5 Major Benefits of Buying a Used Car to Drive in College

College is an exciting time of increased freedom, and owning a car can boost opportunities for adventure and exploration while away at school. When deciding whether to buy a new or used vehicle to drive in college, a used model offers five major benefits.

1- Upfront Savings

College students are focused on learning rather than holding full-time jobs, which means money can be tight during these years. Used cars are significantly more affordable than new models, making them a better fit for a student’s budget. Saving thousands upfront on a used car can diminish financial strain, so college students can focus their time and energy on learning.

2- Less Depreciation

Depreciation is a vehicle’s loss of value over time. According to Kelly Blue Book, new cars lose about 20% of their value in the first year of ownership. By the fifth year, that percentage increases to a 60% loss in value.

For college students already saddled with educational debt, investing in a new car – only to have it quickly depreciate in value – may strain an already tight budget. Depreciation slows after five years or 100,000 miles, so students who buy a used car can rest assured their vehicle’s value will remain steady if they choose to sell after graduation.

3- Better Financing Options

College students typically haven’t had time to establish a solid credit history, which can increase interest rates when financing a vehicle. Used cars have a lower sticker price, which creates more flexibility in financing terms. Using a payment calculator can help college students estimate the used car loan terms that work best with their budget. A free calculator is available at

4- Lower Insurance Costs

Used cars are usually much cheaper to insure than new cars, especially when carrying comprehensive coverage. This can reduce the strain on a college student’s monthly budget, allowing her to work less and study more. Be aware that insurance costs also vary greatly depending on the make and model of the vehicle, so it’s wise to research insurance costs for different models before making a purchase.

5- Less Stress Over Minor Accidents

College students are likely to be driving many of their friends around in their vehicles, and they are also likely to be parking in busy campus lots. The former scenario can cause minor damage to a car’s interior, and the latter can increase the likelihood of minor damage to the car’s exterior. Buying a used car can diminish a student’s worry over such damage because the vehicle isn’t likely to be in pristine condition upon purchase. Less worry over minor dings and accidental spills in the backseat can greatly reduce a student’s stress levels during the college years.

Driving a used vehicle in college comes with major benefits that can reduce financial and emotional strain on students, allowing them to fully enjoy their college experience. A used car costs less upfront, it depreciates less in value, and it costs less to insure. In addition, a used car reduces students’ worries over minor dings and accidents, and it offers more flexible financing options. College is a time to focus on studies and on making lifelong friends and memories. Purchasing a used car affords advantages that keep the focus on college instead of on paying for and worrying about a new vehicle.



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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