College Advice Blog

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Jan 5, 2012

Should I Take My Car to College?



One of the biggest dilemmas for college students who drive is whether to keep their car on campus or to leave it at home. Running a car is increasingly expensive these days, but there are many reasons why students have a hard time deciding what to do with their cars. Young drivers car insurance is one of the biggest expenses you will have to contend with and the cost of this will probably sway your decision.

The main conflict here is money versus convenience. There is no doubting that keeping, running and maintaining a car is expensive wherever you have it, but there is also no doubting that it can be an incredibly valuable asset to have wherever you happen to be. If you find yourself needing to make such a decision, ask yourself how much you can afford and how valuable it will actually be to have a car at college.

Assess the journeys you are likely to make during your time on campus and think about whether or not you could make them by foot or bike. You may only need to travel half a mile or less to your seminars and lectures each day, so a bicycle would be an excellent option. After all, a cheap second hand bike will be much cheaper than a semester’s worth of fuel.

The issue of parking also comes into having a car on campus. Campus parking is normally a nightmare at the best of times, so you would probably be better off saving the time you would spend looking for a parking space to actually get to your seminars on time.

The upside to having a car at college is that your journey times will be much shorter, which means that you can stay in bed longer. It would also make your shopping trips much easier, since you won’t have to carry it all back with you or pay for a cab. But with a car, you would obviously have to be paying for fuel every week, depending on how much you use it, so there is expense either way in that scenario.

If you live close enough to everything you need, i.e. college, the supermarket and, say, the bookstore, you won’t need a car. It will be an unnecessary expense and you’ll end up being a cab driver for everybody else you know. Take into account your individual circumstances and ask yourself if you could get by without a car, regardless of money and convenience. If the answer is ‘yes’, you should probably leave it at home.
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