5 Best Back-to-School Cars???

September 27, 2013

school busAnother academic year has begun, and if you (or your child) need a good set of wheels for college or high school, here’s a look at Kelley Blue Book’s five top picks for Best 2013 Back-to-School Cars.

KBB editors compiled the list by looking at all available 2013 and ’14 models starting at $20,000 or less, then choosing the cars they believe offer the best combinations of style, safety and other qualities key to young drivers.

SOURCE:  5 Best Back-to-School Cars to Buy in 2013: Fidelity.

And here I thought everyone was struggling to put their kids through college and paying off all the student loans. To add a car to that mix seems less than frugal to me let alone all the insurance, gas, and maintenance involved.  I must say that I didn’t have my own car until after I graduated from college. I bought, or I guess I should say with my diploma in hand I got a loan to buy a 1970 Mustang muscle car. I wore it out after two years but that is just how it was in those days. Cars were not nearly as reliable as they are now. I can’t understand why so many plunk down $20,000 or more to get one of those junkers today?  But here I am as usual getting off topic so let’s get back to the matter at hand.

When I was in high school I don’t think more than about 10% of the kids who were juniors or seniors had their own cars and only a small handful drove them to school. They borrowed dad’s car for their dates during those years.  The costs to insure a teenager was just too prohibitive let alone the cost of the car.  In college freshmen and sophomores were not even allowed to have cars on campus, that is unless you commuted from home daily.  Not that many juniors or seniors had cars either. Now it seems when I visited my alma mater all of the green space that used to be around campus is now parking lots.

I don’t know when cars became a necessity for high school kids? I know they all have football and baseball and numerous other after school activities but as I see in our neighborhood they usually provide bus services for those events as they did in my days. Ok, I will step off my “old person” stool now…

3 responses to 5 Best Back-to-School Cars???


    Very few kids had cars when I went to high school…only the rich kids and not all of them either. Riding the bus was fun. Kids no longer like to ride the bus. Not cool. Many younger kids are “driven” to school, stay late for afterschool childcare programs, and are then picked up at supper time. High school kids hate the buses. Our high schools charge hefty fees for parking in the lot but that doesn’t deter them from driving….and they fill the neighborhood streets with their cars and cut through yards, hang out and smoke in the streets. Weekends are bad too, with all the sports and other activities in the buildings. All this causes the neighboring homeowners to be angry and annoyed. Then the city has to step in and put up no parking or restricted parking signs all over the place. It would be so simple if they would just use the transportation provided and paid for by the taxpayers. I don’t imagine there is any going back tho. “Thrift” is not a word in the kids vocabulary these days.



    My kids drove a 1982 Grand Marque in 2001. We lived in a rural area and our school choice did not have a bus. The closest public school was virtually all white. We chose the public school rich in the mixed population that we loved about the area.
    We found most kids drove their junior and senior years because their parents worked. There was no public transportation to their houses after school sports, their own work or picking up sibs.
    I know that Kansas is just now changing their laws from 14 for driving to 16. Most of the rural kids drive more then their parents.



    I got back from my in-law visit last night so I should be back to my usual response time now. We did get a visit in to the “world famous mustard museum” and the state capital in Madison Wisconsin. More on that later.

    I think both of you have some valid points. I too live in a rural area both now and when I was in high school so in some ways I can’t relate to the problems as you mentioned Jane. But I too raised quite a bit of hell in high school so I guess I can sympathize with that a little 🙂

    When I was in high school we lived about ten miles out of town in a very little populated farm area but the buses ran there. I imagine if the folks in Kansas raised the issue school transportation could be provided even with after school activities.

    My main point for this post was the surprise that it seems almost expected that you will get your kid a car when he goes to college. That is a very high expected additional cost for the parents to bear. I have recently been reading some stuff about how so many parents have to sped their possible retirement savings on their kid’s education and then are not prepared for retiring. I assume that young people’s insurance rates are still up in the stratosphere and of course so are gas prices. Do college kids really need it. I didn’t really miss it when I was in collect but then again about all I did in those years was study, go to classes and work. One of my parents who could, was just not interested in helping me financially and the other simply didn’t have the resources to do it. A car was totally out of the question for me in those years. I wonder how many go without cars today and how many actually financially contribute to their educations?