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The Perfect Kansas City Used Car for Heading Back to College in the Fall

How to Choose the Right Ride for Your Years in College

a black female college student researches in the library on her laptop

While heading to college is exciting, there are challenges, too. When you’re looking to purchase an automobile that’ll work for you through your college years, you must sort through all the available alternatives. You must choose between buying a new or used car and decide how much you can afford to pay.

Most people find this process to be a little daunting, especially if they’re on a tight budget, or if their credit score isn’t as high as it could be. It’s useful to know what factors to consider when buying a car for college to make the best decisions for your needs and way of life. Ultimately, with a few smart decisions, you’ll get a car that’s perfect for college and the years beyond.

When It Comes to Used Cars, Think Safety First

Let's get this out of the way first: college kids get into a relatively high percentage of accidents, mostly because they’re newer to driving. It’s critical, then, to purchase a car with the highest possible safety rating.

Within the first year of driving, most people will have a car accident. It’s a sobering thought, and you'll want a vehicle that will keep you safe in the event of an accident. Mid-priced vehicles with great safety features include the Subaru Legacy, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Sportage, and Hyundai Tucson.

To save money, you might be tempted to buy a vehicle with a salvage title. We recommend against this for a number of reasons, the most important being that it is unlikely the car will keep you as safe as it could should you get into a wreck.

If cars seem unaffordable for you unless they come with a salvage title, then you may want to consider securing car financing from a buy here pay here car dealership. In this scenario, payments are broken down into manageable chunks.

Fuel Efficiency Save You Money

The next step is to look for an efficient vehicle. Make sure that you are not squandering money on gas by purchasing an older vehicle that offers gas mileage. Purchasing a sports car at this point in your life would generally be a mistake, especially if you’re looking to save money. You can always get one later in life if you so choose.

Used cars like the Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic, and Toyota Yaris offer excellent efficiency. You should even consider purchasing a hybrid vehicle, which typically has much better economy than a traditional engine. However, keep in mind that these are more expensive than the usual car, so work out which will be the cheapest for you in the long run based on how many miles you will drive and how long you’ll keep the car.

Car Insurance Costs

Before you buy the automobile of your dreams, check the insurance costs. As a college student, you'll always be viewed as a high-risk individual by insurance providers. As a result, the types of vehicles you may own may be more restricted for you.

Even the color of a vehicle might also influence insurance premiums. For example, red cars are more expensive to insure than other colors. Because of this, a car with a plainer color scheme might be worth considering. Before deciding on a policy, you should compare insurance rates from several providers, ensuring the coverage is the same. Remember that if you are still making payments on a used car, you must have collision coverage.

Cargo Space for Moving

College students tend to move a lot. It's crucial to think about how much space there is in the trunk if you want to carry most of your belongings in the vehicle each time you move. Even if a car’s interior is full of the latest gadgets, if there isn't much room for all your belongings, it might not be the best choice for you.

Avoid Depreciation by Buying Used at a Buy Here Pay Here Car Dealership

As a first-time car buyer, you may not know much about vehicle depreciation. But the first time you buy a brand-new car, you’ll feel the effects immediately.

Used cars tend to be a smarter purchase than new ones because they have already depreciated before you buy. The first owner took on all the burden of the depreciation, so you can get a nearly-new car for a bargain price when buying used. You may find that you’re even able to afford a vehicle with more bells and whistles when you buy used.

The difference between model years has narrowed, and vehicles have only ever gotten more reliable. It’s now commonplace for cars to last hundreds of thousands of miles without mechanical issues, so there’s really no good reason to buy a completely new car if you’re on a budget.

A buy here pay here car dealership is ideal for this, especially if you haven’t been able to secure financing anywhere else. At AutoBank, we guarantee we’ll approve you to buy a used car in Kansas City, or we’ll give you 10k!

Kansas City Auto Sales Are Competitive - Start Shopping Now!

Even if you haven’t had time to build a strong credit rating, you can still buy a car for college at our two used car lots near you. Choosing a buy here pay here car means you can get financing straight from AutoBank and drive away in a matter of hours in a new-to-you vehicle.

But beware: lots of people are shopping for used cars right now, so if you see one at AutoBank that you love, it’s time to jump on the purchase! You’ll probably find quite a few cars you like with our range of excellent vehicles for sale.

Get preapproved before you visit by filling out our online form, and then stop by one of our two locations to get into a nicer, newer car for your college years: 2000 E. Truman Road or 6901 E. Front Street, both in Kansas City.