How to Afford a Car in College: Tips and Tricks

College life can be challenging, but it can be even more challenging if you don’t have a reliable mode of transportation. Having a car can make it easier for you to get to classes, run errands, and explore your new surroundings. However, buying a car while in college can be expensive. In this article, we’ll give you some tips and tricks on how to afford a car in college.

1. Determine Your Budget

Before you start looking for a car, it’s essential to determine your budget. Your budget will determine the type of car you can afford. Consider your income, expenses, and any other financial obligations that you have. Make sure to leave some room in your budget for unexpected expenses, such as repairs or maintenance.

2. Explore Your Financing Options

There are several financing options available to college students, such as student car loans, personal loans, and credit cards. Student car loans may offer lower interest rates, but they may require a co-signer. Personal loans and credit cards may offer more flexibility, but they may come with higher interest rates.

3. Consider Buying Used

Buying a used car can save you thousands of dollars compared to buying a new car. Used cars may have some wear and tear, but they can still be reliable. Make sure to get a vehicle history report and have the car inspected by a mechanic before making a purchase.

4. Look for Deals and Discounts

Dealerships, manufacturers, and other organizations may offer discounts and deals for college students. These discounts can help you save money on your car purchase. Make sure to research all the available discounts and deals before making a purchase.

5. Consider Carpooling

If you can’t afford a car on your own, consider carpooling with other students. Carpooling can help you save money on gas and maintenance costs. It can also be a great way to make new friends and network with other students.

6. Save Money on Insurance

Insurance can be a significant expense when owning a car. However, there are ways to save money on insurance. Consider getting a higher deductible, bundling your insurance policies, and taking advantage of any available discounts.

7. Maintain Your Car

Maintaining your car can help you save money in the long run. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations, can prevent costly repairs down the road. Make sure to follow your car’s maintenance schedule and address any issues as soon as they arise.

8. Sell Your Car When You Graduate

When you graduate, you may no longer need your car. Selling your car can help you recoup some of your expenses. Make sure to maintain your car and keep it in good condition so that you can get the best price when you sell it.

9. Consider Alternative Transportation

If you can’t afford a car, consider alternative transportation options, such as public transportation, biking, or walking. These options can be cheaper than owning a car and can be better for the environment.

10. Plan Ahead

Planning ahead can help you save money on your car purchase and ownership. Consider your transportation needs and budget before making a purchase. Make sure to research all your options and take advantage of any available discounts and deals.


Buying a car while in college can be expensive, but it’s not impossible. By determining your budget, exploring your financing options, and considering alternative transportation, you can afford a car in college. Remember to plan ahead, maintain your car, and take advantage of any available discounts and deals. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be driving to class in no time.