Not everyone has the luxury of their parents buying them a car or having an extra car to be able to use. Lots of students have to buy their own car, and it isn’t cheap or easy. A good car could cost a few thousand dollars, and as a student, that is a lot to obtain. If you aren’t getting any help with a car, then getting a job to pay for it is your best bet. It is also important to weigh your options and get the best deal. You may want a certain color, or a fast car, but with a tight budget and no help it isn’t very feasible. Registration fees, insurance, gas mileage and gas costs are also some things you need to consider, as insurance is usually very high for a new, teen driver, and a car with bad gas mileage will really hurt your wallet, especially with gas prices being so volatile. Here are some options to consider when shopping around for a car. Remember that getting a new car or putting down payments probably isn’t easy or possible right now, so used cars are going to be your best bet.
Also, be wary of problems with the car. Problems with the engine, transmission, and body are usually expensive to fix, as they usually have to be done by someone that’s professional or competent at fixing cars. Some problems though are easy to fix and can be fixed yourself if you’re willing. There’s videos all over the internet on how to fix easy things such as breaks, changing tires, changing oil and swapping out filters. Remember that easy fixes are way cheaper done by yourself than done by a repair shop as they usually jack up prices, and it isn’t really worth paying a lot of money for something simple when you can just buy the part for cheap and put it on yourself.
Online – There are many sites out there for buying cars, such as Kelley Blue Book and Craigslist. They have listings from people and dealerships. There are dangers of buying them though, and you have to consider them. Getting scammed is a huge one. If you have a car savvy friend or family member, make sure to bring them along. Be sure to take a test drive and ask about any problems with the car. Be careful who you buy it from, and make sure they aren’t trying to pull a fast one on you. Try your best to negotiate for a better price, as a lot of people are willing to go cheaper on a car. The worst they can do is say no, so be sure to try and ask for a lower price.
Car Dealership – There are many used car dealerships out there, and some of them might have hidden gems in them. You never know if you’ll find something reliable and cheap at a local used car lot. Some of the cars there may even be barely used and newer, as brand new cars lose value pretty quickly when they roll off of the lot. Some of the big brand dealerships may also have something used and cheaper if your budget is a bit higher. You can negotiate with dealers from a dealership for a lower price too.
Government Auctions – Police Forces are always upgrading and getting new cars. Because of this, they don’t have a need for their old police cruisers and they often auction them off. Old police cars such as a Ford Crown Victoria are usually pretty well maintained and reliable as well as cheap. Just be sure to ask about problems if you can. These cars usually have high mileage, but if the car was taken care of then it should still be good to go.
Friends & Family Members – You may be fortunate to have a family member or friend looking to trade their car in. Be careful and make sure you really trust the person and have the car inspected before purchasing.