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I am an independent student who's about to start his second year in college. As I begin to consider things like internships and other important businesses in my life, I realize that I need to get myself a car. Up until now, I've been getting rides from people to go to places, but I will be living by myself on a campus starting next semester, so I will need my own means of transportation. This is not to say that I must have a car while living on campus right now. I just think that I need to begin preparing for a more independent life very soon.

Currently, I do not have any money saved up, but I plan to start saving by working on campus. To describe my financial background, I am practically getting a full ride to attend school, so most of my money will be spent on food and other basic necessities. I don't think I will have any extraneous expenses. However, I realize that I definitely will not be able to buy a car in the near future, but I'd appreciate any advice or know-how's on buying a car. Tips on saving money, knowledge on financial matters like financing a car, and advice on choosing a car would be very helpful.

I expect almost no financial support from my family, so a realistic yet constructive criticism, though it may be hurtful, on my current outlook is welcome. Thank you.

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So you want to buy a car but have no money saved up.... That's going to be hard!!

I'd suggest you get a part-time job, save up and buy a used car. Even with the minimum wage pay in the U.S., if you are in the U.S., you could save up and buy a car in less than a month. This route would be the quickest way for you to get a car but it would also teach you the responsibility of having one since it appears you have never owned a car before.

Now the car will most definitely not be fancy or look like the cars that your peer's parents bought but at least it will get you from point A to point B.

I'd look on Craigslist or your local neighborhood for cars that have not moved in a while or have for sale signs. Bring a mechanically inclined friend with you and contact the owner and explain them your situation. There are nice people out there that would give you deep discounts based on the fact that you are a student trying to get by. Now you have to get registration and insurance. There are many insurance companies that give discounts to students as well who have good GPAs and driving records.

If you happen to get a car for a good deal, take good car of it. Once you graduate and further your career, you can resell it for a profit.

I also would not suggest you get any loans for a car given your situation.

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