Having a car makes a massive difference, no matter what stage of life you’re in. When you’re a college student, a car just means that much more.
The ability to drive around town, travel home on a whim, run quick errands—it’s all possible when you have the keys to your own vehicle in hand.
So, how can college students afford a car? In addition to the basics such as building your proper
budget, there are resources and discounts dealerships can offer to help young students afford
their own vehicle!
Speak With a Finance Expert at the Dealership
It helps to have your budget in place before visiting a dealership and choosing an appropriate
car. This isn’t mandatory, though. In fact, many folks arrive at a dealership with questions about
how their budget can be better sorted or how they can fit a car into their monthly expenses.
The finance experts at the dealership know exactly how to offer advice for your particular
situation. From adjusting the monthly rate of your agreement and altering the length of the
payment plan to helping you find a worthwhile loan, there are options available to you.
Many modern dealerships also have online resources which help you plan your budget before
even speaking with a member of their finance team.
Be on the Lookout for College Discounts
Dealerships want you to drive off in the model for you. They benefit from you taking home a car
just as much as you do. So, oftentimes, they’ll have useful discounts in place which cater to the
specific situation of a college student. These discounts may include all sorts of education-based incentives. In certain cases, you might find a discount for recently graduated students looking for a car. In other instances, you may simply need to show your college ID and the dealership will bake in a discount to help you secure a model.
There are also occasions where a dealership may offer a first-time-car-buyer discount or
incentive. If you’re not sure about the incentives offered by your local dealership, simply shoot
them an email or give them a call and ask if there’s anything in place for your specific scenario!
Factoring in Car Insurance
If you’re looking into getting a car, you’ll also need to take care of getting car insurance. These
two go hand-in-hand. Similar to how certain dealerships will offer student incentives when
buying a car, most insurance companies have a student discount, which applies to full-time
students under the age of 25.
The cost of your insurance should be included in your budget when you’re totaling up the
monthly or cumulative cost of your car. To understand which insurance is best for you, the
easiest thing to do is begin asking questions or receiving quotes from companies. Once you’ve
gotten a feel for the market, you can select an insurance plan which best fits within your
In College? Need a Car? There Are Options to Make it Work!
While a car may feel like a far-off dream for many college students, it’s a genuine possibility if
you know where to look and how to leverage the resources offered to you. The single best plan
of action is to ask questions. Ask your parents about budgeting, ask dealerships about their
college discounts, ask insurance companies about their student-oriented plans—just see what
the marketplace is looking like. As you receive answers, the path towards your first car will start
to become clear!