How Much Should I Spend on a Car as a College Student?

So, you're a college student and you're thinking about buying a car. That's great! But before you head to the dealership, it's important to do your research and figure out how much you can afford to spend on a monthly car payment.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to calculate the monthly car payment you can afford:

1. Figure out your monthly income. This includes your job earnings, any scholarships or grants you receive, and any other sources of income you have.

Estimate your monthly expenses. This includes your rent or mortgage, utilities, food, transportation, and other living expenses.

2. Subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income. This will give you your disposable income, which is the amount of money you have left over each month after you pay your bills.

3. Determine a reasonable car payment amount. A good rule of thumb is to keep your monthly car payment at no more than 10% of your disposable income. So, if your disposable income is $2,000 per month, you should aim for a monthly car payment of no more than $200.

4. Factor in the cost of insurance, gas, and maintenance. In addition to the monthly car payment, you'll also need to factor in the cost of insurance, gas, and maintenance. Insurance costs can vary depending on your age, driving record, and the type of car you buy. Gas costs will depend on the fuel efficiency of your car and how much you drive. And maintenance costs will depend on the age and make of your car.

5. Do some research on car loans. There are a variety of car loans available, so it's important to do some research and compare interest rates and terms before you choose a loan. KoraDrive is a great option for students. Applying for a car loan doesn’t require a cosigner or social security number, and you can be approved in as little as 24 hours. 

6. Shop around for the best deal. Once you've figured out how much you can afford to spend on a monthly car payment, it's time to start shopping around for the best deal. Compare prices from different dealerships and be sure to negotiate the price of the car and the interest rate on the loan.

Remember, it's crucial to be realistic and conservative when determining the car payment you can afford. Prioritize your financial stability and avoid taking on excessive debt that could impact your ability to meet other financial obligations.

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when buying a car:

  • Consider buying a used car. Used cars are typically much less expensive than new cars, and they can still be reliable.

  • Look for a car that gets good gas mileage. This will help you save money on gas, which can be a big expense for college students.

  • Don't forget about insurance. Insurance costs can be high for young drivers, so be sure to factor them into your budget and don’t be afraid to ask about student discounts.

  • Don't overspend. It's easy to get excited about buying a new car, but it's important to stay within your budget.


Buying a car can be a big decision, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. By following these tips, you can find a car that fits your student budget and your needs while you’re in college. 


Car Loans with KoraDrive

If you do choose to buy a car, KoraDrive can help! We offer car loans specifically for students, even those with no credit history. We don’t require a co-signer or social security number - international students studying in the U.S. are welcome to apply! Check out more details and see if KoraDrive is available in your state by visiting

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