To Rent or to Buy a Car ─ What’s Best for a Student?

Having a car is not a luxury, it’s a necessity most times. Anyone who lives in a busy metropolis or rural area knows what’s up. It’s essential to reach your destination without having to rely on public transport or someone with a vehicle. It is especially true for students who balance their job and studies.

Therefore, there you have a serious question: what should I do? What options are available and working for you? Every car dealership or rental offers plenty of programs and opportunities, but which one exactly can be the best for you?

Considering getting a car is a step that requires a lot of responsibility. You need to weigh all the pros and cons of both options available and put your mind to it. It’s easier when you can distribute your workload with the EssayPro service and get some spare time to look for options, programs, and cars themselves. After all, there’s no need to rush with your decision because you might regret not taking more time with it.

What’s the main difference between renting and buying a car?


Car rental implies the specific period when you can use a vehicle. The rental period lasts 36 to 48 months, during which you need to pay additional fees for vehicle use. Most rental agreements allow you either to return the car after the lease period ends or to purchase it at a reduced amount.

Buying a car, as you may assume, means it is in your disposition for an unlimited time. You have all the freedom to modify and improve it. One of the most popular ways to pay for your car is to take a loan to pay it off. The main difference is that buying a car gives you a wider range of rights from the start.

It may seem obvious what option is the best for a student. Yet, if you can buy a green car right away, you are up for a better deal. Even though leasing can have its perks, it is using something you don’t own at the end of the day. Not to mention all the fees, upkeeping spending, and other aspects that can be costly.

Main pros of renting a car

  • Lower monthly payments. Renting a car can be less of a burden on your monthly budget. The amount you need to pay always depends on many aspects that you negotiate with a dealer and have to keep in check. It also implies that you can afford to drive newer car models in comparison to buying them at a higher price.
  • More freedom of choice. Renting a car means you can change your vehicle every few years. That means you are not limited in choosing better models and different techs. It demands less dedication from you (you don’t have to worry about selling your previous car) and allows you to be more flexible with your choices.
  • Easier maintenance. As a renter, you have up to three years of warranty for the vehicle. Most of your repairs would be covered within this period. Many rental agreements include this aspect and can save you a ton of money for upkeeping your car.
  • Tax deductions. Renting a car instead of paying off a lease can allow you more tax deductions. Internal Revenue Service (IRC) offers you to deduct the depreciation and the financing cost of your monthly payments.

Main cons of renting a car

  • You don’t own the car. It is a major drawback of renting a car. Even if you decide to buy it by the end of your renting agreement, you might get bored of it with a lack of possibilities to change anything about it.
  • It costs more. Moneywise, it’s more expensive to rent and then buy a car. If you want long-term benefits out of it, it’s better to get a loan for a car right away.
  • Fees and extra costs. You get in all sorts of trouble with your lease agreement. You get charged for excess mileage, modification, and any damages. You also can’t terminate the agreement early without paying an extra cost for it. That’s why it’s relevant to learn everything about your agreement before signing it.


Main pros of buying a car

  • No mileage limits. When you buy a car, you avoid keeping an eye on your mileage. It won’t impact fees or your monthly lease payment cost.
  • No extra charges. You don’t have to pay any additional cost for damages and anything that dealers can categorize as wear and tear.
  • Lower credit score. You might be surprised, but car renting can have higher requirements for your credit score. On the other hand, buying a car can be less tiresome and problematic.
  • Total control of your vehicle. You are not limited by any means or terms with your own car. You can upgrade, modify, and change anything you want. Once you pay off your loan, you can sell it at a higher price or gift it to someone.
  • Long-term benefits. Renting a car can be easier to manage for a short-term period. Having a car is cheaper nonetheless in the long run.

Main cons of buying a car

  • Rapid depreciation. You can’t really invest in owning a car because a new vehicle loses 15-20% of its value in the first year it is bought. Yet, if you are a type who wants a car for life and doesn’t look for a reselling possibility, it’s nothing.
  • Driving cost. Having a car can be a costly thing. You need to include everything from fuel, insurance, and maintenance into your monthly budget. Needless to say, with gas prices rising each month, it can be quite stressful.
  • Bigger down payment. It can reduce your further monthly payments, but it is a stressful thing for a person who has to save money for it.

What else should you consider?


If a car is a necessity for you and your daily routines, weigh all the pros and cons and analyze your situation. As a student, you need to be in several places at the same time. Having a car can save you from being late or dependent on someone. It also means you don’t have to feel anxious waiting for an Uber or other service.

It goes without saying that owning a car is a huge responsibility. You need to be one hundred percent sure you have enough experience to avoid getting in an accident. You shouldn’t consider buying or leasing a car just because you are bored. It’s a long-term addition to your monthly spending that you need to cover in time.

Be extra vigilant about agreements and loan terms and conditions. The last thing you want is to discover some extra fees you need to pay ASAP. If it’s possible, try to negotiate and look for better options on the market.

To sum up

It depends on your situation, what option is best for you. Many specialists would argue renting a car is less worrisome. Others would try to convince you you need your own car. Yet, you need to feel comfortable and confident with your decision.