College students are different from other car buyers. Generally they don’t have a lot of disposable income, and they aren’t quite ready to make a huge financial commitment to help them get from point A to point B. If you’re in college and looking to buy a used car, there are a couple of things that you want to consider to not get yourself in too deep financially. These are the best things to do to stay within budget.
Buy a used car
The car you buy in college is probably not going to be the new car of your dreams, but a means to get around town. Instead of buying a new car and financing the large cost, buy a used car from Ride Time. When you buy new, the car depreciates as much as 20% in the first year. This means a car that is two or more years old won’t depreciate as quickly. When you are done with your used car, if you do want to get the car of your dreams, you shouldn’t have any problem recouping what you have spent. In some instances, you will be able to sell it for close to what you paid for it.
Buy from a dealership
If you buy from a private owner, you might run the risk of making yourself vulnerable. Used cars are bought under the “buyer beware” cloud. If you find something lurking that the owner didn’t disclose, you will have no recourse to get your money back. That can lead either to very expensive repairs — or in some cases, a car that is worth nothing and an empty bank account.
When buying from a dealership, you can check out their reputation ahead of time. Dealerships have a stake in making sure the cars they sell don’t have anything hidden under the hood. Since they survive by word of mouth and their reputation, they usually don’t jeopardize their business by selling cars that aren’t fit for the road. If you do buy from a dealership, just make sure they are well-established, like Ride Time, and not a fly-by-night operation.
A dealership will also be able to provide you with the financing you will probably need. With many lenders to choose from, they can find one that is willing to take a chance on a riskier population like college students. They can also shop around to find you the best interest rate or can work with loan terms to allow you to afford the car you want.
Finance it right
Obviously, if you have the cash to pay for a car, then do so. But college students don’t often have that kind of money. If you are in need of a car immediately, then you are going to have to find one within your means and will probably be restricted by the amount of money you can fit into your budget.
Just know that if you put money down, then your likelihood of getting a loan will probably increase. It will also mean a lower interest rate since you already have equity in the car. So if you have time to wait, you might want to start saving just a little money to put down on your used car.
Also, if you can, take the time to establish good credit. If you don’t have a credit history, you are going to be limited by the lenders who will take a risk on you. Cleaning up your credit or building it might take a couple of months, but will be well worth it when it comes to what you can ultimately spend on financing or if you can even get a loan.
Bring someone with you
Many college kids are independent and want to do things on their own. When it comes to cars, however, you should bring someone along who has some experience with buying automobiles. Although you are the one who will make the ultimate decision about which car to buy, having someone who knows how to negotiate or who can be your voice of reason will keep you in check, and get you into a car that is safe and within your financial means.
College students are a different type of car buyer. Without the same experience in buying cars, financing, and the credit history of older generations, you will want to make sure to play it safe so that you don’t make a costly mistake or get in over your head financially. Stop in to talk with a salesperson at Ride Time today, so you can get on the wheels you need to get to class.