Best Cars for the College Student on a Budget

Your college years are some of the best years of your life, what with all the learning opportunities, weekend-long parties, spring break bashes, and new-found independence. With that independence, however, comes some new-found financial worries as well — like, how do you get around? Brand new cars are out of budget during those hectic undergrad years, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find yourself a nice ride.

Cruise Around in the Kia Soul

Kia is responsible for lots of affordable vehicles. Some of them are probably well within your budget right off the lot, so you can save a lot by buying used. The Kia Soul is a top choice for cool college coeds because it looks pretty funky. It’s sort of like a party machine thanks to some of its feature, such as cabin lights that create your very own light show by throbbing with the beat of your music.

The engine’s a 1.6-liter, true, but remember: if you can’t speed, you can’t really get speeding tickets. Besides, the Soul has a base price of $13,300. Used, you can find some models, such as the 2010, for less than $10,000.

Fast Times in a Ford Focus

The Ford Focus is another top choice for coeds. Fords in general tend to cost less, which is great news if you’re in the market for a car. The Focus, especially the 2010 model, typically costs between $10,175 and $14,575, and it has an exemplary safety rating.

It gets 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, so you’ll benefit from great fuel efficiency as well. It’s also a smaller, more compact vehicle, ideal for campus parking lots. With remote locking, the enviable Sync system, and even heated seats, you’ll become the go-to driver for your friends.

Vroom Vroom in the Nissan Versa

A used Nissan Versa is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something small and manageable but still cool. With an MSRP value of $10,710, you can often find this car for less than $10,000. Thanks to an EPA mileage of 29 mpg, it’s worth every penny.

The hatchback also offers plenty of room, so you’re set for road trips or trips home during the holidays—even if two or three of your friends decide to bum a ride. It’s a safe bet even during the winter holidays, thanks to features such as a Traction Control System and Vehicle Dynamic Control.

Keep It Classic in a Toyota Camry

No matter what the year, a Toyota Camry is always a solid choice. You might go for a dirt cheap 1994 or a newer 2001 model. You’ll get 30 mpg or more either way, not to mention an amazingly reliable ride. The 4-door sedan gives you plenty of room for everything from stereo equipment to an entire dorm room’s worth of furniture. It’s the ideal choice if you simply want a stable, dependable car to get you where you need to go.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a car in college. Just think smart and you’ll find something that’s both dependable and stylish.

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