Smart Car Shopping Tips

A College Student's Guide to Buying a Car

Whether you commute or live on campus, having a dependable car is sure to make your campus life even better. So, if you're ready to get behind the wheel of your perfect new or used vehicle, here are some car buying tips for college students.

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College Guide to Used Cars

Be Smart with Your Budget

On top of the price of the car of monthly payments, you also want to factor in the cost of gas, insurance, maintenance, and other regular vehicle expenses when you're calculating your budget.

Expert Tips: Experts recommend spending no more than 25% of your monthly income on a car if you're financing.

Don't Forget about Campus Costs

If you're keeping your new or used car on campus, don't forget to think about how much you need to pay to keep it at your school.

    Parking fees
    Gas costs

Make a Must-Haves List

To find the car that's right for you, make a list of all your vehicle must-haves. For example, commuters may value fuel efficiency and performance capabilities, while on-campus residents may want ample cargo space for move-in and move-out days.

LEARN MORE: Used Car Checklist

Choose new or used

New and used cars both have their own set of benefits:

New Cars

You'll get advanced features but can cost more

Certified Cars

You'll get a manufacture-certified car for dependability

Used Cars

You'll get an affordable car at a great value.

Expert Tips: For dependability at a good value, choose a used car that goes through an extensive inspection.

LEARN MORE: Compare Used vs New Cars

Do your Research and Compare

The more you learn about and compare different makes and models, the easier it'll be to narrow down your options and find the new or used car you need.

LEARN MORE: Best Used Cars List

Get Behind the Wheel

When you find a car you like, schedule at leads three test drives. During each one pay close attention:

    Test acceleration performance
    Test corner maneuvers
    Test braking response
    Test all technology features

Find your Campus-Ready Car!

If you're ready to start shopping for your campus-ready ride, keep these tips in mind to help you narrow down your options and make your shopping easier and more convenient at Val-U-Line®!

LEARN MORE: Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car