When looking for a car on a tight budget, you probably place a chief priority on factors like specific fuel consumption, durability, and low maintenance costs.
Particularly if you expect to use the car for a while after graduation to attend interviews, you can search for something stylish besides the need to save money.
You can have preferences for the size of the car based on the distances involved. If you live in a city, for instance, you might choose a tiny, nimble car.
In this article, we will look at the top 15 best cars for college students to assist you in selecting the ideal car.
Table of Contents
- Do You Need a Car in College as a Student?
- Things to Consider Before Buying a Car as a College Student
- Overview of the Best Cars for College Students
- List of the Best Cars for College Students in 2022
- What to Look For When Purchasing a Student-Friendly Car
- Image URL
Do You Need a Car in College as a Student?
Everyone has a different answer to this question. The reason for this is that it depends on the college and the student in question. Some students find that having a car is essential because of where they attend school and the courses they are studying.
In addition, some students are in need of a car because a friend of theirs has one, while others are simply desiring one.
Whatever the reason you’re looking for a car as a college student, it’s crucial to consider everything you’ll have to pay for as a car owner, such as parking fees, gas costs, auto insurance, etc. before you decide to get one.
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Things to Consider Before Buying a Car as a College Student
It is crucial that you think twice about several factors and put them in place before making a final decision before moving forward with this. A few of these factors include;
1. What is your budget?
Deciding to purchase a car when, even after selling your properties, you won’t be able to pay off the loan within a few months or years is wrong.
Before purchasing a car, be sure to think about what you have in your safe and how you’ll be able to obtain the remaining funds to finish the payment.
2. Decide on the car
The next step is to choose the type of car after you have reviewed your budget. Either you purchase a brand-new car or a used vehicle.
A college student can still afford some really good-condition secondhand cars that are still on the market.
Conduct a study about the cars and their parts before deciding.
No matter what type of car you purchase, keep in mind that you should make sure you can quickly repair any parts that become worn or damaged.
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3. Research on the car
To know if the parts are easy to get, research it and the company that manufactures the car.
4. Take a drive
After researching the car that you have in mind, the next thing for you to do when you get there is to test drive the car to ensure that it is what you want.
Some cars are heavy to handle and while some are so light, there are some that once you are on the wheel, you feel you two are made for each other.
Taking a test drive will help you know how good the car is. So avoid what you see in the paper or what you see on the screen and take a test drive before you conclude to proceed with the car.
5. Learn to negotiate
Appearing in front of a company or an agent as a college student will only tell them you are still new in the business. That means you know nothing about negotiation and the prices of cars.
So before going there, do a lot of research on the prices both for the new and used ones. This will help you negotiate to tell them you did your homework well before coming.
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Overview of the Best Cars for College Students
Here is an overview of the top cars for college students in 2022.
- 1. Toyota Corolla
- 2. Classic Jeep Wrangler
- 3. Hyundai Sonata
- 4. Honda Pilot
- 5. Subaru Outback
- 6. A4 Audi
- 7. Toyota Rav4 Hybrid
- 8. Hyundai Elantra
- 9. Honda Fit
- 10. Chevrolet Sonic
- 11. Nissaan Altima
- 12. Kia Soul
- 13. Hyundai Santa Fe
- 14. Subaru Crosstrek
- 15. Toyota Prius
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List of the Best Cars for College Students in 2022
Finding a car that is inexpensive, trustworthy, safe, and efficient is essential whether you are a young adult getting ready to start college or a parent trying to buy a car for a college student.
They can increase the already exorbitant cost of higher education by factoring in an automobile, which would raise student debt.
But a lot of students still choose to have a car. It is frequently a necessity.
Some folks only desire the independence that comes with having access to a personal, private automobile whenever they need it. Here is a list of the top 15 top cars for college students in 2022 in case you find yourself in need of one.
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1. Toyota Corolla
Toyota Corolla is one of the top cars for college students in 2022.
Having a trustworthy car is essential whether it’s your first or final year of college, or even if you simply want to be a “super senior” for the next ten years.
And no matter how hard you try to convince others it’s not, you might appear cool in a Jeep Wrangler without doors or a C6 Corvette that was passed down from a family, but an affordable option like a Toyota Corolla will never let you down.
Although it may not be as attractive as a Wrangler or a sports vehicle, it will always get you where you need to go.
2. Nissan Altima
The Nissan Altima is a reliable all-purpose vehicle.
It is neither the most affordable nor the most spacious of the vehicles in this category, with an MSRP of $23,260.
Despite this, it boasts extra roomy, comfortable seats and the option to upgrade the standard engine to a sporty 3.5L V6.
Looking for a little more fashionable attire?
The Altima would make a fantastic pick thanks to the engine improvement and its sleek, streamlined appearance.
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3. Honda Pilot
The Honda Pilot is the most expensive SUV we’ve examined so far, coming in at $31,450 MSRP.
However, you get a lot for that money, including eight seats, a ride that is as smooth as silk, and better gas mileage than almost any other SUV available.
For college students looking for a roomy, high-end car with excellent safety features, the Pilot would be a wonderful option.
4. Classic Jeep Wrangler
A reliable little SUV that can journey off the usual road is the Jeep Wrangler.
New Fiestas and Sonics cost substantially less than new Wranglers.
They use less fuel.
They’re one of the top cars for college students who routinely move people or inert cargo across their campuses, college towns, and other locations.
For purchasers on a tight budget, the entry-level Sport package probably suffices.
The Rubicon boasts a plethora of off-road-specific features and a variety of driver-friendly features like a potent infotainment system for more affluent students with larger budgets.
Consider buying an older, used model if the Wrangler’s expensive MSRP ($31,815) turns you off.
The Wrangler has been around for a while, therefore there are many inexpensive past models available.
Some of them are priced similarly, with compact cars of a similar age.
5. Subaru Outback
The Outback, a hardy, sizable midsize sedan, is Subaru’s best-selling model.
For college students who enjoy being outside but prefer something a little more practical than an SUV, this vehicle would be a wonderful choice.
It is pricey at $26,345 but offers a lot of features.
Subaru has improved the interior of the new Outbacks with a comprehensive, user-friendly infotainment system and more safety features, although the exterior of the vehicles still maintains a solid appearance
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6. A4 Audi
The Audi A4 is perfect for a student who needs a small vehicle to get to and from school and other activities.
The sedan and station wagon are the two body types available for the Audi A4. In the past, the A4’s second and third editions had a convertible model.
For the fourth generation and later, Audi separated the convertible into a new coupé and 5-door liftback model under a different nameplate called the Audi A5.
The Audi A4 is perfect for students because of its price, ease of maintenance, and durability.
7. Toyota Rav4 Hybrid
The Toyota RAV4 is a reliable, reasonably priced SUV with good gas mileage. Its MSRP is $27,385.
But in contrast to many SUVs in its price category, it also includes a fully functional all-wheel drive system.
A student seeking an economical vehicle who also wants to get off the main path and go exploring would do well to consider the RAV4.
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8. Hyundai Elantra
Their features are among the few factors that make this care one of the best.
The Hyundai Elantra 2022 has features including blind-spot monitoring, an emergency automatic brake, and warning font collision.
It is one of the top cars for college students in 2022.
A voice recognition system connected to Bluetooth is included with the automobile.
It has a touchscreen that is 8 inches, high-beam help, etc.
Depending on how you bargain, you can get the car as a college student for $20,875 or more.
9. Honda Fit
Among our top picks for cars, the Honda Fit is the cheapest.
It offers good fuel efficiency and has a starting MSRP of $16,190.
In fact, the inside is fairly roomy for a vehicle of this size.
Without a doubt, you won’t receive everything for that money.
Besides the transmission being rather noisy at highway speeds, reviews have noted that acceleration is a little slow.
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10. Chevrolet Sonic
With basic manual or optional automatic transmissions, the Chevrolet Sonic is a compact car that is available in hatchback and four-door sedan body types.
There are many trim levels that are offered, each with unique pricing and set of amenities.
It is one of the top cars for college students.
One of Sonic’s primary differentiators is its safety equipment.
It has a rearview camera, the Driver Confidence Package, and 10 airbags as standard equipment, unlike many compact cars.
Rear park help, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning are all included.
This car is available for as little as $16,720.
11. Hyundai Sonata
The Sonata is both inexpensive and cozy. With much greater capacity than the Altima, it costs $22,050 less than both the Altima and the Outback.
Additionally, it has extras like a heated steering wheel, micro-climate (so that two areas of the car can have separate temperatures), and heated and ventilated seats.
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12. Kia Soul
The Kia Soul’s appearance is likely to catch people’s attention right away because of how distinctive and boxy it looks.
It is one of the top cars for college students in 2022.
It has a lot of storage inside for a vehicle its size. Reviewers have also lauded the cabin’s comfort and internal technology.
The MSRP of the Soul is $16,940, making it incredibly reasonable. However, when compared to other vehicles in its class, it falls a little short in terms of gas mileage.
13. Hyundai Santa Fe
With a starting MSRP of $24,950, the Santa Fe is a fantastic, reasonably priced SUV.
It includes a six-speaker music system, a variety of clever safety systems, and fabric seats that are odor- and stain-resistant.
It also has one of the longest warranty periods of any vehicle in its class. If a student wants to go outdoors, this would be a fantastic vehicle.
After graduating from college, are you considering having a family?
You may get a Santa Fe now and use it as a family car after graduating, thanks to its extended warranty.
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14. Subaru Crosstrek
You may purchase this vehicle for collegiate use for $22, 445.
This is one of the top cars for college students that is really enjoyable to drive.
Despite being a little SUV, it conveys an impression that most high-end cars cannot.
Your mind is drawn to investigate to see if you may experience the same thing.
15. Toyota Prius
With an MSRP of $24,685, the Toyota Prius is not even close to becoming the most costly little car on this list. What do you receive for the cost?
Firstly, the Prius is a hybrid vehicle that runs on both gas and electricity.
Hybrids are both extremely efficient (up to 53 miles per gallon) and environmentally benign. The Prius’ interior is quite roomy.
The comfort and quality of the cabin, on the other hand, have received conflicting reviews for a vehicle in its price category.
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What to Look For When Purchasing a Student-Friendly Car
College students are drawn to old cars since they are frequently inexpensive and have low operating costs.
Prior to deciding which student car is best for you, take into account other elements besides the car’s price and fuel efficiency, which will determine whether it is a financially viable solution.
Options for Funding
It is possible that you won’t be able to buy a new car if you’re a student with a limited budget.
You should instead research your options for used automobile financing.
Since the remaining part of the car’s cost will be spread out over several years with interest accruing, try to make the largest down payment possible.
Ratings of Efficacy
A car’s rating measures the efficiency of converting gasoline into energy.
This is vital for students since they will spend less money on the fuel pump, the higher the efficiency rating.
Looking at the fuel economy and the number of litres needed to travel 100 kilometres will help you tell higher ratings from lower ratings.
Any vehicle that uses less than 5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres is thought to be remarkable, while vehicles that use about 10 litres per 100 kilometres are considered decent.
Features and Ratings for Safety
New cars with improved safety features are released into the market every year.
Examples of life-saving safety features include sophisticated emergency braking systems and lane drift detection technology.
These features are typically only offered on newer models, which may seem out of your price range as a student on a tight budget.
But over several months and years, these qualities spread throughout the used car market. By looking for the best safety features and ratings at a fair price, you can save money.
Size And Manoeuvrability
If you attend a university in a city, you will probably benefit from driving a smaller car, such as a compact Honda, because of congested roads and scarce parking.
Imagine your commute on exposed roads to a distant institution.
You might want to think about getting a little larger and a heavier car that can endure the more challenging winter driving conditions.
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Here are some of the top cars for college students:
2022 Kia Forte
2022 Subaru Impreza
Hyundai Santa Fe
2022 Honda Civic
Most manufacturers provide fresh graduates and college students with some kind of discount. This comprises many automobile brands, such as Buick, GMC, Chevy, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Subaru, and Toyota.
Depending on the brand, discounts can be anywhere from $500 and $1,000. Some also provide lease options and flexible financing.
When selecting a new vehicle, there are many things to keep in mind. But the pricing, safety ratings, insurance prices, and size are things that college students should focus on more.
There are less expensive monthly automobile payments when you lease a car. However, for most college students and car buyers, it is more cost-effective to purchase a vehicle outright than to lease one. Leasing an automobile will cost more in the long run than buying one.
To be eligible for a car loan, you must at the very least have an excellent credit history and a consistent source of income. Saving money for a down payment or considering a co-signer are two strategies to increase your chances.
Both exciting and daunting feelings may come with moving away to college. Along with signing up for classes, moving in, and buying books, you also need to worry about transportation.
Besides everything else, finding the appropriate car could be a time-consuming endeavor.
By providing you this article on the top cars for college students in 2022, we’ve relieved you of the worry of spending a lifetime looking for an affordable vehicle.
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