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How to Buy a Car Like a Pro as a College Student

By , 6/13/2024

Buying a new car, especially when new to the process, can be daunting. Simplify the process.

Navigating the car-buying process as a college student can feel incredibly daunting and overwhelming. It's common to feel stuck trying to find a car with everything you want at a reasonable price and struggle to find a dealership where you feel comfortable. Trust me, I've been there and know how big of a challenge this can be.

As a female college student, I spent most of my life not caring about cars. When it finally came time for me to start thinking about buying one, I was utterly overwhelmed, and maybe you are too. But don't worry! With the right tools and knowledge, you can make a smart car purchase that you'll feel confident and proud of.

Working at Rydeshopper, a Detroit-based automotive research website, I've learned firsthand that people like us can buy cars with confidence. Rydeshopper is different from other sites that just push you to a salesperson. Instead, they give you all the info you need to get the best deal before locating dealers that can actually help you. It's quick and easy, here's how you can do it, too.

Do Your Research

The first step in buying a car is conducting thorough research. Rydeshopper offers many tools to compare makes and models, understand their features, and unlock detailed pricing information.

Rydeshopper grants you access to detailed dealer pricing normally locked behind managers doors. Unlock dealer invoice price on any make and model and see what the dealer paid for the car you want. 

Get Instant Invoice Price

Know Your Budget

As a college student, creating a realistic budget is important when considering purchasing a car. Rydeshopper provides transparent MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price), including the lowest and highest dealer prices found, as well as the average dealer price. This realistic average can help you decide if a car is affordable for you. Many car buyers are unaware of the total cost of ownership, so Rydeshopper aims to educate new buyers on factors such as the difference between sales price, dealer price, invoice price, and MSRP.

Don't Be Afraid of Dealerships 

Dealerships today are staffed with knowledgeable product experts who are genuinely passionate about the brands they represent. They aim to provide a pressure-free environment and are committed to helping you find the right vehicle. Approach them with clarity about your needs and expectations and be confident about what you want. his will give you the most satisfaction in the long run, and it is not scary to do!

Test Drive Multiple Cars

When narrowing down your choices for a new car, it's crucial to test-drive several cars to get a feel for how each one handles and whether it suits your needs. Consider factors like comfort, performance, technology, and storage. Test the car in your life to see if it truly fits your lifestyle. Can it fit all of your friends for your monthly road trip? Is it easy to put the second row of seats down to fit golf clubs? Does it have the features you want, like wireless CarPlay? Our website has articles comparing similar cars and their driving styles, which can be helpful while you're test driving.

It’s Time to Buy a Car!

Purchasing a car as a college student who doesn't know much about cars may seem daunting, but it can be a smooth and rewarding experience with the right preparation and resources. Thanks to the valuable insights and tools provided by Rydeshopper, I discovered that it is indeed possible for people like us to buy cars confidently and knowledgeably.

For a seamless experience, Rydeshopper can even connect you directly with reputable dealerships that align with your preferences and budget. By using Rydeshopper's platform, you'll not only find the perfect car but also ensure that your buying experience is both efficient and satisfying. Happy car hunting!

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