If you’re preparing to head off to college in September, you may be knee-deep in preparation lists and making decisions. From filling out student finance forms to getting ready for campus life and buying all your essential college supplies, the lead-up to college life is filled with decisions. Another one of those decisions you may have to make? Whether to have a car at college. While there are a fair few colleges where students do not bring cars to campus, such as Georgetown and John Hopkins University, others, like Wayne State University, have 98 percent of their students bring their cars on campus. Yet, while it may seem easier to bring your car with you to college, it also comes with its drawbacks. Before making your decision, have a look at some of the pros and cons of driving at college.
Enjoy The Freedom Of Not Relying On Public Transport Timetables
A huge perk of driving at college is the freedom it gives you. Instead of relying on public transport around your campus, you can travel when and where you want. This means no more waiting for the bus or planning your days around the public transport timetable. As a bonus, it may be just what you need to ensure you are always on time – whether it is for class or or your part-time job.
Live Further Off-Campus And Enjoy The Cost Benefits
As a result of your increased freedom, you can potentially reduce your college costs. With a car at your disposal, you can widen your campus radius. For instance, you can now look for college accommodation off-campus. Off-campus accommodation is often much cheaper than dorm rooms. Also, having a car at college allows you to look further for jobs while you’re studying. Thanks to you driving at college, you may be able to apply for that college internship to boost your grades, or get a part-time job off-campus to fund your college costs. Some students can even live at home while at college, saving a lot of money on room and board.
Keeping A Car Means Added Costs To Your College Budget
Now for the cons. Having a car comes with the costs of owning a car. According to estimates from Move.org, the cost of having a car averages $5,264.58 every year. There will be car maintenance costs, insurance premiums, and parking to think about – along with other costs that may pop up. Add these to a strict college budget, and it may be too much to handle financially.
Also, if you do not already own a car, there is the added purchase price. If you want to keep your car costs down, consider getting a used car. With rankings and user experiences from vehicle owners, safety research, and price comparison websites, you can easily find a used car to fit your college budget but that does not compromise on the features you want. For lower car insurance premiums each year, shop around for comparative quotes, and consider getting a group insurance discount with your parents’ insurance provider.
There Is Also The Expectation To Be The Group Chauffeur
Not everyone will be driving at college. If you find yourself being the only one with a car amongst your roommates or in your group, you automatically become the chauffeur for nights out and trips. And while you may be up for adventures and late-night escapades with your college friends sometimes, it may not always be fun to be the driver.
So, should a college student bring a car to campus? That is up to you. Driving while you’re at college is a completely personal decision. It depends on your preference, your situation, and to some extent, your finances. If you do decide to drive at college, there is an equally long list of ways to keep your costs from ballooning. However, if you choose to go to college sans car, there is an equally exciting adventure that awaits you – just a different one.