While some might see a car as too extravagant a gift for a graduate, reasonable car payments and great warranties make a Kia a great present for any student who is college, graduate school, or career-bound. A car means mobility and freedom and flexibility, three things that any young person needs in order to be successful in this next stage of his or her life. But buying a car for someone else can be tricky, because as thrilled as they might be with the gift, if the car isn’t the right car, it may temper the excitement of the gift. Here are some tips for picking the right Kia for your graduate.
Ask the Graduate
If you are planning to give the vehicle as a surprise gift, you probably don’t want to just flatly ask the graduate what kind of car he or she wants. What you can do is get another family member to ask the question or bring it up as you drive past a dealership. There are sneaky ways to figure out what kinds of vehicles they prefer and if there are any special features they might want their own car to have.
Pay Attention to Safety
Luckily, Kia has extremely high safety ratings, so finding a safe car is no problem. While all have great ratings, some do have better ratings in different areas than other models. When trying to decide which Kia model to select, think about how your recipient drives. Are they more likely to rear end someone or to be rear ended? Of course, it’s impossible to know if they will ever be in an accident and what kind of accident it will be, but you can rest easy knowing Kia has some of the best safety ratings on the road.
Ask About Reliability
Especially for a recipient who will be taking this vehicle off to university or to another city or state to pursue a goal or a dream, you want to pick a reliable vehicle. Sports cars might be fun to drive, but they don’t have a lot to offer in the way of safety or reliability. Kia vehicles, on the other hand, are designed to be extremely reliable, and because Kia offers the best warranties in the business, your graduate won’t have to worry about breaking down or paying for repairs any time soon.
Consider Fuel Efficiency
With gas prices only on the rise, it makes sense to look for a vehicle that has great fuel efficiency. Sedans and compacts will usually have the best fuel efficiency out of any model (with the Rio having the best efficiency), but there are SUVs and crossovers that have great fuel efficiency for their size. For those graduates who might be especially concerned about the environment, Kia does have an electric version of the Soul (105 mpg) and a hybrid version of the Optima (38 mpg).
Don’t Forget about Insurance
In most states, it is illegal to drive without insurance. The kind of car you are buying and the driver himself or herself will affect the insurance rate. Any car that has great safety ratings will be less expensive to insure, and many insurance companies may give discounts for graduates or students, if they can show proof of responsibility (like good grades).
Insurance is just part of the cost of owning a car, so if the graduate is going to be paying for the insurance, avoid purchasing him or her a vehicle that is going to be expensive to insure, like a sports car or a luxury vehicle. Small cars, with high fuel efficiency, and documented safety ratings, are usually less expensive.
Pick the Trim that Fits Your Graduate’s Needs
One of the mistakes that some parents and grandparents make is buying the base model of a vehicle, believing that the simplest model will be the best “starter car” for a young person. The truth is that the best car for a young person is the one that has the features they need. For example, if she is a music lover, make sure she has a great sound system and an entertainment system that is easy to use.
If your graduate loves hiking, biking, or other messy sports, durable floor mats that are easy to clean might be more important than leather seats or a leather-trimmed steering wheel. Don’t go overboard with features, but make sure that the car has what the driver needs. Even Kia’s most basic models still have plenty of great features for any driver, but some of the more outfitted trims may be better for your particular recipient.
Think About What He or She Will Use It For
At the end of summer, the graduate will probably use the car to move to college, a graduate degree, or into a new house or apartment to start his or her own career. Don’t purchase a car just with this move in mind. Think about what he or she is likely to use the car for. Are they moving somewhere cold where they are likely to get lots of snow (where a bigger, more rugged vehicle might come in handy?), or are they moving somewhere mountainous, where a zippy, responsive sedan might be more ideal?
Discuss the Conditions of the Gift with the Recipient
In some situations, there may be no conditions placed on the gift. In others, setting up a plan for who pays for what, how the car should be used, when it can be used, and other restrictions might be useful, especially if the recipient is a teenager graduating from high school who has never had a car of his own before. Laying some ground rules like no drinking and driving (obvious) and proper care and maintenance is never a bad idea.