BY JANE HURST
It’s time to head back to college. The question is, should you or shouldn’t you bring your car with you? It can be a really handy thing to have a vehicle with you while you are in college. At the same time, it can be a complete pain in the you-know-what as well. A teen who has taken their free permit practice test isn’t ready for the road, but if you have taken driver’s ed and have your license, you are likely looking at getting your first car. If you are thinking about bringing your car with you to college, here are a few pros and cons you need to consider.
- Know the Campus Rules – Before you even think about bringing a car with you to college, you need to find out if you are going to be allowed to do it in the first place. For instance, some campuses don’t allow freshmen to have cars. Others don’t have much in the way of parking, or charge outrageous fees to park. Find out the school policies about owning and using a vehicle before you bring yours along with you.
- Make Money and Get Away – As a student, you are probably often short on cash. Having a car means you can make extra money. Offer yourself as a taxi or delivery service in your spare time and have some extra spending money when you need it. You can also use your vehicle to be able to visit home a lot more often, if this is something that you enjoy doing, or just get away when the stress of campus life gets to be too much and you need a break. Having a car with you gives you the freedom to do a lot more, and you can even make a few extra bucks while you are at it.
- People Wanting to Borrow Your Car – You will also end up with a lot of people asking to borrow your car. This is probably not the best habit to get into. After all, it is you who will be on the line for any damages they cause while driving, unless of course you have full insurance coverage. Being on a student’s budget, it isn’t likely that you have that kind of coverage unless you are on your parents’ policy. Not everyone follows the road rules, and this isn’t a chance you should be willing to take.
- Have Transportation – If you get a part-time job or an internship that is not on campus, you will need transportation. You also need transportation to go shopping, to the movies, out to eat, or even to museums, galleries, libraries, and other places you need to go for your studies. Having a vehicle can be a big help when you need to get from point A to point B in a hurry, and you don’t want to wait around for a bus. This can be especially handy if your campus is in a smaller area where there are no bus services, and you won’t have to spend a lot of money on taxis.
- Being a Personal Taxi Service – Unfortunately, students who have cars often find themselves becoming personal taxi services for all of their friends. If this ends up becoming the case with you, there will likely come a time when you just have to put your foot down and tell everyone that you need to keep your vehicle in good shape for your entire college career. The more you run people around, the more wear and tear there will be on your car. One thing you can do is be a designated driver, to make sure your friends get home safely after partying.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.