Is there a student discount on cars?

Thinking of buying your own car after completion of your college is inevitable as your commuting needs are now increased. You can commute to college by public transport but, can’t to the workplace. Because it is related to your reputation, having your own vehicle has a big advantage as you can travel anytime unlike public transport. Since you have already spent too much on your education, you don’t want to add on a new burden. You want a decent-looking car of good quality at an affordable price. Right? Then, some car brand dealers have an offer for you. Here we will see about Is there a student discount on cars?

               Yes, you heard it right. You can get a discount as a student while buying cars if you qualify for certain criteria in terms of education, employment, and some necessary legal documents. The most important factor of all is that your credit score should be good which means that you should not have defaulted on the payments of any loan taken previously. Car Brands provide you with discount starting from $400 to $1000. Usually, this offer is available for graduate students (recently completed or pursuing) but, the eligibility criteria may vary for different car companies. Let me explain to you the important factors, which are necessary to get a discount, in the below paragraphs. 

Is there a student discount on cars?

Is there any minimum educational qualification needed?

  • Yes, you should have recently completed your graduation (within the past 2 years), or you are pursuing but, about to complete it (within 6 months). 
  • Nursing school students are also allowed to avail it but, only if they buy from these 3 manufacturers namely, Toyota, Lexus, and Acura.
  • Students of technical or trade schools are allowed by Ford, Lexus, Lincoln, & Toyota.
  • There are some exceptions, which give a discount to High School Seniors too. The offer is valid only till 1st march, 2023.
  • Ford has launched a program named “Ford Drive U” and Lincoln has launched “Lincoln College Plan”, both of which are available for students of trade schools, current college, high school seniors, or who had graduated in the past 3 years.

Should I have to be employed to avail of the discount?

  • You should either be working in full-time employment or should be committed to a job after the completion of your graduation. You should be employed within 90-120 days, starting from the date of signing the contract.
  • All manufacturers don’t demand it but, the one who does has the only intention of saving you from the unnecessary burden of debt in the future. They believe that your monthly payment should not be higher than your monthly income.
  • Car manufacturers like BMW and Audi have fixed a certain % of the debt to income ratio for the student buyers. For BMW, it should be less than or equal to 45% and for Audi, it should be less than or equal to 25%.

What documents do I have to present to the dealer?

To become eligible, you have to produce a copy of the necessary documents like: –

  • Your driving license having your photograph
  • Proof of vehicle insurance, if any
  • Contact info of insurance agent
  • Letter from the college stating you are a graduate student there (if pursuing)
  • Copy of your transcripts or degree (if completed)
  • Address and phone no. of college
  • Your salary cheque, or commitment from the employer that you are going to be hired there for sure.
  • Letter of Intent stating that you will be going to enroll in college or university soon (if you are a High School Senior).

What points should I consider before making the final deal of purchase?

  • After reaching a final decision about buying a car, you should consider the following points to not regret in the future: –
  • Just don’t reach any decision to buy a particular brand just because it is offering you a higher discount than the other. 
  • Set your priorities according to your needs and financial conditions. If you are still in college and are not earning a single penny then, no need to buy a BMW or Audi. A car of Ford or Honda brand can serve the same purpose as the expensive ones.
  • Search on the internet or consult your parents or ask your friends if they have recently bought a new car. Ask the price from many showroom dealers. Analyze each and every price, offered by them. Then, decide which deal is best for you in terms of price and quality.

Disadvantages related to it: –

  • The discount seems appealing to the students but, there is a hidden cost associated with the dealer to cover their money back. It is just a marketing strategy to increase sales.
  • Usually, it is available only in case you get your car insured from the same dealer, which is mostly costlier than the one provided by the outside agents.
  • In addition to the insurance, you should avail of their financial service provider to finance or lease your car.
  • Many terms and conditions are applied to this offer, and many students find it to be a cumbersome procedure.
  • You have to produce so many documents in front of the dealer. Too much paperwork is involved.


Setting aside the cons, I would suggest availing of the discount if the offer is still valid. It’s always better to hold even the smallest opportunity that comes your way rather than to wait for the bigger one. A small penny saved is far better than having an empty pocket. If you are a college student and are fulfilling all the conditions then, go find the best deals on the cars available for you.

Some of the related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): –

Q1. What if I can’t afford to purchase a new car and wish to go for a second-hand?

Ans. The student discount can be availed on the purchase of a new car as well as a car purchased on lease. Some manufacturers extend the offer to Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles.

Q2. Are students of the 2-year degree program eligible?

Ans. Usually not. A 4-year degree program is required but, certain companies like Ford and Lincoln have started including students in 2-year degree programs also.

Q3. In which car showroom can I go to avail the rebate?

Ans. Many manufacturers like Ford, Nissan, BMW, Toyota, Hyundai, Chevrolet, Honda, Subaru, etc. offer you a rebate.