i still have my car from high school, it made it through 2 years hs, 5 years of college.... Ima see how far it can go. What i have been told is to live like a student when your in dental school so that you can live like a doctor when you graduate.
If you can afford a new car, i would get one, for one and only one reason. You dont have to deal with the headache of maintenance. A newer car or a new car will give u a sense of security(wont break down out of the blue) and reliance. I bought a newer car for college because icudnt take the headache of haveing to change something every month.
I have a very old car I bought in high school.....restored/modified it, but I'll be taking it off the road/insurance if I get into d-school, simply b/c I don't believe it's necessary. It sits all winter, and don't drive it much during school year. I'll come back to it in way later once d-school is over. Unless you are going to a d-school where you absolutely need a car to commute, then I would advise against taking on this expense. Or work with a room-mate, and split commuting costs if you or they have a car. I know I don't want to be worrying about finding parts for a rare old car in d-school.