Students are not particularly known for their vast amounts of cash, which can be a problem if they really need a car to get around. And unfortunately, cheap cars usually translate into old rattle traps. So in many cases when the price doesn’t let you down, the car probably will. But there are some brilliant buys out there that will suit the tight budget of a student, but also be reliable not leaving you stranded at 2am on your way back from the, er library. Here are a few ways for students choose the best car for their pocket and their needs.
1. Insurance for Your Car
When shopping around for a car, a student needs to take great care to include essential extras like car insurance when preparing their budget. The actual cost of the car itself is not where the monthly payments end; it’s just part of the overall cost for a car. Shop around for a better deal on the Internet and don’t just sign up with the first insurance package you come across.
2. Second Hand Cars
Cars are hugely expensive depreciating assets and they lose value every day that you drive them. So it doesn’t make sense to ever buy a new car actually if you have already lost a large percentage of the price you paid before you have driven it off the showroom floor.
Shop around at reputable second hand car dealerships who offer maintenance and service plans, warranties and the like. This way you will be sure that you are driving a quality second hand car and that you are covered in the event that there is a huge mechanical problem in the first year or so. Insurance premiums are also lower for second hand cars as opposed to new.
3. How Far Has Your Car Gone?
Mileage is an important consideration when purchasing any car – be careful to get excited about the price when the mileage is high. You are most certainly going to get the car of your dreams at a pinch when the car in question has driven half way around the world – but the chances of something big and expensive breaking just after you park it in the driveway are doubled. Then your bargain car just became a massive liability.
Ask yourself how long you intend to have the car for and how much mileage you are going to be putting on, on top of what is already there. If you are travelling long distances you may want to consider getting a car with the lowest mileage money can buy. Try to get something with no more than 80,000 miles on the clock.
4. Running Costs
So you managed to get yourself a fantastic super slick vintage pick up at a bargain price, in fact you even had money left over to put in a superior sound system that you had to have. But then you realized after the fact that it was costing you a small fortune to fill it up, and the beast of a thing was inhaling gas faster than you could provide it. So you were unable to go anywhere because you couldn’t afford to fill the thing up.
This is unfortunately the reality of not doing any homework beforehand. Fuel consumption should be at the top of your list when you are doing your research. You want your chariot to sip fuel in fact you want it to run on fumes, because otherwise you can forget about a beer budget for the month – it would have been poured into your petrol tank.
Older cars tend to have older technology and have no concept of using very little fuel. A nice little run around with good safety features, excellent fuel consumption, low running costs, low insurance premiums and low mileage is precisely what any student should be after.