For college students buying a vehicle, the process might seem overwhelming, but thankfully, there are several ways to make the car buying process easier. With classes, jobs, and social activities, college students already have a full plate, but buying a new vehicle while in college can be easily achieved by being proactive and doing your due diligence.
1. Do Your Research
The research process helps a college student learn about different cars, features, and prices. This process can also help a student learn about the dealership, the negotiating process, and financing options. By doing research, a college student can be more informed and make a more informed decision when buying a car.
2. Get Pre-Approved for Financing
When a college student is buying a car, getting pre-approved for financing helps them in a few ways. First, it allows the student to know how much money they can borrow, and second, it gives them a chance to shop around for the best interest rates.
3. Shop Around
Hopping around for the best deal on a car can help a college student save money. Often, dealerships will offer special discounts or financing options to college students. Comparing prices and options from different dealerships can help a college student get the best deal on a car.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
If you go into a car dealership with the mindset that you are going to negotiate, you are more likely to get a better deal on the car. A college student should be prepared to negotiate the car’s price, interest rate, and loan terms. The student should also be prepared to walk away from the deal if the dealer is not willing to negotiate. Always strive to get the best price possible.
5. Test Drive the Car
The best way to find out if a car is the right fit for you is to test drive it. Test driving a car allows a college student to experience the car firsthand. This way, you can get a feel for the car’s features, performance, and overall style. If you’re a college student, test driving a car can help you make a more informed decision about which car to buy.
6. Ask for a Warranty
Typically, warranties are designed to cover repairs or replacements due to manufacturer defects. This can be helpful to a college student who may not have the financial resources to cover these types of repairs on their own. In addition, some warranties also cover routine maintenance items, such as oil changes and tire rotations, which can also be helpful to a college student on a budget.
7. Get Gap Insurance
Gap insurance is designed to cover the “gap” between what you owe on your vehicle and the actual cash value of your vehicle in the event that it is totaled or stolen. This coverage can help a college student when buying a car because if the student’s car is totaled or stolen, the student will not be responsible for paying the difference between the actual cash value of the car and the balance of the loan.