How do you choose the best car for a student?

How do you choose the best car for a student?
Andrew Kambel

Having a car at school has many advantages. Most importantly, it gives you the freedom to travel anywhere without any restrictions. But choosing the right vehicle can be tricky, especially on a budget.

If you’re considering buying a car in college, read our guide to learn how to easily choose the best option!

Can you afford it?

So you have decided to purchase a vehicle. Later in this article, we’ll tell you exactly what you should pay attention to when buying a car as a student. But first of all, let’s answer the main question: can you really afford it?

We all know that most college students are almost broke. Because they have too many college duties to handle, they are rarely able to get a job to earn money. Fortunately, there are services like WritePaper that can help young people delegate boring and tedious paperwork and save more time to work and earn money. Still, there are many costs that a student has to cover. Apart from academic services, tutors, and books, students also have to cover major expenses such as tuition, housing, and many others. Buying a car does not always fit into their budget.

Now, despite a common misconception, a personal vehicle is not a one-time expense. In addition to the actual cost of the vehicle, you must also cover regular costs such as:

  • Insurance
  • Registration
  • Fuel
  • Parking
  • General maintenance
  • Maintenance
  • Repairs

All these things can be quite expensive. So, even if you have a few thousand dollars to buy a car, you should consider other related costs before making a purchase. If you think you can afford it, move on to the next section of our guide.

New vs Used Cars

Probably the very first question that comes to any student’s mind when looking for a car is, “Should I get a new or a used one?” So let’s start our guide from here.

It is clear that new cars are attractive because of their reliability, while used cars are attractive to young people thanks to the money economy. But which option is the best? Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of each option to see the real difference.

New vehicle


  • Higher reliability
  • Better safety features
  • Warranty Protection
  • The latest features
  • Free roadside assistance
  • The feeling of a new car


  • Significantly higher price
  • Faster depreciation
  • More expensive insurance
  • It won’t be new forever

Used vehicle


  • Significantly lower costs
  • Warranty is sometimes still available
  • cheap insurance


  • Limited choice
  • Higher mileage
  • Less protection for consumers
  • More breakage risks

As you can see, there are plenty of pros and cons to each option. In general, most students would still go with a used vehicle. This makes sense because of the low cost. By the way, if you look carefully at each option, it is possible to find an old car that would still run well and serve you for many years.

Either way, before deciding what works best for you, carefully consider all of these points and weigh all the risks involved.

What makes a student-friendly car?

If you decide to buy a new or an old car, you should also think about the student friendliness of the options available.

What does this mean? Many believe that a student-friendly car is one that doesn’t pull too much finance out of your pocket. Still, sticker price is just one of many factors that make a student-friendly car.

However, you should also take into account:

  • Safety rating. Anything can happen when you go out. Therefore, the first important thing to look for in a student-friendly car is its safety rating. In a nutshell, this rating indicates how safe a particular car is in dangerous situations. This rating is identified by a series of crash tests. The higher it is, the better.
  • efficiency score. This rating is used to determine the fuel economy of each model. In a nutshell, it explains how much fuel a car uses per kilometer and how well it will perform. Since we are talking about vehicles that are friendly to young people, higher efficiency ratings are better. Fuel costs can be quite high. In addition, don’t forget that a lower efficiency also means more damage to the environment.
  • Insurance costs. As mentioned before, anything can happen to your car. Therefore, if you do not want to bear additional repair costs in the event of accidents, theft and other problems, you should take out insurance. So the next factor indicating student friendliness is the adequate cost of insurance.
  • Financing options. Finally, another thing that young people want to take into account is the availability of alternative financing options. It’s no secret that a vehicle is a big purchase that costs a lot of money, even if it’s a used one. The good news is that there is often an opportunity to lease both a new and an old car to lower costs and make this purchase less stressful.

What are the other important things to consider?

When you buy a car while studying, there are many things to consider. Of course everyone has their own preferences and needs. There are also general recommendations that we have previously shared with you.

Now, here are a few extras to keep in mind to help you make the right choice:

Gas vs Electric

You probably know that there has been a lot of buzz around electric vehicles in recent years. They are more ecological and cost efficient which could make them great for students. However, there are a few problems. Electric cars always have limitations on the mileage you can drive on a single charge, which can be quite inconvenient if you regularly drive a lot. The costs of an electric car are also often higher.

All in all, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether you should buy a gas-powered car or an electric car. So consider both options to choose what works best for you.

Accident history

If you decide to buy used wheels, the accident history is one of the first things to check. Basically, this history tells you about all the accidents in which a particular vehicle has participated. It can give you a better idea of ​​its condition, reliability, and potential issues.

PRO TIP: Keep in mind that previous owners may not want to tell you everything. So, unless you’re a real pro at cars, it’s a good idea to hire a professional who will help you assess the condition of any option you’re considering.

It comes down to

As mentioned before, owning a car in college will give you more freedom. With its help, you can avoid public transportation, travel, visit your family, live off campus and do many other things with ease. And the only question is: how do you choose a car that suits you?

Shopping for something this big is never easy. Fortunately, after reading this guide, it shouldn’t be such a difficult choice. Now you know everything about different car types and what to look out for in a student car. Use these tips to make the best decision!

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