How To Afford A Car As A College Student

How To Afford A Car As A College Student

Owning a car is an essential part of life nowadays, especially for busy college students. Having one would make attending classes, meetings, and events hassle-free than commuting by bus or cab. Owning a car as a college student used to be a luxury only afforded by the rich ones, but with the many available options nowadays, alongside student-friendly financing methods, any college student can have the chance to have their own vehicle.

Is Getting A Car In College Worth It?

Usually, classes, meetings, social events, and other happenings in college are held at different times and locations. Also, in the busy life of a college student, trying to balance school and other things all at the same time, wasting time waiting for rides can affect your daily routine, not to mention the costs of public transport. These problems could be avoided if you had your own car that you can drive anytime to any destination. 

Available Student Car Deals

If you’re planning to purchase a car, many commercially available car brands have multiple offers designed for students who want to get car loans. You can check their websites or ask at their car dealerships or stores if they offer such types of deals. Some offers could be discounts or incentives, especially for soon-to-be graduating students.  

How Can College Students Get A Car Without A Job?
It can be difficult for most college students to save up for a car that paying in cash is automatically out of the picture. With vehicle financing methods, however, getting yourself a car could be a definite possibility. Different payment options are available at reasonable agreements, and these include:

  • Cash

If you have enough savings, cash grants, or more money to spare than you need for your academic expenses, you can purchase a car in cash. Remember that the more cash you have, the more choices you can pick for your vehicle, whether a brand new or a second-hand one. At the same time, buying a car in cash is usually less expensive than buying it in installment due to a lack of interest over time. 

  • Loan

A loan, or borrowing money for a specific purpose and paying it at the agreed time with interest, can also be a good option if you don’t have enough cash.  A car loan is typically offered by financial institutions, especially for college students. The good thing about getting a car loan is that the vehicle will be entirely yours after paying it off. However, compared to purchasing in cash, completing the payments can take a long while, which can be grueling, especially if you borrowed a hefty amount.

  • Lease

If you’re planning to have a car in college, but not for a long time, or if you’re thinking of getting your car after college, then leasing might be a good option. A car owner can let you borrow the car at an agreed price and for the period stated in your contract. You should return the vehicle by the end of the lease, unless a purchasing option is available and you’re willing to buy it. However, it’s important to note that not keeping a leased car in good condition can cost you more in the long run, depending on the damage incurred.

Finding Affordable Cars

Often, college students look for cars that they can use only to lessen inconvenience and drive around the campus and for personal purposes, which is why they prefer cheaper cars. Luckily for them, there are many available platforms where they can get cars that won’t cause a dent in their pockets. These include:

  • Dealerships

A car dealership sells either new or old cars at retail prices, depending on their contracts with the manufacturers or sales subsidiaries. Used cars are usually cheaper, depending on the mileage, manufacturing year, and features. There are also more affordable brand-new cars that you can decide on getting. Their salespeople can help you with making the right decision, and you can have the option to pay in cash or installment.

  • Marketplace

While dealerships contact manufacturers and sales subsidiaries, car marketplaces are the meeting point of car sellers and buyers. The cars they offer are generally less expensive than those found in dealerships. However, there can be different issues that you can encounter in a car marketplace, such as problems with the contract, seller disagreements, since they’re not directly managed by a car company. For a satisfactory experience, consider the quality, legal papers, and legitimacy of the car you purchase in a marketplace.

  • Car Buying Sites

In this modern world, the Internet seems to be reigning supreme that you can use this technology to your advantage when getting a car. If the nearest dealership isn’t easily accessible to you, there are car buying sites you can go to. However, the downside of purchasing a car online is you won’t be able to physically check and assess your prospective car, and may not be able to see certain flaws and issues. However, such websites usually have promos you can avail yourself, such as discounts and vouchers.

Purchasing a car in person can be a hassle in terms of scheduling, negotiation, as well as the requirements needed for the transaction. Purchasing a car online, on the other hand, can be possible anywhere and anytime, as long as you have Internet access.


Other Important Things To Consider When Having A Car As A College Student

Aside from purchasing or leasing a car, it’d be best if you also considered factors such as parking space to ensure your vehicle’s safety. Another thing is having insurance—the good thing is that there are insurance options available for college students. And. lastly, the costs of gas and maintenance of your car should also be taken into account.


The good news is that you can afford a car even as a college student. You need to consider several factors, such as the payment mode that best suits your financial capacity, as well as the best place to purchase a vehicle. Most importantly, choose a car that’s cost-effective—one that’s affordable and fully functional.