Off to College: 4 Tricks for Staying on the Road on a Budget

college budget

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  • Most college students need vehicles for getting to classes or work.

    Those going to school out of town may also need transportation for heading home on the weekends.

    Here are four ways to keep costs low while staying on the road.

    Pick a Used Vehicle

    Rather than opting for that expensive new car that is going to come with huge monthly payments, college students should be willing to look at quality used vehicles. Looking for dealerships with pre-owned Fords for sale, for example, would be a step in the right direction. Cars that are two to three years old are often still in great condition but are sold at a fraction of the cost of similar newer models.

    Consider Gas Mileage

    While some people may be tempted to save money by buying an older used car, they may actually be wasting their money in other key areas. For example, many cars that are more than a few years old have low gas mileage. These college students may be saving on their auto loans, but they will be shelling out plenty of money at the pump every week especially if they have long distances to drive to work or home every weekend.

    Budget for Automobile Insurance

    All drivers are required to carry automobile insurance and to be able to provide proof of insurance if they are stopped by law enforcement. This can be a major cost for some, and individuals should consider ways to lower insurance costs in order to stay on the road.

    While new cars can be quite costly to insure, other factors affecting insurance rates include annual mileage driven, insurance extras chosen, such as low deductibles, and the car itself. Cars that are flashier, more expensive or more apt to be stolen will cost far more in insurance.

    Opt for Frugal Maintenance

    Once the student owns the car, it is time to take care of it to keep it road-worthy as long as possible. One of the best tips is to take care of known problems quickly before they become exponentially more expensive. In addition, some repairs, such as small body repairs or oil changes, can be done oneself with just a little bit of help via the Internet.

    Budgeting for a vehicle is a must. Not only must monthly loan payments be taken into account, but also students should consider the costs for insurance, maintenance and repairs. By considering the cost, it will be less stressful to stay on the road even after heading off to college.

    Image Credit: Pixabay

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