A photo by David Marcu. unsplash.com/photos/_iVG4MsY2N0Money is tight for students. There’s no denying that. And one of the costs which students have to be aware of is the cost of transportation. There’s no getting away from the fact that it’s likely one of the biggest expenses facing students. If you study or live in an area where walking or public transport just isn't an option for you, you might just need to think carefully about buying a car. You’ll need a fairly cheap car, one which is sure to get you safely from point A to point B and with enough space to transport you and all your classmates. As one of the few students with your own wheels on campus, you’ll soon find yourself as one of the most popular students around. Here are some of the reasons you should think about buying an affordable car, specifically in a private sale, as these are often sold at cheaper prices. More people are choosing to buy used cars An increased number of people are going this route recently as they see the value in buying cars which aren’t new. Lower prices, slower depreciation and increased payment flexibility are all reasons to think about buying a used car. Says the AA: “Before launching your search for a good deal on a used car, spend some time considering many of the same factors that would apply to a new car purchase: how you will use the vehicle; how long you plan to keep it; the size, style, features and appearance you need or prefer; and your budget or financing options for the purchase, as well as for operation, maintenance, and repair costs. Know your financial limits and secure any needed financing before beginning your search.” Money A basic, reliable used car makes more financial sense for many people, including young people. You’ve likely heard it before, and for good reason, that a car begins to depreciate the minute it’s driven off the showroom floor. To put in simply, buying a new car means you’ll start losing money right away. And no one has money to lose these days. Knowing the risks The reality is that, like most things, along with the advantages come a number of risks. A used car might have mechanical or structural problems. And you might not find out about it until it’s too late. You might be wondering whether all private car sales are as is? But cars can't be sold "voetstoots" whether or not the seller knows what its defects are. “In order for a car to be sold voetstoots, a full list of all known car defects has to be provided. “As part of the sale agreement, you, the buyer, would then have to sign and acknowledge the presence of these defects,” says the AA's Gary Ronald. Another problem is that replacement parts for an older car might be difficult to find at affordable prices. It’s up to you, as the buyer of the vehicle, to make the most of the car’s advantages, like the low price, while informing yourself about the possible risks. What you need to think about Deciding to buy a used car means you’ll need to think about many of the same factors you would have had to think about when buying a new car. These factors include:
  • How much can you afford to pay for the car?
  • How much can you afford to pay for its operating costs, repairs and maintenance?
  • What will you be using the car for?
  • How long do you plan to keep the car for?
  • What particular size, style and features are you looking for?
Do some research There are a number of makes of cars which are known for being safe, reliable and comfortable. You’ll need to do some research about these types of cars by talking to people who already own them. While you’re chatting to these car owners, you need to ask them about the costs of maintaining their car. Some makes of cars are known to be more affordable than others, while others are well-known for falling at the pricey end of the scale. It certainly makes sense to buy a used car. You’ll just need to be sure to complete your research carefully and be certain that you choose a comfortable, reliable and quality car. There’s no easy answer when it comes to buying a car. You need to do what's right for you. Sometimes the right choice is a new car, sometimes the right choice is a used car. All that’s important is that you do your research and make your choice carefully. After all, you’ll have to live with your choice for many years.

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