Should You Bring Your Car to College?

Should You Bring Your Car to College?
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    When you're preparing to head to college, there is plenty to think about.

    You have to think about moving and beginning an entirely new and more independent life.


One of the specific decisions you’ll have to make is whether or not you’ll bring your car to college. Some schools and dorms may not allow it, but if yours will, is it a good idea?

Even if you’re going out-of-state for school, you should be able to stay on your parent’s car insurance. If your parents pay for your insurance and you go away for school, they can keep maintaining your insurance as they do when you’re in high school.

With insurance, though, you’ll have to check and make sure that you have enough coverage if you’re going out-of-state. Different states have different requirements.

Beyond the insurance consideration, what else should you keep in mind if you’re thinking about taking your car to campus?

Are You Sure You Can Bring Your Car?

Before you get too excited in either direction, you should verify whether or not your school even allows students to keep cars on campus. The year in school you’ll be can have an effect as well.

For example, you may be able to bring your car if you’re an upperclassman but not a freshman or even a sophomore in some cases.

In addition to whether your school, in general, allows it, what about your dorm? Dorms may have different rules too.

For example, if you’re living in a private dorm, you may be able to bring your car, but that might not be the case if you’re staying in one of the public dorms.

If you’re unsure or can’t find the information anywhere, contact the student services department and ask them. If your school does allow students to have cars, you’ll probably need to fill out a permit application, and there may be a waiting list.

Why Do You Want to Bring Your Car?

Think about why you want to bring your car to campus and whether or not you really need it. Most schools are in college towns and will have good public transportation. There are a few reasons you might want it, however. One reason is so that you can easily get back and forth to home on the weekends.

Another reason could be if you plan to work off-campus and need transportation to do that. If you don’t fit into either of those categories, you’ll have to think about whether or not it’s worth it to take your car.

How Much Will It Cost?

If you take your car to campus, how much will it cost? There are quite a few different costs to factor in.

First, you’ll have to pay for parking fees. Most schools require students to have a specific parking pass, and it can hundreds of dollars per semester. If you lose your pass, you’ll have to pay for a replacement as well.

If you’re going out-of-state and adjustments need to be made to your insurance policy, that can increase the costs. You’ll also have to pay for general car maintenance and upkeep, including gas.

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These costs should be compared to the costs of not having your car on campus.

For example, is your campus and the town it’s in compact enough that you can walk most places, or will you likely be spending money on public transportation and ridesharing?

How will you get home, and if you have to pay someone to drive you to cover gas, how much will that be?


While the costs of parking were mentioned above, there are some other things to think about when parking on campus. Namely, the parking is very limited. Even if you buy a pass, there may be times where you still can’t get parking. That can make you late for class or lead to parking tickets.

other valuable tips:


College students have a reputation for partying, but could that put you in danger if you have your car on campus? Will you be able to stay responsible when you have access to a vehicle?

Finally, do you want to be one of the few people in your friend group with a car? If you are, you may find that you’re constantly shuttling people around, and you might not frequently get repaid for gas. This may not be a situation you want to be in, especially if you have a tough time saying no or setting boundaries.

Image Credit: bring car to college by Pixabay

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Categories: Campus Cars