Should a Student Have a Car in College

A car in college is an interesting thing. Some young people are so dependent on their cars
that they can’t give them up, even when living on campus. Others have to travel long
distances or drive to work every day. In such a case, a car is a true necessity. Overall, a
student’s need for a car is an individual matter. So, let’s see what instances your student
needs a car in college and how to make the right decision.

Does a student have a car already?

First of all, this decision depends on whether your child already has a car or if you need to
buy them one. If they already own a car, see how well they manage it. You don’t want to see
how the financial toll of owning a car pressures your child to take more work hours or deal
with insurance. However, if they can manage the parking price, maintenance, gas, etc., the
decision to bring the car to college or leave/sell it lies on them.
The question pool will expand if you are expected to buy a student a car. First, you haven't
seen how your child manages car ownership. So you and your kid will have to hold a
conversation about responsibility, safety, reliability, and more. Secondly, you can weigh the
financial and personal sides of the issue using the following questions.

Will your child maintain the care properly?

Car maintenance is more than a necessity. It is a safety issue. So, giving a teenager a car
and sending them away can be worrisome for many parents. After all, you want to know they
can take care of it. Scheduling shop appointments and checking oil is the bare minimum they
should do on their own. However, you should also teach a student to spot any weird noises
or car behavior. Any hesitation in such situations can lead to bad consequences. Though, as
long as they are ready to step up and deal with such ‘boring’ tasks, you can breathe easily.

What is the college car policy?

All schools have their own car policies to consider. So, read these rules before sending your
student to college with a car. Perhaps, such possession will only become an obstacle for
them. For example, some campuses have very limited parking spots. Students can wait for
months, if not years, to get a permit to park on campus. Others don’t even have parking at
all. Some schools don’t allow freshmen to park in college territory. The rules are many, and
you better learn all about them, including the price list, before making up your mind about the
car thing.

Reasons to own/not own a car in college

Finally, give your child an option to choose. They may think that a car is a must-have in
college. Yet, even surface research will show them how wrong such an opinion is. A car can
be an advantage in certain situations. The rest of the time, it simply turns into a financial
burden. So, here are the top four issues to consider.

Pros: Convenience

Of course, a car means freedom of mobility. It is convenient to depend only on yourself.
There is no need to memorize bus schedules or ask friends with cars for favors. You can get
wherever you need to be without relying on anyone. The question is, where would you go?
Most students on campus don’t need a car during the week. So, unless you work or have
other everyday activities in the city, having a car may do little for you.

Cons: Expenses

A car is expensive. It’s not just the initial purchase but the insurance, gas, maintenance,
parking spots on campus, etc. It is a constant money-consuming machine. A simple budget
plan should show the monthly sum you need to dedicate to the car. So, consider how much
the benefits of owning a car top the costs of having it in college.

Pros: Independence

Often, having a car means no limitations. You can go wherever you want at any time, day or
night. Such freedom is crucial for many young people who want to explore the world and
take their chances outside the campus. So if taking road trips every weekend is something
for you, a car is a must. Plus, you can always get academic help from to
really save some time on the weekends.

Cons: Parking

Let’s face it. Parking is always a headache. It’s the least favorite aspect of owning a car for
many people. However, trying to park when in college is a whole different deal. You have to
book a spot ahead of time, pay for it without delay, and still barely ever find a decent place to
park. Not to mention that parking outside campus gets even harder and riskier in terms of
safety or getting a car towed. So, that’s just one more thing to consider.


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