a 30 mile commute to and from class every day, you may want to consider something that is more fuel efficient.

4.       Make sure you check your insurance rates on a perspective vehicle

·         Take the time to call your insurance company to find our your premium before you buy your vehicle.  College students typically don’t get the best rates based on their age and lack of experience on the road.

5.       Do you research before you purchase

·         Check things like, how much a basic oil change is, how much do brakes and rotors cost, are there any known problems that you need to be aware of to prepare for up front; don’t be afraid to ask questions

College can be a stressful time but it’s also meant to be some of the best years of your life.  Let making a vehicle purchase be part of the good times!