Top 5 Used Cars for College Students

Top 5 Used Cars for College Students
  • Opening Intro -

    When you are in college, you want affordable transportation.

    Parents and students alike may begin looking for economical cars for college students and find it difficult to find value without breaking the bank.

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By Jason Nelson

Each student has different transportation needs and a budget. Before picking out your used car, there are a number of factors to consider. A careful selection is important, as the hope is the car that will last well beyond graduation. We make our picks for the top 5 used cars for college students with prices under $8,000.

Know Your Specs

Before selecting a vehicle, buyers should be aware of the parking issues, availability of public transportation, weather conditions for where they live and what kind of use the vehicle will receive. If parking is tight, a subcompact or compact car may make more sense, while it might be wiser to have an all-wheel-drive on a campus prone to snow and bad weather.

Best Compact Car

Hyundai vehicles are known for their durability and reasonable price tags. This all still applies to a used Hyundai Elantra, which can cost about $7,000 for a 2007 model, which also boasts a surprising amount of interior space. Because Hyundai offers such extensive warranties, students may be able to purchase an Elantra that is still covered.

Top Midsize Car

The Nissan Altima may not be able to fit into the same tight spots that a Hyundai Elantra can, but it offers more space, more room for passengers and a classic style that won’t be embarrassing to drive to a job interview. A 2002 Altima is likely to cost less than $6,000, perform well, and get a college student through graduation and into that first job before needing replacement.

Best Station Wagon

The Toyota Matrix offers a familiar name and a reasonable price tag for those looking for a vehicle that will offer plenty of interior space without sacrificing its ability to squeeze into tight parking arrangements. With a price tag of about $6,000 for the 2003 model, the Matrix is likely to last a student well past the college years, but take just about anything the student may throw at it.

Students may also want to consider the Pontiac Vibe, which is comparable in many ways to the Matrix. With Pontiac no longer producing vehicles, its name may lose some of its resale value, while Toyota’s is likely to remain strong.

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Best Bet in SUVs

The Honda CR-V may put a bigger dent in a car shopper’s wallet than other vehicles, but the small SUV is easy to navigate around campuses or cities while offering all-wheel drive in case of bad weather or rough roads. With a price of about $8,000 for the 2002 model, the CR-V may not be the cheapest used car that a person can buy, but it is one of the most durable, practical, and fuel-efficient for its size.

Top Truck

There are times when a person needs a truck and there are also times when a student may simply prefer one. The Toyota Tacoma offers all the normal features of a pickup truck, but with a compact size that can be easier to drive on a campus. The price for the 2000 Tacoma is about $6,000, but it can come with a powerful V6 engine and the ability to go off-road or on snowy roads, and carry a hefty payload.

These top 5 used cars for college students offer a wide range of choices to meet different vehicle needs. In addition to price, reliability, features, fuel-economy, and auto insurance rates, safety is also an important factor that should not be overlooked.

Money Management reference:

tips on managing college money

 
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