You can cash in on some great car-buying incentives now that you've graduated from college.

4 great grad incentives for new-car buyers

After years of study and faithfully attending all your courses, it's all come down to this –  graduation, the culmination of a lifetime spent preparing for the working world. 

There's nothing quite like the college experience, a time in life that's geared toward arming you with the resources and experience you need to have a successful career. And in a bit of good news for those hoping to land a job shortly after graduation, companies are hiring. In fact, based on a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers at Michigan State University, businesses are likely to hire anywhere from 9 percent to 16 percent more in 2015 than they did last year.

Just about every job comes with a commute, so before you land a job, you're going to want to have a car to get around in. And what better way to reward yourself for a job well done after graduating than with a new car?

As you might expect, though, cars fresh off the showroom floor don't come cheaply. Based on the latest data from vehicle valuation firm Kelley Blue Book, average transaction prices for all-new vehicles was $33,560 in April, up 2.6 percent from year-ago levels and 0.5 percent from March.

When you combine this with the mounds of student debt you may be under, a new-car purchase may seem impossible. However, because you're a recent graduate, you may be able to buy the vehicle you've always wanted – or at least close to it – at a fraction of the price for what you'd pay under normal circumstances.

You name the auto brand – be it BMW, Audi, Chevrolet, Chrysler, and dozens of others – there's a real good chance that dealerships are offering graduate dealer incentive for new cars. But in order to take advantage of them, you'll need to have proof establishing that you are in fact a newly minted grad.

Here are some of the things you'll likely need:

  • A hard copy of your diploma or transcript
  • Proof of employment
  • A current auto insurance policy
  • Credit history
  • Information on when you graduated

Eligibility requirements differ from one dealer to the next. For example, you may be able to apply for incentives if you graduate several months from now or within the last two years. Other dealerships are more strict, confining eligibility requirements to those who graduated within the last six months.

The following are a handful of the rebates and incentives you may be able to take advantage of simply because of your status as a new grad:

Deferred payments

Most people who buy a car opt to finance it, making regularly scheduled payments every month. As a graduate, you may be able to defer payments several months after you become the proud owner of a new vehicle. Toyota is one such automaker that offers this incentive, depending on what vehicle you buy.

Rebate

What's better than a little extra spending money to pay for your car? This is precisely what some dealerships offer to recent grads, sometimes as much as $1,000. How much the rebate is for may depend on whether you purchase or lease as well as the model you select.

Affordable lending rate

By financing, you pay an interest rate on top of the principle price of the car. However, if you have a good credit history, you may be able to apply for an annual percentage rate that's exclusive to grads, which may help you shorten your loan term so you can pay the cost of the car off faster.

More streamlined credit approval process

Being a young adult, you may not have a whole lot of credit established, especially if you don't have any credit cards or other regularly scheduled payments like rent. That's not a problem with a graduate incentive program. With these, the credit approval process doesn't require that you have an extensive history.

These are just a few of the car-buying incentives you can take advantage of now that you're officially a member of the nation's workforce. But don't wait too long to cash in, because just like college life, it'll be over before you know it.