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6 Features You Should Look For in a Car For College

various cars lined up in a row
Written by CB Community

College is the time when young people feel the most liberated. And it makes sense! College students have flown the nest and they’re ready to be free. But college isn’t all beer pong and non-stop trips to the cafeteria, it can also be a stressful period where students must navigate work, a job, and maintaining some semblance of social life.

One major purchase that can help make life easier is a car. We’re not suggesting that you need a brand-new BMW to make it through college – all you need is a reliable set of wheels that will get you from Point A to Point B.

With that said, not just any car will do. Here are some features that you should look for in a car for a college student:


For most college kids, a used car makes a lot more financial sense than investing in a brand-new car and watching the value of it depreciate over a very short amount of time. Instead, look for a previously owned used car that is cheaper but still in great condition.

Whether you buy a used Audi vehicle, Toyota or Ford, it’s important to make sure that the previous owner is honest about any mechanical issues or accident history. Check websites like CarFax to double-check the vehicle’s past.


Modern cars are equipped with all kinds of sensors but two that you should look out for include Collision Prevention Assist and Driver Fatigue Alerts. The Collision Prevention Assist activates when you accidentally get too close to another car in front of you. When this happens, the driving software will alert you so you can apply your brakes in time to avoid a collision.

Other cars offer Driver Fatigue Alerts which take into account a variety of driving behaviors and alerts you when you may be getting tired. An alarm may sound, or your seat or seatbelt may vibrate or nudge you to get your attention. Then, you’ll have a chance to pull over and rest or go get some coffee to make it the rest of your trip safely.

Back-up assistance

It can be very difficult for drivers to see behind them when they’re backing up, especially if the car has a ton of blind spots to complicate this sometimes-dangerous maneuver. However, with back-up assistance and backup cameras, drivers are alerted with a series of beeps if the car is getting too close to an obstacle.

Self-parking assistance

The bane of everybody’s existence is trying to parallel park on a busy city street. Sure, when nobody’s watching, you’re probably a parallel parking pro. But add in the pressure of an audience like diners eating al fresco watching you can make the parallel parking process a tad stressful. However, some car models offer drivers parallel parking assistance, so you never have to worry about achieving the perfect angles as you pull in. Anxiety, begone!

Adaptable headlights

Even if you have perfect eyesight, driving at night can be difficult. However, many automakers have come up with a solution for dealing with very dark nights in areas where streetlights are scarce: adaptable headlights. As your car turns, so do your headlights so you can always see the road ahead and anticipate changes in the curvature of the road appropriately.

Windshield clearing assistance

If you live in a very cold climate, you know that familiar frustration of walking out to your car – when you’re already running late – and having to deal with ice and snow stuck to your windshield. Luckily, technology has been developed to outsmart Old Man Winter once and for all. Some car models come equipped with heated wipers and special cleaning liquid that will clear your windshields extremely quickly compared to the old ice scraper technique.


In between eating whatever food you can find and writing essays upon essays, it’s important to get away from your campus and do a few things for yourself. But you’re going to need a car first. With our guide in hand, you can feel confident that you’ll get a car with all the features you want and need. You’re on the right path to finding a car that will take you safely from coffee shops to libraries to the park and anywhere else you want to be. It’s time to enjoy the open road!

For more great college tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.