Your kids headed for university? Top 5 tips for buying a student car

Around 200 000 young South Africans are starting university in 2019 and many of them are on the hunt for a car to get them around.

Here are five pieces of advice for students (and their parents) who are in the pre-owned market.

Top 5 tips for buying a pre-owned car: list by Gumtree 

1. Budget accordingly

Set the amount you can afford and then hunt for the best value in that price range. Remember to budget for insurance, registration, running costs and servicing. Search nationally online because the cost of transporting the ideal vehicle to you might be outweighed by the savings.

car searching online

                                                                              Image: iStock

2. Never compromise on safety 

Get the brakes, shocks, lights, side-mirrors and wipers checked. Budget for replacing tyres and wiper blades if necessary and for repairing any flaws in the windscreen. 

                                                                               Image: Quickpic

3. Buy reliable

Colour and looks are not as important as a vehicle that will start first time, every time. Check the service history and question the current owner about any recurring issues. Purchasing from someone you know, who can vouch for the vehicle’s performance, is ideal.

                                                                            Image: iStock

4. Think security

Expensive sound systems and trendy mags might be desirable for a student driver but they’re also thief magnets. Vehicles, especially when parked where students often park them, are vulnerable to crime and expensive accessories up your risk. If the vehicle doesn’t have good electronic security then invest in a gear or wheel lock.

car remote alarm

                                                                            Image: iStock

5. Get the best

Look for solid brands that will bring you good re-sale value. The 2018 Gumtree Pre-Owned Car Awards acknowledged the Volkswagen Take Up! 1.0 3-door and the Tata Bolt 1.2T XMS 5-door as the best two-year-old vehicles under R130 000, and the VW Polo Vivo GP 1.4 Trendline and Toyota Etios 1.5 XS Sprint as the best under R160 000.

Volkswagen Up

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