How To Pick the Best Car For a Student

How to Pick the Best Car for a Student
Photo by Jesús Rodríguez on Unsplash

Having a car in college has many benefits. Most importantly, it allows you to travel anywhere without any limitations. But choosing the right vehicle can be challenging, especially with a limited budget.

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


How To Pick The Best Car For a Student


Can You Afford It?

So, you’ve decided to get yourself a vehicle. Later in this article, we will tell you what to look for when shopping for a car as a student. But, first and foremost, let’s answer the main question – can you afford it?

We all know that most students are almost broke. Having too many college tasks to deal with, they rarely can get jobs to make money for a living. Luckily, some services like WritePaper can help young people delegate tedious papers and save more time for working and earning money.

Still, there are many expenses a student has to cover. Apart from academic services, tutors, and books, students also have to cover high costs like tuition, housing, and many others. So, buying a car doesn’t always fit into their budget.

Despite a common misconception, a personal vehicle isn’t a one-time expense. Apart from the actual cost of the car, you will also have to cover such regular costs as:

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

All these things can be pretty expensive. Thus, even if you have a few thousand bucks to buy a car, 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

The first question in every 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.

New cars attract with their reliability, whereas used ones look attractive to young people thanks to the money economy. But which option is the best? Let’s quickly look at the pros and cons of every opportunity to see the real difference.


New Vehicle


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


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


Used Vehicle


  • Significantly lower cost
  • Warranty is still available sometimes
  • Cheap insurance


  • Limited choice
  • Higher mileage
  • Fewer protections for consumers
  • More breakage risks


As you can see, every option has plenty of pros and cons. Generally, most students would still go with a pre-owned vehicle. This makes sense due to the low cost. Besides, if you review every option carefully, you can find an old car that would still run well and serve you for many years.

Before deciding what works best for you, consider all these points carefully and weigh all the risks.

Andrew Kambel
Photo by Andrew Kambel on Unsplash


What Makes a Student-Friendly Automobile?

When you decide whether to shop for a new or old vehicle, you must also consider the student-friendliness of the available options.

What does this mean? Many believe a student-friendly automobile does not pull too many finances out of your pocket. Yet, the sticker price is only one factor that makes a student-friendly vehicle.


Still, it would help if you also considered the following:

  • Safety rating. Anything can happen when you hit the road. Therefore, a student-friendly car’s safety rating is the first important thing to look for. In a nutshell, this rating indicates how secure a particular automobile is in dangerous situations. This rating is identified through a series of crash tests. The higher it is, the better.
  • Efficiency rating. This rating is used to identify the fuel efficiency of every model. It explains how much fuel a car will consume per mileage and how well it performs. Of course, since we are talking about vehicles friendly to young people, higher efficiency ratings are better. But, unfortunately, the cost of fuel can be pretty high. Besides, don’t forget that lower efficiency also means more harm to the environment.
  • Insurance cost. As was already mentioned, anything can happen to your automobile. Therefore, you need insurance if you don’t want to bear the additional repair costs for accidents, theft, and other issues. So, the next factor indicating student-friendliness is the adequate cost of insurance.
  • Financing opportunities. Finally, one more thing young people want to consider is the availability of alternative financing opportunities. It’s not a secret that a vehicle is a large purchase that takes lots of money, even if used. The good news is that there is often an opportunity to lease both a new and an old automobile to break down 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 you should consider. Of course, everyone will have their preferences and needs. Also, there are general recommendations that we shared with you earlier.
Now, here are a few extras that you want to keep in mind to make the right choice:


Gas vs. Electric

How To Pick the Best Car For a Student
Car For a Student

You probably know that there has been a lot of buzz around electric vehicles in recent years. This is because they are more ecological and cost-efficient, making them great for students. However, there are a few issues. Namely, electric autos always have limitations on the mileage that you can drive on a single charge, which can be rather inconvenient if you regularly drive. Also, the cost of an electric vehicle is often higher.

No one-size-fits-all answer is whether you should get a gas or electric automobile. Thus, consider both options to choose what suits you best.


Accident History

Buying a Used Car While In School
Buying a Used Car While In School

If you decide to get pre-used wheels, the accident history is one of the first things you should check. This history tells you about all the accidents a particular vehicle participated in. In addition, it can give you a better idea of its condition, reliability, and possible issues.

PRO TIP: Be ready that previous owners might be unwilling to tell you everything. So, unless you are a real pro in automobiles, it is a good idea to


The Bottom Line

As was said earlier, owning an automobile in college will give you more freedom. With its help, you can avoid public transport, travel, visit your family, live outside the campus, and do many other things quickly. And the only question is – how do you pick a car that suits your needs?

Shopping for something so grand is never easy. But luckily, after reading this guide, it shouldn’t be such a tough choice. Now you know everything about different car types and what to look for in a student car. So use these tips to make the best decision!