College is an important step towards a successful career, but life as a college student can be difficult, especially when it comes to money. So when it is time to buy a car, you are probably looking for something that will cost very little, but last a long time. And when it comes to younger students, who are often new drivers, driver safety is of the utmost importance. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the best used cars for college students. Each of these is a safe, reliable car, and most can be purchased for less than $10,000.
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Honda Civic 2006-2011
The Honda Civic is one of the most popular cars in America, and it is easy to see why. It is safe, reliable, fuel efficient, and low cost. The eighth generation Civic, from 2006 until 2011 is a very good model that should be right in any student’s price range. It is also reliable and any repairs should be on the lower end of the cost spectrum, as long as you don’t get the hybrid version.
Ford Fusion 2007
Though not as fuel efficient as the Civic, a 2007 Ford Fusion is a great car for someone looking for a cheap and reliable everyday vehicle. For a sedan it is remarkably spacious, and has a unique and sleek look for a low-cost runaround.
Mini Cooper 2003-2004
This is the kind of affordable yet slightly irresponsible vehicle that suits a college student perfectly. A nifty little compact car like the Mini Cooper is especially ideal for anyone who goes to school in a big city. While you are searching however, be sure to get one without too many options, as they raise the price quickly. It’s also sensible to have it inspected before purchasing.
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Subaru Forester 2004
For something a little larger, the 2004 Subaru Forester is one of the best used compact SUVs out there. Plenty of these are available for under the $10k mark, and although you won’t be saving as much on gas as you would with some of the other cars on this list, you can at least bank on a Subaru’s reliability.
Hyundai Sonata 2007
While it might be tempting to stick with the well-known American and Japanese manufacturers, the mid-2000s is when Hyundai really picked up its game. Because it didn’t have the brand power of a Toyota or a Honda, a 2007 Sonata can be found relatively cheap, but it will match up against each of its competitors from that period.
Toyota Tacoma 2002-2003
The low price for one of these compact trucks comes courtesy of its age and probably an accompanying high mileage. However, you do not need to worry about that, because it is a reliable and durable vehicle that will not only get you to where you need to go, but come in handy for each time you need to move into a new apartment!
What advice do you have for college students buying cars?
Robert Cordray is a freelance writer and expert in business and finance. He has received many accolades for his work in teaching solid entrepreneur advice. Follow Robert on Twitter @