Car Buying:  College Cars

College Graduates Can Get Incentives From Many Automakers

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author photo by Doug DeMuro June 2015

Looking for a new car? You might be able to save some money thanks to your college degree. No, we're not talking about using math skills you learned in college. Some automakers offer incentives and special deals to college graduates, and that means your next car purchase might get a little more affordable if you have a college degree.

Who Offers Incentives?

Several of today's automakers offer incentives for college graduates. Currently, incentives are offered by automakers such as Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, General Motors and a few others. But since automotive incentives change every month, it's important to check with your dealer before you buy a vehicle to find out just what incentives you might qualify for.

What Kind of Incentives?

Typically, college-graduate incentives aren't too high -- but they're better than nothing. More importantly, some automakers offer special programs to help new college graduates finance a car, even if they don't have much credit built up.

Nissan's college-graduate program is currently among the best, as the automaker offers its vehicles for $250 below dealer invoice before any additional rebates or special offers are added. Ford's program, meanwhile, offers up to $500 cash back for graduates, along with better-than-usual interest-rate incentives when financing through Ford Credit. Subaru's program doesn't offer any specific cash back but provides a deal specifically for college graduates to help make it easier for them to finance or lease a new Subaru. The list goes on, but these types of deals are the norm when it comes to incentives for college graduates.

What's the Catch?

There's always a catch, right? And in some cases, when it comes to incentives for college graduates, there is. The biggest catch for most programs is that they only apply to recent college grads: Drivers who graduated from college within the last year or two or current students in college or graduate school. In other words, you might not be able to use your college degree from the 1960s to get a good deal on a new car.

But that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying. With new-car incentives changing so frequently, it never hurts to ask what programs you might qualify for before you sign the papers -- especially because automakers sometimes have programs for police officers, veterans, firefighters and others that you might not have expected.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
College Graduates Can Get Incentives From Many Automakers - Autotrader