Best Cars For College Students In 2022

As a student, your budget is centered on education and living expenses here are Best Cars For College Students.

Best Cars For College Students

You don’t want to disturb that delicate balance by switching modes of transportation.

Consider if you actually need a vehicle for college when deciding which automobile is suitable for you.

If you do, your next step as a college student is to shop around for the best, most economical car and insurance.

With so much on your to-do list before you move off to college or university, we’ve compiled a list of the best automobiles for college students to help you evaluate various brands and models with an emphasis on affordability, efficiency, and safety.

Do You Need a Car in College?

When purchasing a vehicle for a college student, the first obstacle to overcome is determining between necessity and desire.

Is it necessary to have a vehicle for this specific college experience?

If it doesn’t, a vehicle will become simply another source of petrol, insurance, and potentially parking fees.

It will also be a source of entertainment.

Some institutions don’t allow first-year students to have cars.

Many colleges employ permit parking to regulate parking on campus.

Having a vehicle while in college might be quite inconvenient.

It may be more of a desire than a necessity if you don’t require a personal automobile to commute to work or to and from an off-campus accommodation.

If that’s the case, you should forego it for the first several years.

Can I Afford a Car in College?

A feasible payment is determined by the cost of an automobile.

Whether the parents or the student bear the monthly expenditures, they must be kept as low as feasible.

Most automakers have captive lending organizations, such as Ford Credit and Honda Financial Services, that provide financing on new and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles.

This is a fantastic place to start.

All else being equal, if you secure a loan outside of captive finance, you’ll almost always receive a cheaper monthly payment on a used car than a new one.

Low-interest auto loans are well-known among credit unions.

What To Consider When Buying A Car For College Students

When purchasing a vehicle, especially one for a college student, there are various aspects to consider.

It’s easy to get caught up in the process.

Allowing the obstacles of buying a car to dissuade you from doing so is a mistake!

After looking through some of the things to consider, you could discover that owning a vehicle isn’t that far away after all!

1. Decide on a budget for the car

Start by deciding on a budget.

If you set a reasonable budget, your goal will look much more achievable.

Consider your savings, how much money you earn or can afford to pay each month, and how you might save money for a vehicle.

2. Do Your Homework

Now that you know how much you can spend, it’s time to look into your possibilities.

If you spend some time researching before you purchase, you’ll have a lot better chance of finding a vehicle that you can afford and meets your needs.

3. Decide on the type of car to buy, whether New or Used Car

Whether to purchase a new or used automobile is one of the most significant choices you’ll have to make.

A new automobile should be decided on the basis of your budget and research.

If this is the case, it’s time to examine the advantages of new vs secondhand equipment.

4. Take a Few Test Drives 

While research may help you learn about what’s available and narrow down your choices, it can’t predict how the car will feel once you get behind the wheel.

On paper, a car may look to be excellent, yet it may not function as expected.

It’s particularly important for new drivers to test drive a variety of vehicles to learn how performance differs from one car to the next.

5. Master the Art of Negotiation

Don’t be compelled to pay the whole fee!

Unlike most products you’ll purchase, the price is adjustable.

Used vehicle prices are more volatile than new automobile prices since they are not related to the manufacturer’s manufacturing costs.

Even if you’re the one doing the negotiating, having a parent or other adult there while discussing the price is essential.

How Much Will Car Insurance Costa College Student?

Insurance costs make up a considerable portion of the entire cost of ownership.

It’s a well-known fact that certain automobiles cost less to insure than others.

Automobile insurance is competitive, and shopping around might save you money.

Premiums, on the other hand, are influenced by a number of personal factors such as driving history, yearly kilometers, and residency.

For drivers under the age of 25, insurance has traditionally represented a higher portion of the total cost of purchase.

Participate in the decision-making process with your insurance agent.

What Role Does Safety Play In A Car For College?

When buying an automobile, safety features and ratings should always be a top priority, regardless of age or purpose.

As you narrow down your choices, look at crash test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

What Other Factors Impact a College Car?

Four doors, creative storage solutions with places to conceal computers, and simple parking manners, among other things, are essential, particularly if the automobile will be utilized for college to first-job transportation.

Technology aspects are important on many levels.

Voice recognition, for example, enables you to change the radio station or the temperature setting without taking your eyes off the road.

More college students, on the other hand, are most worried about staying connected.

At the absolute least, they want to be able to charge and connect their gadgets into a vehicle’s infotainment system.

Again, the more recent the model, the bigger the number of possible connections.

Finally, fuel is one of those monthly costs that vary significantly from year to year. It all has to do with the fluctuating price of oil.

If you are on a limited budget, you should seek automobiles that are more fuel-efficient.

Best Cars for College Students

Here’s a list of the best cars for college students:

1. 2021 Toyota Corolla

Starting Price: $20,780 | Rating: 4.4

The Toyota Corolla is one of several vehicles on our list that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has designated as a Top Safety Pick (IIHS).

It also boasts a cheap total cost of ownership and a proven track record of dependability.

The starting price of the Corolla is based on the entry-level L model.

You may upgrade to the LE trim level for $400 extra.

Automatic temperature control, remote keyless entry, and a center armrest in the rear seat are among the many standard amenities.

Every Corolla comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 as standard equipment.

This package includes features such as forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, lane centering, traffic-sign recognition, and high-beam assist.

2. 2021 Hyundai Elantra

Starting Price: $20,645 | Rating: 4.8

Hyundai completely revamped the Elantra for 2021.

Hyundai’s SmartSense suite of safety driver-assist niceties, as well as a projected 37 mpg combined fuel, are included in the entry-level SE’s low price.

Among the available features are front collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane centering, driver-attention warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Standard features include high-beam assist, an 8-inch touchscreen, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connection with voice recognition, and two USB ports.

3. 2021 Honda Civic

Starting Price: $22,005 | Rating: 4.7

Every Civic comes equipped with Honda Sensing, which incorporates front collision warning, auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.

The connecting technologies include one USB port and a Bluetooth connection.

Option packages aren’t something Honda is renowned for.

To get extra material, you must go up the trim-level ladder. Choose a hatchback if you need more cargo space.

4. 2021 Mazda3

Starting Price: $21,445 | Rating: 4.0

The IIHS awarded the Mazda3 a Top Safety Pick+ grade.

According to the government, it achieves 31 mpg in combined city-highway driving.

The Mazda3 has excellent handling and is available with an all-wheel drive (AWD).

Because it has AWD, we chose it as one of our Best Cars for Snow.

On the interior, the Mazda3 seems to be more expensive than it is.

Although blind-spot monitoring is only available on the Select model, the Mazda3 has a forward-collision warning, emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, driver attention alert, and high-beam assist as standard on the basic model.

An 8.8-inch touchscreen and two USB connections are included, as is Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition.

5. 2021 Subaru Crosstrek

Starting Price: $23,295 | Rating: 4.3

Subaru’s all-terrain Crosstrek comes standard with all-wheel drive.

While the Crosstrek comes standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox, the continuously variable transmission (CVT) offers several crucial safety features for an extra $1,350.

A feature on the CVT-equipped Crosstrek enables you to choose between fuel efficiency and power.

The fuel efficiency is also increased when the CVT is engaged.

The combined mileage is 30 miles per gallon, compared to 25 miles per gallon with the manual gearbox

The basic Crosstrek comes with Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which is an IIHS Top Safety Pick when equipped with the CVT.

In addition, the CVT gives the Crosstrek forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.

A blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic warning is available as an option or standard on higher model levels.

The connection package includes one USB port, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and hands-free phone integration.

6. 2021 Kia Seltos

Starting Price: $23,110 | Rating: 4.8

Kia has unveiled the Seltos, a brand-new subcompact SUV.

According to the IIHS, every version of the Seltos saves the LX comes standard with a comprehensive suite of safety features, including forward-collision warning with emergency braking, driver attention warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, lane centering, and high-beam assist.

You’ll need to upgrade to the EX grade, which costs $3,400 more, to obtain blind-spot monitoring.

The connection choices include Bluetooth with voice recognition, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and one USB port.

The Seltos has class-leading cargo capacity and a second-row seat that can comfortably seat two people.

7. 2021 Hyundai Kona

Starting Price: $21,540 | Rating: 4.2

The Hyundai Kona is a subcompact SUV that delivers a lot of value for money.

Because of its small size, it’s easy to park on campus, and the back storage area is great for hauling supplies.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available as options.

You can get up to 33 mpg with the gas engine.

(There is also an electric car available.)

8. 2021 Honda HR-V

Starting Price: $22,140 | Rating: 4.5

Because of its large cabin, the Honda HR-V scores a respectable 30 miles per gallon in mixed city-highway driving.

It also performed very well in government and IIHS crash testing.

The Honda Sensing Suite of driving aids, which includes frontal collision warning, auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and a blind-spot camera, is only available on the EX grade.

9. 2021 Nissan Sentra

Starting Price: $20,335 | Rating: 4.1

The Nissan Sentra is a practical vehicle with a sporty edge and an appealing design.

The “zero gravity” seats in this little automobile are designed to make the trip to school or work more pleasant.

On the highway, the Sentra can go up to 39 miles per gallon (33 miles per gallon combined), so trips to the gas station won’t be too costly.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all models.

The whole suite of SafetyShield 360 driving aids is included in the basic model, including auto emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, rear cross-traffic alert, rear automatic braking, blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning, and high-beam assist, as well as 10 airbags.

10. 2021 Kia Soul

Starting Price: $18,610 | Rating: 4.5

Even though it is available as an option, the entry-level model of this IIHS Top Safety Pick offers no driver assistance.

The S grade adds $3,100 to the total and includes forward-collision warning, emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

The standard model has a Bluetooth connection (no voice recognition), Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and one USB port.

In combined driving, the base Soul, which comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox, scores 27 mpg.


From small SUVs to moderate sedans, these are the 10 finest automobiles for college students.

All of these vehicles have received outstanding reviews and score well in our rankings.

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