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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The long road of car shopping

Many+students+must+learn+to+navigate+the+extensive+process+of+buying+a+car%2C+an+undertaking+that+involves+research%2C+negotiation%2C+budgeting%2C+and+planning.
Photo by Photo by Brandon Holmes

Many students must learn to navigate the extensive process of buying a car, an undertaking that involves research, negotiation, budgeting, and planning.

Navigating the long road of car buying and ensuring students are aware of the multiple aspects that go into the decision was the focus of the Money Education (ME) Center’s a car shopping seminar on Monday.
The seminar was open to all students to provide some tips and tricks when shopping around for their next, or first, vehicle. The seminar discussed buying a new car compared to a used one, information on negotiating and financing, gave students reliable research websites and suggestions on whether to buy or lease a vehicle.
Nicholas Kilmer, assistant director for the ME Center, said he wanted attendees to realize the extensive process a car purchase requires.
“In the workshop, I specifically went through the process of buying a new car, so students understand the different negotiations they have to go through at a dealership,” Kilmer said.
Kilmer informed students on a budget that they may need to plan accordingly to ensure they get a vehicle that meets their needs for an affordable price.
“Students need to ask themselves how much can they afford on a monthly basis, not just the car payment, but for gas, insurance, license and registration fees and parking,” Kilmer said. “Figure out what works for your budget and then figure out what you need out of a car, and then, finally, you can start shopping.”
The ME Center suggests students get informed and do their research before going into a dealership or buying from an owner, to make sure they are getting the best deal on a vehicle. Jason Ortgies, general manager at Atkinson Toyota in Bryan said buyers should be open about their needs once they decide to buy.
“Make sure you let the sales consultant know what you’re interested in and what your goals are for your vehicle,” Ortgies said. “They should take that information and find a vehicle that matches your wants and needs.”
Kilmer suggested students evaluate how great their need is for a vehicle before they settle on buying one or even start looking around for one. Other transportation options such as bikes, buses and Uber exist as an alternative to driving.
“Students have a very busy campus. Parking is expensive, there are a ton of cars here already so traffic is no fun, could [they] use the bus system or Zipcar instead?” Kilmer said. “As an A&M student, you can actually go rent cars that are on campus and drive them to where you need to and then drop them off at another Zipcar location. Essentially, this can keep you from having to buy a car and having all of those expenses.”
With as many options as students have for transit, the ME Center advised students who decide to buy a car to always bring someone with them for perspective in making the purchase.
“If students want to talk about this subject with somebody, a caring professional who is not a family or a friend, then they can come to the Money Education Center and we will advise them on it,” Kilmer said.

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