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12 Best Cars for Graduates

'Tis the season for sunshine, BBQs and graduations. If you have a student graduating from either high school or college this year, chances are good they may be needing a reliable car.

If your new graduate is looking for a vehicle of their very own -- which many times will also be the first vehicle they will ever own -- you're in luck -- Forbes recently put together a list of what they consider the top 12 vehicles for new graduates. These 2011 used cars -- including the Buick LaCrosse, Ford Taurus, and Honda Element -- are all top picks when it comes to safety and reliability, and are all picked with a budget in mind.

Rank Vehicle (2011 Models)Price Range
1Buick LaCrosse$16,763-$22,901
2Chevrolet Volt$20,015
3Ford Taurus$17,323-$24,450
4Honda Civic$11,908-$16,980
5Honda Element$19,252-$22,002
6Jeep Patriot$14,810-$17,700
7Kia Sportage$16,035-$23,153
8Kia Soul$12,379-$15,433
9Lincoln MKZ$18,685
10Scion xB$14,819-$15,673
11Toyota Corolla$14,067-$15,659
12Toyota Tundra$19,630-$20,016

3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum Money

The key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:

Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted Network

Select the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Select Vehicle to Get Local Pricing

Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirect

TrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.

Step 3 Complete my Checklist

Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

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About The Author

Gregg Fidan Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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