A lot of us buy our first car in high school after getting the freedom of a driver’s license. We hope that that the fifteen year old Toyota Camry we cruised around in high school lasts through college, but sometimes it just can’t make it another day and we find ourselves having to go through the buying process in college, broke. Here are a few short tips every college student should have when on a budget
When you’re living on a $10 per hour part time job and paying for school expenses, buying a brand new car is not a good use of your limited funds especially since the value of a new car drops significantly as soon as you drive it off the lot. So check out used cars around two to three years old (after that time period the value of a car greatly depreciates).
Bonus, the car insurance for a used vehicle is much less expensive reducing your overall cost of owning a car.
Some people can buy straight from the owner and have a great experience, but it is more risky. Sometimes you can buy straight from the owner only to later put thousands of dollars of work into a car later on. You can sometimes get a great deal from an owner, but its not really something you want to risk in college when your cash flow isn’t regularly coming in.
Whenever you can pay cash for a car, and not take out debt, do. Ultimately, when you finance a car you end up paying more for it. If you pay cash, you pay less. Even if you can’t pay cash now, it may be a better deal for you to hold off until you can.
If you have to finance, make sure you shop around and know your options.
Google what to look for when buying a used car, there are a lot of great articles out there that can help you learn what you should be looking for. Additionally, if you know someone who has experienced eyes–bring them along! Older folks have usually bought a car before and know what to look for from their previous experience and mistakes. So whether its a dad, mom, uncle, aunt, friend, grandmother or grandfather ask them to come along and give a second opinion.
Don’t go broke buying a new car to get around in during college. You can splurge once you get that degree. Remember, you can look just as good in an Audi as in a sedan.
During the Thanksgiving holiday season thousands of students pack up their cars and head home for stuffing, turkey and awkward family discussions about what major they chose or what they’ll be doing post-college. Here are some tips from us that will get you home safely so at least you get one less lecture this holiday season:
One of the simplest things you can do before you head off on a long road trip is inspect your car. You should look for any noticeable damages: ensure all your lights, tires and safety features are operational. Check your vehicle’s fluids such as your oil, antifreeze and gas. If your trip is super long, consider getting an oil change (we have a discount going on right now!). And don’t forget to check your wiper blades, the holiday season can bring on severe weather and you need your wipers to operate at your very best.
Not sure how to inspect your car properly? Have us do it for you.
There are a lot of moving parts on your vehicle, so it would be tough for you to check each one individually but make sure to have an auto mechanic check out the major systems. Ensure that they your starters, alternators, batteries and check engine lights are all working properly.
Contact us to see what tests we can do for you to make sure your car is running smoothly.
Whether your trip is an hour, a day or longer you never know what can happen. There is nothing worse than being stuck on the side of the road in a broken-down car and not having emergency supplies to keep you and your loved ones safe. Your emergency kit doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but a few basic things should always be in there:
When you are heading out on multiple road trips over the holiday season investing in an emergency roadside service like AAA or Geico can make sure you are prepared for anything. That way, if something happens and you aren’t sure what to do you always have someone to call.
Stay safe and have a great holiday with friends and family!
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