The Perfect College Car

Volvo V70

Volvo V70

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With college getting closer, many students are looking around for their perfect car. This often means they are looking for the best car for the least amount of money, but one that is cool enough for the student parking lot.

The perfect car needs to be both safe and reliable. The average college student doesn’t have the coin to be repairing the car every week and parts need to be available at the local Pep Boys. Old cars are better because they have a certain “coolness” and can be fixed by a blind monkey with a hammer. Safety is an issue, because our student will inevitably hit a tree within the first month of owning the car, so look for one with airbags or lots of steel. Since Mom and Dad are probably still paying for the insurance, the car needs to be something between a Volvo and a tank.

Old people like me travel alone, but young people always have an entourage, so the car needs to carry at least four people. Two seaters are cute but they are a commitment, and we all know how college students feel about commitment. Having an interior that can be hosed out is a plus, especially after a night of bar hopping. Cargo capacity is also important because the student will probably need to move when the rent is due and will inevitably use the car as a tent during the upcoming Phish summer tour. Don’t forget green; every college student wants to save the environment so you need to have a car that is as ecologically friendly as a warm koala bear. Buying a used car is actually greener than buying a new Prius, since all the materials for the new car have to be created. I have read that it takes 10 years for a new Prius to match the “green” resource savings of a used Cadillac Escalade. I didn’t write it, I just read it somewhere.

Where does this leave us? Most students I talked to want a pickup truck or Jeep, including my niece. These can be found by the hundreds on the internet and in local papers. Other requests included small convertibles, which goes against all my requirements but will look cool. If you must have one, a quick check of Craigslist will turn up a ton of MGBs, Alfa Romeos and Fiat roadsters. Enjoy the look, but expect some hefty repair bills. Volkswagen Beetles and Rabbits are plentiful and so are old Toyotas, but they won’t help you pick up girls. The coolest students will be going retro, buying cars from the ‘70s and fixing them up. These cars are perfect and have huge interiors, lots of steel, big engines that are easy to fix and plenty of style. During my check of Craigslist, I found a 1971 Buick Boat Tail Riviera for sale in decent shape for cheap money. Can you imagine how that would look sitting next to a beige Toyota? So, any new college students out there looking for wheels please go retro and save a classic. It’s greener than a new Prius and it will survive anything you could put it through.

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