Car buying tips

By Jason Samp | Staff Writer |

Buying a new car from a dealership is difficult for most college students as they require a steady income and a good credit report, while also paying high monthly payments on average.

The main conflicts that come up are buying new versus buying used, as well as what key attributes to look for.

However, used cars are a much more of a cost effective option for students.

The main things to look for in a used car are low mileage, high mpg, good safety ratings and low cost.

Finding all these features in a vehicle for a good price is difficult, however there are cars with various price ranges that students should consider.

The Toyota Prius is a popular hybrid car that offers high mpg at a relatively low cost when buying one used.

The range for a used Prius between the years 2006 and 2009 is between $5,000 and $12,000 depending on mileage and condition of the vehicle.

Keep in mind, the hybrid battery will eventually need to be replaced which could add additional costs to your purchase.

“If you want a fuel efficient car I would put you in a Prius. It may be a little pricy up front but not too bad! You will actually save more money on gas in the long run,” said ValleyHi Toyota sales associate, Casandra Clawson.

Another affordable car that is non-electric would be the Toyota Yaris.

This vehicle is a solid option to consider buying new with a price around $13,000 depending on options.

Toyota offers warranties on their vehicles as well as a history of reliability; the Yaris also has some decent incentives.

“I would recommend the Yaris because we can do an interest rate for zero percent on those cars,” said Clawson.

The Yaris also offers around 30 mpg around town and 36 mpg on the freeway.

Although the Yaris is one vehicle that can be cost effective, the Kia Soul can also help with money issues.

The Kia Soul is considered to be more stylish than many commuter cars.

It offers many features a college student would want, for example USB and auxiliary hookups, spacious seating for passengers, as well as plenty of storage room to haul what you need.

Some earlier models of the Kia Soul can be found for as low as $5,000, the higher in cost you go the more reliability you will receive from the vehicle.

“The key to a good college car is style and reliability,” said Alex Vasquez, student. “I think the Kia Soul is pretty stylish but some may disagree.”

“Do as much research as possible and call around different dealerships and get quotes, look around for good interest rates,” said student, Fabian Lucatero.

Car shopping is not a simple process but with proper expectations and preparations, it can be a smooth one.