Choosing the Right Vehicle for a College Student
It’s Time to Head Back to School
Many students are able to make it through their college years without a vehicle; it’s just one less item to worry about. But depending on where your son or daughter is attending, he or she may need a vehicle to make it to class on time. With the large number of vehicles around, how do you know what the best one is for a college student?
Here at A & D, we want to make sure that your student stays safe and comfortable. So we have done a bit of research to figure out what the best vehicle is. When you’re shopping, here are some guidelines to ensure that you find the right one that will meet your son or daughter’s needs.
How Long will it Last?
College is going to last a few years at least. You will want to choose a vehicle that’s going to last, with minimal maintenance, for the full duration. Since you most likely will be buying a used vehicle, there are a few key aspects to consider ensuring that it’s going to make it the full tenure.
Before you even go out shopping for a vehicle, read the reviews. Some brands are notorious for breaking down, others have years where the quality wasn’t quite right. Understand which makes and models to narrow down your choices.
Do a walk around before you get in. Check the tires, look for leaks, and inspect the body condition. If something doesn’t seem right, make a note and ask about it. When you do get in, inspect the inside to make sure it doesn’t appear damaged. As you drive, listen closely for sounds that don’t seem right; be sure to test all the functions, even those rarely used.
Before you buy, have your mechanic give it the once over. There’s usually a small charge, but it’s worth it if you discover big problems that may pop up soon.
How Much does it Cost?
You have likely already created a budget; something that you and your student can afford. But remember, there is more to owning a car than the loan payment. Keep in mind these key aspects before you make a decision on cost alone.
Age – Generally speaking an older car is cheaper, but will run into problems sooner.
Insurance – After a vehicle is 11 years old, insurance rates often go down. Something from the mid-2000’s may be the best choice.
Fuel – Cars are cheaper to drive than trucks and SUV’s.
Upkeep – Some makes and models require very little to keep them running, others will encounter lots of problems.
Understanding the overall cost of the vehicle will put you into a better position to make a good decision. When you are shopping, keep these factors in mind and don’t stress yourself financially if the right vehicle isn’t immediately available. You can check cargurus.com to find out what’s available and if it’s a good deal or not.
Is it Safe Enough?
Young people pay more for their insurance. The reason: because inexperienced drivers crash more often. Whether that’s the case for your student or not, a safer car is always a better bet. Go through the list of the top 15 safest vehicles. Keep in mind that larger vehicles are safer, but they may eat into your budget a bit more.
Compact cars aren’t as safe as full-sized cars. There’s a risk-reward here. A smaller vehicle will be better on gas mileage, but not as safe in a wreck.
Tone down the horsepower. Bigger engines not only suck up the gas, but they are tempting for young people to show off the power.
Safety features go a long way. Most newer vehicles are equipped with safety features like airbags and the like. Sensors, Bluetooth, and automatic braking are often premium features, but may be worth the added cost.
A & D Says Be Safe!
Your young adult is heading out of the house, maybe for the first time. Make sure that you have done all you can to ensure that they are in the safest vehicle possible as they head off to expand their minds.
If an accident does happen, keep us in mind. We have factory certifications because we ensure that vehicles are restored to full factory safety standards.