Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment, and many college grads celebrate the occasion by starting their new career with a new car. Whether you're a woman has recently finished college or you're a Mom helping one of your children make their own first auto purchase, you should know that many auto manufacturers are rewarding graduates with a variety of programs.
These graduate rewards may include special discounts worth up to $1,000, or special leasing and financing offers, such as low APR, low (or no) down payments, and even deferred payments on new cars.
The qualifications to participate in these special graduation incentive programs vary by manufacturer, but generally require that participants are graduating from a four-year university or accredited two-year college, and may even apply to those currently participating in nursing, graduate, or doctorate programs.
Depending on the manufacturer's terms, the discount may be available to those who will be graduating within the next few months, or even those who have graduated within the last two years.
Knowing that students and recent grads may have a limited credit history, some programs may offer reduced requirements for high credit ratings, though many still require a positive rating with no major derogatory entries within the last 24 months.
It pays to do your research: Every manufacturer's requirements are slightly different, so be sure to check the fine print. Ford's program is more permissive, extending their student discount program to all full-time and part-time college freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, trade school students, and recent graduates. Some programs, such as the one offered by BMW, even extend the benefits to their certified pre-owned models as well. Toyota's program also extends to students who are enrolled in or have completed a two-year technical or vocational school.
A copy of your diploma or a letter from the school's registrar may be required to participate in these special programs. Some manufacturers may also require proof of employment or an offer letter from a prospective employer to ensure graduates will be able to make the payments on their new car.
While some graduate discounts may be available year-round for those who finish their education midyear, some of the incentives are only available during the month of June. If you're celebrating during this graduation season, then now is the time to check to see if the car you're shopping for is eligible for these special college graduate discounts. -- Brandy A. Schaffels, Motor Matters
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2015
Manufacturer Photo: Graduate rewards may include special discounts worth up to $1,000, or special leasing and financing offers, such as low APR, low (or no) down payments, and even deferred payments on new cars. (promo images by Dodge, Ford. Scion).
Mopar lends a helping hand to young drivers with a free advanced driving program designed to teach safe and defensive driving techniques. The defensive driving program provides free sessions for registered teenaged drivers and their parents or guardians.