An Automotive Handbook for the Broke College Student

car owner

That sweet ride may be calling your name, but how can you afford a car as a college student?

As a college student, you might be craving the independence of owning a car and driving around town with the girl you love. Although this is a great goal and all, there are some things to consider before saving up for a big-ticket purchase like your very first car.

While you are young, it might seem like there aren’t many options out there for you. It all boils down to how much budget you have and how much you are willing to spend. Given that you are thinking of purchasing a car, the chances are high that you are willing to spend most of your savings on a new ride. Before you take the leap, what factors should you prepare for in buying a new car?

Buying a Car as a Broke College Student

woman driving

Spending on a car is no joke. The purchase is a huge investment as well as its maintenance. What are the things you have to consider when buying a car as a broke college student?

Buying a car is exciting, but do you have the budget for it? You might still be relying on your parents for your college fund and everyday expenses, but a major expense like a car should not be their burden anymore. Consider a “buy here, pay here” car dealer to help you acquire your dream car.

To increase your chances of getting good credit for your purchase, try to apply for a part-time job to add to your car budget. It may be difficult to juggle school work with a good-paying job, but there might be some options around your area. You can even scout for remote work that is specially tailored for the pandemic setup.

You need to remember that car fees do not end with the purchase. Car maintenance fees accumulate over time, so you have to get a steady source of income if you want to maintain your vehicle properly. Apart from repairs and maintenance, you have to consider gasoline prices and how they could hike through time. This is something you have to prepare beforehand.

Another thing to consider is getting car insurance. In case of any accident, you have to be prepared with car insurance to cover the expenses for damage and loss. Without car insurance, these expenses can take a toll on your budget and even your savings, depending on the gravity of the accident, so it is best to be prepared for these possibilities.

Benefits of Having a Private Car

Why should you buy a private car? Why can’t you take readily available public transportation?

While having a car can get expensive, it has its benefits. You might be buying a car simply for the sake of owning one, but there are real advantages to having a personal car, even as a college student.

By owning a car, you will have an easier time going around. During the pandemic, this is especially important in keeping yourself safe and distant from other passengers in public transportation.

If you currently live with your parents due to the pandemic situation, it might help them if you drive them to the grocery instead of having them take public transportation. This is also important if you have physically impaired family members who need to go out for important errands.

It may be a big-ticket purchase but owning a car offers convenience and safety, especially during the pandemic. You will feel the advantages of a private car in no time.

Is it safe for the environment?

If you are a broke college student, the chances are high that you are part of Gen Z. Your generation is very much involved and active in voicing your opinions and advocacy regarding climate change and pollution. If this is one of your concerns, buying a private car may not seem like an attractive option for you.

Although this is the case, sometimes, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, especially if you have special transportation needs. As mentioned above, there are cases where a private car is necessary. Take your time thinking about the pros and cons of buying a car while considering your situation and personal stand regarding these environmental concerns.

No one should hurry to buy a car, especially their very first one. As a college student, your finances must be limited. Smart choices are needed when it comes to big-ticket purchases. Make sure you have considered all your options before finally arriving at your final decision.

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