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Published on August 29th, 2018 | by Jones


How to find the best car as a student

As a student, you want and need more independence. You might have moved out of home to attend university or are planning on doing so. This means that you will need a reliable form of transport. Finding a car to suit your needs can be difficult, but it is not an impossible task. You can look online for used cars, or you could opt to look into affordable bank repossessed cars. Below is some helpful advice on how to find the best car as a student.

Think about what you want in a car

This is one of the most important steps to take in your car buying adventure. You will need to think carefully about what you want in a car. Are you looking for a large bakkie so that you and your friends can go off on weekend adventures, or are you looking more for a city car to zip around from café to café?


You will need to figure out the purpose of your car and then think about what features will mean the most to you. Once you have decided what you want in a car, it is difficult for salespeople to sway you to change your mind and choose something more expensive. Use a finance calculator for a car to see whether or not you can truly afford your dream car.  

Look at safety features

Once you have thought about what “luxury” features you want in a car, you will need to look at the safety features that matter to you. Safety features are important to students because you can never see what is around the corner in life, and as a new driver you will need to be as safe and secure as possible.


Whether you go to a dealer or you choose to look at bank repossessed cars, the safety features you will need to look for include anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights and electronic stability control as well as more technological safety measures. One tip to remember is that, while electronic windows might seem efficient, if you are in an emergency situation, they could malfunction so it is a good idea to look for manual window winders.

What is the fuel efficiency?

Being a student means that you have a limited budget. And this means that you need a car that has good fuel efficiency. If you choose an SUV or a bigger car, you might find that you are spending a lot of money on filling up your car. A smaller car with low mileage is your best option.


Look at the fuel efficiency of any car that you are considering, even if you are looking at a car auction. Fuel efficiency is an important deciding factor, especially if you are working off of a low budget. Ask your dealer for how much money it takes to fill the car’s tank and ask what the kilometre per litre is. A fuel-efficient car will allow you to go on journeys with your friends without having to worry about spending too much money.

Research car prices

Once you have decided on what features are important to you and looked at the fuel efficiency, you will need to do some research on car prices. The prices you will need to look at are the “blue book value”, the retail price and what the resale value is, in case you decide to sell it after a few years.


Start by looking online at different dealers to see what their price is for the car you want, and comparing these. It will help you to find the best price for what you want. You can also look at bank repossessed cars and compare these to the dealership prices. Be sure to keep your budget at the forefront of your mind and avoid being swayed by shiny models.


Think about depreciation

Every car will experience depreciation, but with new cars the depreciation is much more significant than with used cars. A new car can lose up to 11 percent of its value the moment you drive it off the lot. And during the first five years of its life your car can decrease in value by up to 25 percent each year.


Depreciation is important because it can affect the resale value if you decide to sell it after you have owned it for a few years. It can be very disappointing to be three years into a five year car loan and find that you are paying back more than the car is worth. This means that you should look for a car with a slower rate of depreciation. A used car is the ideal choice for a student, and if you go through the above checklist you will soon find yourself driving off in your dream car.

About the Author

A keen writer, giving advice about work and life.

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