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How to Get a Car as a College Student?

Car Buying Tips for College Students

Buying a car in college is a life-changing step that can be both exciting and challenging because college students will have to face two significant issues: unlimited car options and financial constraints. 

Most college students want their car on campus to enjoy fast and convenient travel, especially those far from school. Therefore, it is necessary to plan the purchase carefully and gather as much information as possible to get a decent car on the road without draining their pockets.

Buying Car Costs

College students must determine how much they will pay to get the car. It is worth noting that the expenses of purchasing a car go beyond the car’s price to include:

Car insurance

Buying a car comes with additional expenses, and since college students already have rent and tuition fees to pay, it is recommended to look for affordable insurance. Auto insurance companies offer two main insurance discounts for college students:

Good Student Discount

This discount is for students 25 years of age or younger with a GPA of 3.0 or higher that they must maintain for their studies.

Resident student auto insurance

This insurance plan provides full-time college students who study 100 miles from home discounted quotes with a clean driving history.

On and off-campus parking

Students must pay a large fee of up to a few hundred dollars per semester if they want to park their cars near the dorms and classroom buildings. Off-campus parking is not much cheaper, though. 

Maintenance costs and gas usage 

Cars need repairs regularly, mainly used vehicles with high mileage. To calculate the sufficient maintenance cost, a student has to check out the average car’s repair cost and remember to save a few hundred dollars for emergency maintenance.

In addition, college students must ensure they buy an economical car, so they don’t suffer the enormous financial implications of increased gas prices.

Buying the Right Car

Some college students may consider buying a used car to cut costs, unaware of how much money it will cost them to carry out all the repair work. Therefore, students should consider the following tips to ensure they get the most out of their budget:

Start the search online

After determining the budget and choosing the type of car to buy, the next step is to search for different models. Then, a buyer has to get expert advice about the potential car and read plenty of online reviews from previous or current owners of the same car model. Buying decisions should be based on the available knowledge a buyer can get by researching online.

Inspect the car

A buyer must check the car’s interior, exterior, and underneath. They should also ensure that all electronic devices are operating correctly and seek mechanical assistance to assess the overall operable condition of the vehicle.

Driving test

After the examination, a student has to drive the car and pay attention to the sound of its operation, brakes, turns, and smooth stops. 

Ask for a vehicle report (Carfax)

If the driving test ends well, asking the car dealer for a vehicle report is necessary. The information includes the history of the vehicle’s repair and maintenance so the buyer can know whether the car has had any accidents before.

Get the car delivered

After making the purchase decision, it is time to get it delivered to its new home. College students might not have enough time and experience to drive their vehicles safely, mainly when discussing long-distance trips.

Therefore, the wisest decision is to hire a reliable auto transport company to carry out the process efficiently.  However, finding a trustworthy service provider is not an easy task; there are a few things to consider before booking the transport service:

Only work with licensed companies

A client has to check the company’s website for their MC and USDOT numbers and check them on the FMCSA website to ensure the company is registered and operating legally.

Relevant experience

The company must have all the necessary equipment and a professional team to carry out safe transportation. Verifying an auto transport company’s experience can be done quickly by checking their track record and customer reviews.

Car shipping discounts for students

Some shipping companies offer a student discount as they believe being in school is a huge responsibility, and college students already have enough to worry about. So, a student has to inquire about the discounts to get the best price possible.

Read our Guide to Car Shipping for College Students

Go for open auto transport

There are two main shipping options to choose from, open trailer and enclosed trailer. The latter provides the utmost protection for shipped vehicles but costs more than open auto transport. Therefore, college students who want to save money should book an open trailer which is the best way to ship daily-drive cars since it is more available and affordable.

Read about Open vs. Enclosed Vehicle Shipping.


Having a car while in college will make life easier for students; however, they should take their time and think wisely before purchasing. Following the steps and tips mentioned above will guarantee that students get the best car that corresponds to their budget.

No matter what school you go to when you place an order for a new car, you can always call Tempus Logix to ensure your vehicle is delivered to your new destination easily and affordably.

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