Among used cars, the first question for buyers is: does this car already have a bad repair record? If a car has already been in a wreck, it is probably not a good insurance risk. The next question is: does the car have a good safety rating from either the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and/or the federal government? Students can find these ratings at the websites for the IIHS or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A third question is: what is the true resale value? Some cars lose value quickly as they age. Others age gracefully and retain their value. College students can find out how much a car is worth through such websites as Kelley Blue Book.
Finally, used cars may or may not have electronic traction systems that are now common on all cars. Systems such as vehicle stability and brake assist decrease the likelihood of accidents. When looking at used cars, try to buy one with an electronic traction system.
By law, all new cars have some electronic safety systems for better traction. The safest cars, however, include auto brake, blind spot monitors, and warnings for lane-keeping and collision avoidance. Watching for collision scenarios, the auto brake system can see danger and can actually stop the car.
The blind spot camera or sensor system reveals oncoming traffic and greatly reduces the chances that a driver will cause a side collision on the highway. These automated driving systems help lower safety risk and insurance rates.
College students can go to the IIHS and/or NHTSA websites to see a vehicle's safety ratings.
With a little research on the internet, college students can narrow down their car choices to those that will earn better insurance rates.