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Are you a student on a budget in need of a car? Here are 6 options that won't break the bank!

If you are a student or in the market for a budget buy, keep reading!

Being Youth Day we figured we needed a post for the youths ;)  You need a set of wheels that fit your budget and your student lifestyle right?  No problem. Here’s a selection of some of the best campus buys out there. There’s something to suit everyone and all budgets.

THE CHEAPIE

Women on Wheels
Chevrolet Spark Campus

Chevrolet Spark Campus

With the word “campus” in the name, it’s a no-brainer, but that’s not the only reason to consider this vehicle.

This a cute little hatchback that offers loads of charm and standard features. You can cruise around campus knowing that you are relatively well looked after thanks to the standard inclusion of two airbags, central locking and strong braking power that’s aided by ABS and EBD. Also, should you need it, there are Isofix anchorages for baby seats. It’s also good to know that you won’t be melting on those hot summer days because air-con is standard. Ok, so the boot isn’t big at 170 litres, but it’s enough for a few bags and if you pack light, you and four other occupants could hit the road in this and it wouldn’t be too expensive thanks to a fuel consumption of 5,4 litres/100 km for the 60 kW 1,2-litre petrol engine. Ok, so you won’t be able to listen to your favourite tunes because there isn’t a radio. But it comes with radio provision so you could buy an after-market audio system and have it installed without much fuss. Otherwise, bring along your iPod and speakers. At R107 000, it’s a bit of a steal.

THE RETRO ONE

Women on Wheels
Fiat 500

Fiat 500

When we think retro cars, our minds immediately go to the Mini. We’d like to tell you that there is more to life than the Mini (but if you have to, consider the Mini One). There’s this cheerful little number.

All the models are highly customisable and available in a variety of funky colours and decals. It’s also packed with all the features that you’d want in your campus runabout such as an audio system, air-con, central locking, seven airbags and ABS with EBD. The compact dimensions (it has an overall length of only 3,5 metres) and power steering make for easy parking, and while it’s not as dynamic as the Mini, it’s still zippy no matter which engine you choose.

With different engines and gear boxes and the choice of a fixed or convertible roof, prices range from R166 990 to just under R300 000.

THE SAFE BET

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Volkswagen Polo

VW Polo and Polo Vivo

Possibly two of the most popular choices when it comes to young female buyers, you can’t go wrong with the Polo and its cheaper Vivo sibling.

What you get is a solid vehicle with the backing of a manufacturer that has basically become a staple in the local market. The range for both these cars offer a wide variety of engines, spec levels and body shapes so there really is something for everyone and you won’t be left wanting much more from a car. Except perhaps a service or maintenance plan which neither one offers as standard. Also, even after all these years, the Polo still manages to look stylish both inside and out.

Prices for the Vivo start at R132 200, while the Polo comes in at R167 800.

 THE NEW (ISH) KID ON THE BLOCK

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Kia Rio

Kia Rio hatch

Ok, so it’s not all that new, but the South African buying public has only recently started paying attention to this car above that of its competitors, so it’s new in the minds of the people.

The main reason to consider to this vehicle? It has all the items you need in a campus car at a very reasonable price. Aside from the usual air-con, airbags, central locking, a fully-kitted audio system (radio/CD/MP3/iPod/USB) stuff, you also get rear parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity for your phone and audio controls on the steering wheel. On top of all of this, it offers a nice sized boot for all the bags and books and accessories that come with student life.

Prices start at R161 995.

 THE PAVEMENT HOPPER

Women on Wheels
Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki Jimny

Finding parking close to your part of campus can sometimes be a bit of a mission and you may find yourself wishing that you could park on the grass next to the road. For this, you’ll need something with decent ground clearance so that if you need to mount a curb, you can do so without damaging your vehicle.

The endearing pint-sized Suzuki Jimny is our choice. We love the rugged, go-anywhere look. It’s also a 4×4, so should adventure call, you can take it off-road. There’s only one model available – a 1,3-litre with 63 kW and 110 N.m of torque that has a claimed fuel consumption of 7,2 litres/100 km. Standard features include air-con, an audio system with a CD player and MP3 compatibility, power steering, ABS and dual front airbags. This is a good example of how dynamite can come in small packages.

It costs R209 900.

 THE SPORTY ONE

Women on Wheels
Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST

We completely understand that there are girls out there who get their driving thrills from fast, dynamic cars. For you lovely ladies, we recommend the Fiesta ST.

Not only is it the cheapest hot hatch currently available, it’s also a very formidable one when it comes to overall performance. Local and international media alike have praised this car for being a joyful car to drive. It’s got fun in bucket loads with its turbocharged 1,6-litre 134 kW, 240 N.m engine and slick six-speed manual ‘box sending drive to the front wheels. It’s sticky rubber and well-weighted steering mean that blasting this car in and out of the corners should be easy. It’s also loaded with technology and thanks to the Ford Sync system you can chat to your car and select your music, make calls and have your text messages read out load to you. Nifty hey?

The Fiesta ST retails for R259 900.

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