Out of College and Need a Car? 4 Tips for Finding the Right One

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In this fast-paced world, it’s almost impossible to get by without owning a car. Now that you’ve finished college, you know firsthand how true that is. You’re in the market for a car, but where do you start? Here are four ideas on how you can get the right vehicle for your needs.

Think About Your Use

The first thing you need to decide is what kind of car you need. For a single person who simply commutes from an apartment to an office, a fuel-efficient two-door might be just the right vehicle. If you have a family, more space will be necessary. You may need a truck for your job or for upkeep of your home and property. Whatever your needs may be, focus on getting a vehicle that meets them instead of the other way around.

Consider the Source

With so many online platforms for individuals to sell cars, it’s fast and easy to find dozens of listings for vehicles that appear to meet your needs. Unfortunately, not every seller is reputable. To avoid this situation, skip the random ads and work with a reputable car dealership. They can easily get you the type of vehicle you want, either used or new. You’ll also have the reassurance that their inspection process will protect your purchase.

Remember Maintenance and Repairs

If you’re buying a car that still has factory warranty remaining, it’s important that it comes from a manufacturer with a dealership nearby. You don’t want to drive an hour each way for a simple repair just because the warranty requires it. In addition, imports and cars with lots of high-tech gadgets may be beyond the skills of independent mechanics, so you might want to stick with a dealer even when there’s no warranty remaining.

Don’t Forget Insurance Premiums

Every car drives the same way, but they are not all viewed the same way by insurance providers. The body style, engine, and even the number of doors are all factors in how much it costs you to insure the car. The cost can really add up when you’re carrying full coverage. Get a list of your chosen models and discuss the relative rates with insurance agents, then examine your budget and see what’s the best choice for you.

With a new job, student loans to pay, and probably not much in the savings account, fresh college graduates need to be wise with every purchase. An affordable, reliable car is a critical ingredient in your life after graduation.


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.


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