Just a thought: since you are in college and are a full time student, I'm assuming you don't work full time, and unless your parents are planning on making your monthly payments for you, I highly recommend that you DO NOT buy an H3 or a new car at all. Here is a cost breakdown of your H3.
That is your actual price before your down payment. Assuming you make a $3000 down payment, your cost is reduced to
* 5% interest rate (this is EXTREMELY generous)
Your total cost of your car loan will be
= 17195 / 60 months
and you are paying $286 per month (and again, this is with a low interest rate which you will likely not get)
I got a quote on the insurance from Progressive using myself as an example and assuming you have a perfect driving record and minimum coverage required for a car loan you will be paying $212 a month for insurance.
If you only drive 6000 miles a year with gas prices remaining around $4 and get a miraculous 25 mpg with the H3, you will pay $960 add $40 for oil changes and that's $1000 or $83 a month. Assume you will pay $600 per year for repair costs and that's an extra $50 a month.
That comes out to $631 a month.
Over the 6 years that you will be paying this car off it will cost you in total over $37,000.
Compare that to a 2002 Toyota Highlander which has 25 MORE cu. ft. of cargo space, has an EPA combined rating of 22 mpg, has a higher maximum payload (by almost 400 lbs.), is considered to one of the most reliable midsize SUVs (by comparison, Consumer Reports states that the H3 has a higher than average problem rate for the engine, drive system, paint/trim, body integrity, and body hardware) In addition to all this, the Highlander will cost you about $10,000 with the same amount of miles as an H3 from a dealer. And if you buy from a private seller, knock about 2 grand off.
In short, if you need something to haul a lot of stuff around, the H3 is the least financially responsible choice. In fact, the only reason I could think for getting one would be to impress your peers, and while it might serve that purpose very well, 3 years down the road, you'll be kicking yourself in the *** for being so irresponsible. I recommend you sweet talk your parents into buying you a used Highlander from a private seller for $8,000. Make payments to your parents, and you will only have to pay about $30 a month for insurance.
Just think about it before you saddle yourself with a $600 a month bill.
I appreciate your financial analysis. I have looked into this. At current, my parents pay for my gas usage and insurance. In the next month, my premium will come down to a normal rate. There is no money owned on my Mitsubishi.
I was looking into payments and I assumed an interest rate of 8% over 5 years, which came out to $336 per month on an $18,600 car.
If I work 10 hours per week at $10 per hour, I am left with $400 per month before taxes. Such jobs are very easy to get around campus. There are a lot of internships that pay in the 8 - 10 dollar range. I would be willing and able to work 15 to 20 hours per week even.
Why factor in repair? The Mitsubishi is going to require more repair than any new vehicle I consider getting. This car is already burning a half quart of oil every 500 miles.