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Please help!

I’m a broke college student… I’m searching for an insanely reliable car to take me around campus and to and from my house and college, a 6 hour drive. I was hoping someone could suggest a good car that I could get that doesn’t cost a fortune ( I want to stay around 10,000 and 15-16000) and won’t break down on me. I only really care that its automatic, fuel efficient, and that it will last me 8 or so years. Can anyone suggest something?

A 2015 Toyota Corolla S, L, or LE fits yinto your price criterion, is reliable, and will give you good gas mileage. If you get one with the CVT transmission, mileage will be better than with the traditional automatic.

You can save a lot of money by walking around the campus. I did and so did many others. As a student you really don’t need an INSANELY reliable car. A Chevy Cobalt with low mileage will serve you well. A student in Texas we advised did just that for only $3500.

People with jobs who need to drive 20 miles every morning and show up for work need very reliable cars.

I made do with a10 year old Chevy that saw me through school just fine. No need to spend $10,000 to $15,000 on a car if you are “BROKE”.

Yes, first of all you can’t be broke and plan on spending up to $15000.00 for a vehicle.
I think that a college student should be able to research problems like this and also don’t most institutions have counselors to help the students?

Won’t break down on me ( everything breaks at some point in time ).

The word “reliable” goes hand in hand with meticulous maintenance. Any new car that is neglected will not be reliable.

As a “broke” college student where is the money coming from to perform this maintenance?

There’s also the issue of a “broke” student having 10-15k to spend on a car. If it’s from “student loan” money then you’re just digging yourself a nasty hole there to boot. If this is the case I think you would be better served to do as Docnick says and get something much cheaper while using student loans for the intended purpose.

I’m not going to get into the debate over being “broke” and having $15k to spend on a vehicle, but I do want the OP to consider something that we talk about constantly in this forum, namely the importance of excellent maintenance. In this case, we would be talking about excellent maintenance on the part of the previous owner(s) of whatever car the OP chooses to buy.

Even a make and model that has a history of excellent reliability can be turned into an unreliable, prone-to-breakdown money pit if the previous owner(s) ignored vital maintenance. Although I no longer buy used cars, if I was buying one nowadays I would only buy one whose maintenance records were available for my inspection. And, then one needs to be able to take the time to sit down with those records and compare them to the mfr’s maintenance schedule in order to see just how well the car was maintained. My policy is…no maintenance records? No sale!

And, even with a record of good maintenance, it is still important to have a mechanic of your own choosing do a pre-purchase inspection in order to determine if the vehicle had previously been in a collision and/or if there are any lurking repair issues.

Update: everyone is saying how I’m broke but could spend 15k on a car… Obviously my parents will be helping me pay this. Broke meaning I cannot afford to keep buying cars for the next few years. I have some money saved up, but its just for this purpose. I just wanted to know if there was a car that had a history of not needing a lot of work right off the bat. And for those that say why spend that much, I’d rather spend 15k now, then 7k now for a used and frankly broken down car and another 3k for repairs, and then another 7k for a new car. At least with a new car now I can be assured that the warranty will cover most problems. I have a 2002 cavalier, which my parents bought a few years ago, and it can barely make an hour drive. You cannot be certain with a old car how it will run and if there will be underlying problems. And no, I do not plan on walking 8days to my house and campus :expressionless:. And I also need a car for campus because believe it or not, not everything is accessible on campus or by the campus buses. AND YES I HAVE A JOB OFF CAMPUS SO YES I ALSO NEED A CAR FOR THAT

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You should have left the "broke " part out of your post. As for getting help from your parents then you should either look at a low cost lease or do a internet search for the cheapest new vehicle you like. That will give you a warranty and you will know the history of vehicle.


U can lease a car for $200/mo or $7k for 3yrs. Which is your low end budget example. But ur full insurance might cost more than car payment. I would say it might be hard to lease being a young college student with little income and no credit history. What type of cars do your parents drive? Do they have insanely reliable cars? Or not? Maybe they buy lousy cars and u worry that u might also buy a similar car?

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If you tell us you are a “broke” college student, it isn’t OBVIOUS to me or anyone else who has been really broke that mommy and daddy are going to buy you a car. You seem to think you should have a life without problems. No one has that, you should endeavor to learn how to handle problems.

tough crowd huh? Don’t worry, their bark is worse than their bite.

It’s a bad idea to ask what car to buy on a forum. It would take you a lifetime to research all the suggestions you might get. By then you need a wheelchair not car.

Used Honda Civic. Cheap to run, cheap to work on, common as water so you’ll never find yourself in some podunk town between home and school with no mechanic who can fix it.

In your price range you can probably find an Si and have a little fun with it while staying practical and reliable.

@kaciboo, I like your style. Not too proud to ask for advice. JTSanders solved this for sure and I like the Corolla. However, here’s another way to look at this transportation challenge. You are in college now. You are smart and looking eight years out. College is four years long. Four years after I was out of college money was no longer a problem at all. Not until I was temporarily house poor a little while later anyway. Bet on yourself. Take about $3K of that money and put it towards a lease on a new 2017 Corolla SE. That is the trim Toyota builds for leases. You will pay about $150 per month for a Corolla SE on that lease for 36 months. Your total costs over three years will be just about $8,500 (including your down payment on the lease). The leased car will never be out of warranty. The first two years of maintenance are included in all Toyotas. This is basically a fixed cost of ownership for you. If you love this Corolla, you can buy out the lease in three years. It will be your choice. I assume you won’t overdrive your lease miles. Ask for details. Also be sure to ask about Toyota’s College graduate rebate program of $1250. You don’t actually have to have graduated to qualify. You can still be in college. Maybe it applies to leases too. The 2017 Corolla is a Top Safety Pick Plus and the only car in its segment with standard active safety on every trim. It also has very good fuel economy. It will be an automatic. Automakers shy away from lease deals on stick shifts because only about 5% of buyers will consider them. Good luck! PS - you can pay off a lease in cash up front if financing is an issue.

You can point your fingers right back at yourself

You brought everything upon yourself

Don’t blame us

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Agree! It’s best to think your questions through rather than shooting from the hip or trying to be cute! Sean Spicer, speaking for the White House puts his rather large feet in his mouth on a regular basis. Sounding tough while uttering nonsense does not cut it there or on this forum.

A few years ago a young secretary in our company asked me to recommend a car for her. Since a car is a very personal choice, I referred her to Consumer Reports’ buying guide.

Knowing her budget she took a few days and bought a used Nissan Sentra, and was a happy camper.

We answer questions and try to give logical answers, even if the questions are sometimes illogical.

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