Car Buying Trends for Recent College Grads and Students

young man uses tablet sitting outside

With another graduation season in the books and another school year approaching, your car dealership may be seeing an uptick in recent college graduates or current students who are in the market to buy a car. Many of them most likely are first-time car buyers who need help navigating the process, so you will need to know their car shopping behaviors and preferences.

College Student Car Buyers

Most college car buyers are generally in the 18-23 age range, also known as Generation Z. According to a recent CarGurus study, car buyers in this age group are more likely to be shopping with a parent, guardian or someone older they can trust. Since most car buyers in this group are low- or inactive income earners, they most likely will be shopping for a reliable used car that aligns with their budget. Car buyers in this age range are also digital natives. Because they grew up with modern technology, the Internet and social media are their primary sources for researching and shopping. This is why it’s so important for car dealerships to have a strong web presence.

College Graduate Car Buyers

According to CarGurus, most car buyers who recently graduated from college are younger millennials (ages 24 to 32) working entry- to mid-level positions and are still laying the groundwork for their financial future. Although millennials have an appreciation for tech and doing their research online, they are traditional car shoppers when it comes to going to the car dealership to buy a car. According to the CarGurus study, car buyers in this age range are most likely to be a parent, less likely to earn more than $100K, and more likely to be a first-time car buyer.

Car Dealer Takeaway

Since car buyers who are in college or recently graduated are new to the market and in the process of discovering what’s available, they will most likely need help deciding on a vehicle that fits their desired price-range. This is the perfect opportunity for your car dealership to position yourself as the guide – both online and in-person – for the younger car buyers’ journey.

Another thing about car buyers who are in or recently graduated from college – they most likely have little to no credit history established, which means they may not qualify for traditional auto financing. If your car dealership is looking for ways to reach car shoppers with bad credit or no credit, Credit Acceptance gives you the ability to say ‘YES’ to every car buyer regardless of their credit history.

Simply fill out the form on our website to learn the benefits of becoming an enrolled dealer in our dealer finance program!

Become an Enrolled Dealer Today!