6 Affordable cars for students

You know that as a student it can sometimes be tough to get around. And whether you’re in your first year or are going to be graduating soon, you very likely want and need to have a car to use to get from A to B. You need to get to class, to your friends’ houses for those study sessions and very soon to work.

You don’t need something flashy or fancy. You just need something affordable to get you there safely. The problem is coming up with the money to buy the car and to pay for all the additional costs that come with owning a vehicle like maintenance, insurance and petrol. The next problem is convincing mom, dad or the bank that owning a car really is essential.

Mom and dad think you can keep on using public transport. But you know how limited your options are in getting to where you need to go, safely and on time. It really doesn’t need to be said that taxis, buses and trains are not the most reliable transport options. And if you want to impress your lecturers and employers, you need to get to where you need to be on time and, preferably, in one piece.

So, to help make your negotiations that little bit more successful, here is a list of the top affordable and fuel efficient cars. These are all new and priced between about R100 000 and R150 000, not a small chunk of change but at least affordable for cash-strapped students.

Chery QQ3 0.8 TE R99 995

One of few cars under R100 000, the Chery is one of the most affordable available in South Africa. It’s an adorably cute run-around car and with just a 0.8 petrol engine is incredibly fuel efficient.

Renault Kwid R124 900

With urban fuel consumption of just 5.9l per 100km, the Kwid is the newest cool car around. It’s affordable, fuel efficient and looks great. What more does a young person need? With top speeds of just 152km/h, you won’t be getting too many speeding fines, great news for every money-conscious student.

Datsun Go R126 900

The Datsun Go is ideal for students and young people as it uses just 5.2l of fuel for every 100km. With power steering and a tight turning radius, it’s the perfect car for getting around, and finding parking, especially in the city.

Kia Picanto R129 995

The Picanto has been around for many years and its new updated styling makes it freshly appealing. Well-known for its fuel efficiency and its effortless driving style, this car is an ideal option for everyone who wants to get around easily and comfortably.

Suzuki Celerio R132 900

Punted as the largest little car available, the Celerio is a comfortable and spacious car, perfect for the day-to-day life of a student and other fun activities like weekend getaways. It is impressively fuel efficient, getting 4.6l per 100km, making it ideal for getting where you need to go.

Chevrolet Spark Campus R139 900

Long-beloved as the ideal student car, the spark should definitely be on your radar. (It’s right there in the name!) Its 1.2 petrol engine will get you 5.4l per 100km, making it fuel efficient and an ideal first car.

And if none of those seems appealing, and you’d like something a little more fancy, there are always plenty of used Audi cars available. They’re not too pricey and you’ll be driving in a well-known and much-loved, reliable car.

Now that you know what your option are, it’s important that you figure out how you’re going to afford the ongoing costs of owning a car. You’ll need to put petrol into your car, pay for a yearly service, keep it licenced, pay insurance costs monthly and pay for any unforeseen expenses like being in a car accident.

A good idea is to chat to people you know who own a car. Find out what their regular costs are. How much do they pay for petrol and for services? Do they put money away into a specific savings account each month? Or do they put these expenses on their credit card? You’ll know, hopefully, that it’s not a good idea to put these kind of expenses on your credit card. You know they’re coming up and they shouldn’t take you by surprise. Therefore, it’s possible for you to plan and budget for these ongoing and upcoming costs.

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