The Best Cars for College Students 2010

Many automotive journals and websites try to dictate which cars are truly best for college students, but a student's individual personality, needs, budget, and even credit standing are all important ingredients to consider.
 
 
Auto Loans for Students
Auto Loans for Students
 
July 1, 2010 - PRLog -- Many automotive journals and websites try to dictate which cars are truly best for college students, but a student's individual personality, needs, budget, and even credit standing are all important ingredients to consider. Moreover, environmental factors such as a prevalence of snow or rain may increase the importance of amenities such as all-wheel-drive, while schools in metro areas may be better suited for compact, easily parkable cars.  

That said, we can safely put forth a few priorities important for college students:

1.  Affordability of Purchase
2.  Affordability of Ownership
3.  Ease of Credit Approval
4.  Amenities / Style

The difference between initial purchase price and cost of ownership is important.  While a well-used vehicle may require a lower initial outlay of cash, it may have maintenance issues or high insurance premiums that will become a financial headache in the months to come.  On the other hand, a new vehicle may cost more upfront, but minimal existing wear-and-tear, as well as factory warranties and such, may make the vehicle cost significantly less in the long run.

Low Purchase Price (New)

Both he Nissan Versa 1.6 and the Hyundai Accent Blue both offer retail prices in the neighborhood of $11,000 -- less than the price of many pre-owned vehicles.  Importantly, however, neither have AC at this price -- a requirement for many students in warmer climates.  

Air-conditioning adds around $1000 to the price of each, meaning their prices are now competitive with models such as Chevy Aveo and Kia Rio.  Kia is often regarded as a manufacturer willing to work with people with poor credit, so those in need of a no credit or bad credit student auto loan (http://www.mycarlender.com/no-credit/car-loans-for-students/) may want to research financing options with them.  Additionally, GM, Volvo, and some other automakers offer special discounts for students and recent graduates.

Long-Term Affordability of Ownership

For those interested in vehicles that are particularly affordable over a period of several years, the Nissan Sentra or Kia Spectra may be good options to consider.  The Spectra costs an estimated $28,000 to own for the first 60 months.  The Sentra is slightly more costly, coming in at about $29,000 over 60 months.  

Credit Approval

Most students have not had sufficient life experience to build much in the way of a credit history.  And with minimal credit, getting approved for financing can be challenging.  For most students, having a parent cosign their agreement is the easiest way to get approved for a no credit auto loan (http://www.mycarlender.com/no-credit-car-loans/).  However, not everyone is so lucky.  If you have little credit and no cosigner, your best bet may be to save up and buy a vehicle outright -- often a used vehicle in good working condition will be the most affordable option.  On the other hand, there are dealers who specialize in working with credit-challenged shoppers; unfortunately, many of these "EZ Finance" car lots charge astronomical interest rates and impose a wide array of precautionary measures such as frequent payments (often weekly), remote engine kill switches (to aid in repossession), and high minimum down payment requirements.

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My Car Lender (http://www.mycarlender.com) connects car shoppers of all credit types to lenders and dealers who can preapprove them for car loans and auto financing.
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