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How to Afford a Car While in Undergrad

Young Female student Holding Car Keys Next To Vehicle
Written by CB Community

Having a car while in college may not be necessary, but it can make day to day life easier, especially if you live off campus. There are many ways for undergrads to save up enough money to be able to afford a vehicle, but some may not be as fruitful as others. While some students may opt to use their loans to purchase a car, it may not be the best solution. With options like Hyundai specials, you can get nice, attractive, safe, and speedy cars even on a budget.

Here are some tips to help make it happen:

1.Look for spring specials.

You may think that the best time of the year to buy a vehicle is during winter break, as summer is considered the most expensive. Spring shopping, however, can prove to be the most affordable time to purchase a vehicle from a dealership. It the season when dealerships are looking for an uptick in sales, while also wanting to get rid of the last of their models from the previous year.

2. Downgrade other aspects of your life.

You’ll have to make some sacrifices if you want to fit a car into your budget. Look at where you can make cuts, and take action fast. Some options may be to purchase second-hand textbooks, find a roommate, or to spend less money on extracurricular activities. In many cases, these modifications might actually be a good thing. For instance, if you have been living alone, getting a new roommate may help you meet a lifelong friend.

3. Make a deal with your parents.

There’s a good chance you’ll need a cosigner if you’re financing a vehicle. There also may be a chance your parents will be looking to upgrade one of their own vehicles. Have a conversation with your parents about your needs and plans, and you may find that they are willing and able to help. This may include them cosigning your financing, or they may even sell/loan you one of their old cars if they have plans on purchasing a new one.

4. Get more creative with your side job.

If you work in the campus store or have a work-study position, you may be receiving a low hourly wage. There are a lot of jobs that pay more by hour, and can provide you with a lot more freedom. One potion is driving for a ride share service, and that’s something you can commit to as soon as you get a vehicle. If you are an English major, consider freelancing as a virtual writer, and if you are a math major, video tutoring is becoming increasingly more popular. Any extra income gets you closer to being able to purchase a vehicle of your own.

The most important thing to remember is that you may want to avoid dipping into your savings or student loans to finance a vehicle. Create a reasonable budget, and let that serve as your foundation for purchasing a vehicle.

For more great topics on all things college, 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.