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4 min read Published 16 September 2022
Written by Allison Martin Allison Martin Written by Allison Martin’s career began more than 10 years ago as a digital content strategist. She’s been featured in a variety of top financial outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and Credit.com. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are dedicated to helping their readers to control their finances by providing clear, well-researched facts that break down complex topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate guarantee
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We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and services or when you click on specific links on our website. So, this compensation can impact how, where and when the products are listed within categories, except where the law prohibits it regarding our mortgages, home equity, and other home loan products. Other elements, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in the area you reside in or is within your personal credit score may also influence how and where products appear on this website. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about each financial or credit item or service. It’s your turn to walk through the halls soon to be awarded your diploma and now you’re ready to journey into the real world. The purchase of a car could be part of the plan if you plan to be living in a place that public transportation isn’t your most effective method to travel. But before you head to the dealership to choose the ideal car, you should do some research and obtain preapproved the purchase so that you shop with confidence. Select the vehicle that is suitable for your lifestyle post-graduation The idea of buying the car of your dreams is thrilling. But, it is important to avoid becoming distracted. Or, you could choose a vehicle that is in line with your preferences but isn’t practical. What’s your commute to and from work? If your commute is lengthy, you may want limit your searches to vehicles with good fuel economy ratings — especially with how gas prices are trending. The current price is $3.70 to the gallon in regular fuel according to AAA which is just a bit lower than the previous months average $3.96. Still, this figure is much higher than the average cost per gallon of $3.18 in the same year ago. Use the online tool to check the average annual fuel costs for any vehicles you are thinking about. It is possible to narrow down to year, make and model, or view recommendations for the most fuel-efficient cars. Dimensions and other features Are compact cars enough, or do you need something more substantial, like an SUV or a pickup truck? What are the best features? are there certain features that are “must-have” in your list? If you recently landed a job with a good starting salary soon after graduating, you may have the most recent technologies and features. But, you may prefer a smaller ride without all the features until you start working and establish your career. Safety features How safe is the vehicle you’re considering? Request a copy of the vehicle’s . It contains maintenance records and will reveal if the vehicle was involved in any collisions. The is another good resource. You can look up safety ratings and search whether recalls have occurred by typing in the vehicle’s model and model or VIN. Choose between used and new There is a lot to love about a new vehicle. It’s shiny, in top condition and smells great. However, there are some that aren’t as reliable. Plus, you could buy an extended warranty at around $1500, and get assurance that you’re protected in the scenario of a major mechanical failure. Consider the following when deciding between a new and used car: New cars have a manufacturer’s warranty. This insurance could save you a lot of money if your car has a breakdown and requires major repairs in the initial several years that you own it. New cars typically have modern features. But, it is possible to find a slightly used vehicle with the features you want. There are some used cars that have low mileage. So, you shouldn’t have any mechanical problems for a long time. Maintenance costs will likely be lower , and you’ll receive a better deal. Certain used cars are . They receive the seal of approval from the manufacturer after being brought up to a level mechanically and are covered by a limited factory warranty. Consider the total cost of ownership of a vehicle. Besides the monthly payments for fuel, as well as auto insurance premiums and also take the cost of maintenance and repairs. In 2021 the average cost of maintenance, repairs and tires was 9.55 cents per mile according to . However, the costs differ depending on the type of vehicle and you can utilize the calculator to estimate how much you could pay over the course of. The cost of annual registration renewals, which generally can range from as little as $20 to just over $200, is also a factor to keep in mind. Some states assess a flat fee, while others use the vehicle’s age, energy efficiency, or weight to calculate the registration fee. Research cars and get financed before going to a dealership Many dealerships provide in-house financing however it is better to do this prior to shopping for a car. You want to have a concrete idea of the amount you’re able to afford, and quotes from your credit union or bank can help you determine an amount that is feasible for you. There’s also greater leverage when . The sale won’t be contingent upon the ability of you to obtain financing through the dealership and you’ll behave like an actual cash buyer. Understand the benefits of buying as opposed to. leasing There’s a lot of chatter around and what is the best option. There are a few advantages of both choices to think about lease payments on more recent cars are typically less expensive. If you’re keen on a particular vehicle that’s a bit expensive it is possible to pay for the monthly installments if you get a lease. You’ll receive a manufacturer’s guarantee in the event that you purchase a new vehicle. It typically provides coverage for up to 36,000 miles or three years, meaning you don’t be required to spend an enormous amount on repairs should an issue with your vehicle arises. There aren’t any mileage limitations if you buy a car. However, if you choose to lease the car, you’ll be limited to anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year or you could end up paying high mileage charges. The fees can range from 10 cents to 25 % of a mile or more subject to the terms that the contract for lease. The car is yours after the loan is fully paid. Lease agreements operate a bit differently, however. You’ll need to return the vehicle to the dealer when the lease expires unless you opt to . In the end, purchasing a car at college is one of the biggest purchases you will make. To make sure that you are getting the best deal, you want to do your homework to find a ride that complements both your lifestyle and budget. It’s also crucial to be preapproved for financing before you visit any dealership and weigh the benefits of buying and leasing to determine which option is best. Find out more
Allison Martin’s work started over 10 years ago, as a digital content strategist, and she’s since been published in various top financial media such as The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and Credit.com. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances with concise, well-studied and well-informed details that cut complicated topics into digestible pieces.
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