Recent college graduates can be left in a financially vulnerable position – many emerge from years of study with an urgent need to find immediate employment. While finding the right job is undoubtedly priority number one for the newly graduated, securing reliable transportation to get to that job can be just as essential.
A new car purchase is often an important part of starting down one’s first professional path. And whether it’s an entry-level luxury vehicle or a low mileage used car in Miami, college grads are likely looking for the most affordable options within their buying power.
“Like they say, ‘80% of success is simply showing up’. These manufacturer prtograms offer a way for graduates to do just that – reliably commute to and from their new career”, says Alex Sanchez, Miami-Dade Career Fair host.
For the manufacturers, the college grad programs make sense to get more cars on the road and help develop brand loyalty for the miles to come. For local car dealers like South Motors in Palmetto Bay, the programs are advantageous and provide a boost to local car buyers. Car brands offer special incentives, exceptions, and programs geared specifically for new and soon-to-be graduates.
Many provide relaxed credit qualifications, special purchase discounts and incentives or reduced lease or finance rates to help make buying a car more affordable. For most programs, only proof of graduation (imminent or recent) and promise of employment is necessary to qualify. We cover some of the college program highlights below.
BMW currently offers $1,000 off new models or $1,500 off a BMW Certified Pre-Owned vehicle. Anyone with a degree from an accredited college within the last 2 years or graduating from one in the next 6 months is eligible. The applicant must have at least 6 months of credit history, free of major derogatory entries, but other than that, the remaining requirements are rather accommodating.
Honda graduates can save $500 on any 2016 or newer vehicle right now with nearly the same requirements as BMW – graduate in the next 6 months or last 2 years and no adverse credit history. Additionally, qualifying grads have an option to defer their first payment for 90 days – perfect breathing room to get a few paychecks into one’s pockets before the pay cycle starts.
Volkswagen also offers a “$500 Contract Bonus” when you purchase or lease a new VW model. Same 2-years-past-or-6-months-in-the-future timeline, too. They also waive the security deposit on a new lease. The MINI College Graduate Program offers $500 toward a new MINI lease or purchase as well, but the timeline – like the MINI’s handling – is a little tighter: graduation in the last year or in the next 4 months.
INFINITI has their Signature Graduate Program, which promises low annual percentages, special leasing terms and deferred payments, but its benefits are too fluid to present concisely. They require a call or an online application for the specifics.
All of these programs require graduates to use the specific brand’s in-house financial service to qualify, but they are generally as accommodating and competitive as any other outside lending institution. What do the manufacturers get for rewarding these new graduates? They want to win their clients over early! There’s incentive for the brands to attract these budding, new consumers and work to win their lifetime loyalty, which is why college graduate car buying programs can be an easy win/win for both the brand and its new drivers.