Effect of Snazzy Older Car on Financial Aid Awards

Question: We had an accident (with our very old car, high mileage, paid off) SUV and the insurance company sees no value in repairing it given its age and mileage.

The financial aid forms require us to report what kind of cars we drive and how much is owed on them. We must buy a new vehicle and have found some affordable options in older cars once thought of as symbols of excess. Now however they are at bargain basement prices (exactly where we live financially). We have a big family and can't squeeze everyone in a Prius no matter how politically correct it may be, never mind the price.

How closely is the type of car driven by financial aid applicants scrutinized? Can we buy a car that in 2006 was a symbol of affluence but now is more often viewed with raised eyebrows? I can take the raised eyebrows (because the price is very low) but I can't risk future financial aid for my kids because of a false appearance of wealth. Help!

Long question but short answer :) ...

This car that you plan to buy will have no impact on your financial aid awards.