This Year's College Grads Will Spend An Average Of $15,000 On A Car


So what can you get for $15K?

It's good to know that younger people today are still interested in cars. However, they’re not quite like their parents (or even grandparents, in some cases); high-performance isn’t quite what they’re after. Instead, this year’s college graduates are after value and efficiency, according to a recent survey conducted by CarGurus. First reported by the Detroit Bureau, most college grads this year plan to spend roughly $15,000 or less on their next car. Yes, they plan to buy used, and 67% of those surveyed plan on making a purchase shortly.

What’s more, 57% are planning to fund their car without any parental assistance. Sounds good, right? Well, it’s a good start but as the survey further discovered, these young people still have more to learn about car ownership costs. For example, 25% surveyed believed it’ll only cost around $250 annually for insurance, and 28% believed it’ll cost less than $500 annually. What’s the actual average? $2,000 annually. Still though, a $15k budget for a used car is pretty spot-on. CarGurus claims these young buyers can get, for example, a 2014 Nissan Leaf for $10,500 to $13,500. If an EV won’t work for them but still want to be green, a 2010-11 Toyota Prius can be bought for around $12,000.

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More conventional sedans, like the Hyundai Elantra, are being sold for as low as $8k (for 2010 models). Want a crossover? A 2010-2014 Kia Soul also sells for less than $15k, too. Before buying, however, these grads really ought to check insurance rates first, as a tip. Oh, and welcome to the real world.