The educational license of AutoCAD is defined as (source):
"Educational access to software and services may be used only for purposes directly related to learning, teaching, training, research, and development. They may not be used for commercial, professional, or any other for-profit purposes."
In some countries, AutoCAD is not very strict about the application of an Educational license. You can even get it right away after you fill in some basic information and receive a free 1-year AutoCAD license (you can continue to apply after one year).
Additionally, the educational version has all the features included in the full version, without any limitations.
Therefore, as long as it is not for commercial use, you can try to apply to see if you are qualified.
Autodesk Flex Rate is a brand new payment model, it is based on the actual number of days of use, which charges $21/day for AutoCAD.
If we take the 1-year price to calculate, as long as your average usage frequency is less than 7 days per month, then you may choose this new Flex model.
In fact, Flex makes it easier for users who use Autodesk programs less frequently, so you don't need to pay for them on a monthly basis. Thus, the best way to save money here, which is Subscriptions for major products + Autodesk Flex Rate
4️⃣ Cheaper Alternatives
This option is not truly a discount, and I personally do not recommend the alternatives of AutoCAD as many professionals would state that AutoCAD provides better quality than rivals and it’s irreplaceable. However, you can still discover another program to see if it can meet your needs.
The following is the list of the cheaper alternatives that are mentioned in many articles:
🚫 The options I've searched but did not get good results:
Check the platforms I've searched below, so you don’t have to waste your time.
E-commerce website for AutoCAD deals:
Searched on Amazon: No result Searched on eBay: No result Searched on Reddit: No result Unknown websites: You can find several unknown websites on Google that are selling AutoCAD, but through my research, the reliabilities of those websites are relatively low and they have poor website traffic, so I do not recommend buying AutoCAD from them, perhaps it's not safe.
Looking for an AutoCAD lifetime license❓
Since 2016, AutoCAD has only been available with subscription plans, and they stopped selling perpetual licenses. I was also trying to get AutoCAD 2015 or 2014 perpetual license, but they are no longer available.
If you know some other good options to get AutoCAD at a low price, please leave a comment below and share with us.