What is the best way to get a car for an 18 year old who just moved to the US and has no credit score yet?


I just moved to the USA, specifically California, 2 months ago so I really don’t have a credit score. 

I have a part time job and am taking 18 credits in college this semester while being off campus. This means I’ve got really packed days and I have to be at a lot of different places in a day. 

With barely any time to get from college to work to home and back, taking the bus sounds almost impossible, and I figured getting a small car would be more affordable on the long run compared to paying $50+ on uber a day.

My question is, what is the best way (not many options for me) to get a used under $5000 car?

I can’t afford to pay in one go and I really need the car as soon as possible however leasing sounds really hard for someone with no credit score. And I’m not really sure if I could get a car loan and if that would be a good idea.

Thank you so much in advance! 

7 Answers

  • 7 months ago

    Get car parts from https://automotivestuff.com

  • 8 months ago

    Insurance might put you out of business before you latch onto a car you think is worthy of paying actual money for. Gotta look at insurance and maintenance costs as well as just gasoline costs. 

    May have to buy one from someone who's advertising in the newspaper or similar advertisement. You almost always have to spend money right away on things like brakes and service that was left undone and in California all cars have to be inspected and certified to be road worthy. 

    Mass transit may not be that bad. Take a few test runs to see how good or bad it is before ruling it out. 

    Good Luck!

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    You cant get a legit loan if thats what you are asking.  I saved and paid cash for my first clunker before I was 18. How much have you saved?

  • 8 months ago

    A bike might be the better answer.   But if you must have a car, look for one on craigslist.  One that looks bad, but runs well will be your best bet.

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  • 8 months ago

    Don't assume you have to get a nice (or even shiny) car, or to borrow money for one. You're already personally overextended, you don't want to get that way financially too. Figure out what you can get with what you've got, and save your monthly income for better things.

  • 8 months ago

    Get your family to give/loan you enough money for a vehicle.

    Note that you're also going to need insurance and have you priced that out yet, as you being 20, it's not going to be cheap.

  • 8 months ago

    I used to live in California (around LA) and the weather is perfectly suited for riding a motorcycle/scooter/motorized bicycle.

    They are much cheaper to buy and maintain (and insure), a lot more fun to operate, easier to park, although you do have to be more careful.

     I highly recommend taking a riders training course if you opt for a motorcycle/scooter - it will save you money on insurance - and even if you already know how to ride, it can give you some tips on how to stay alive/uninjured.

    On the few days when it does rain, you can just use an uber, or bum a ride off someone.

    Good luck!

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