A vehicle can make college life a lot more enjoyable. Whether you need to take a trip back home or run daily errands, nothing beats having your own transportation. Here are seven things to look for when buying a car for a college student.
As a parent, you want your child to be as safe as possible. Before buying a car for a college student, be sure to research its crash scores. Models with an NHTSA five-star overall safety rating provide superior impact protection. Also, search for vehicles that have been chosen as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.
Furthermore, today’s newest vehicles now offer a number of accident-avoidance technologies. While automatic emergency braking can prevent rear-end collisions, blind-spot monitoring gives drivers more security when changing lanes.
College students typically don’t have a lot of extra money to spare. This is why you should purchase an automobile that’s good on gas. Ideally, the vehicle should return at least 30 mpg on the highway. It is also a good idea to choose a model that’s engineered to use regular gasoline. Premium gasoline may prove to be too big of an expense in the long run.
Cost of Ownership
When preparing to purchase a vehicle, some people forget to consider the total cost of ownership. Always check the cost of insurance beforehand. Understandably, high-performance models tend to have higher insurance rates. Your best bet is to pick a more practical vehicle. Car review sites can give you some good options to choose from.
You should definitely consider a vehicle’s reliability rating. The last thing you want is for your child to be burdened with a vehicle that needs frequent repairs. After the automaker’s original warranty expires, either you or your child must cover the cost of getting the car fixed. While premium European cars offer a great driving experience, replacement parts can be quite steep.
Front-Wheel Drive or All-Wheel Drive
In most regions, front-wheel drive will be perfectly fine. If your child’s school is in a snow-prone region, an AWD-equipped car will prove to be a better option. The enhanced traction will give them more security when traveling on slippery roads. However, be aware that all-wheel drive does tend to reduce fuel economy on most vehicles.
For many college students, modern technology is a bare necessity. They’ll greatly appreciate a car that features the latest high-tech goodies. Make sure the vehicle’s infotainment system has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are two of the hottest smartphone integration technologies on the market. Drivers will be able to quickly access their favorite mobile apps, stream music, and place hands-free calls. Meanwhile, a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot will give them a reliable connection to the internet.
Emergency Communications System
If you want extra peace of mind, choose a model that comes equipped with an emergency communications system. Your child will then be able to contact emergency personnel at the touch of a button. Some systems even provide automatic crash notifications. Whether driving locally or traveling out of town for the weekend, they’ll have an extra measure of protection.