Having a Car on Campus
Having a car on campus can be an expensive hassle or a much-needed relief. Yes, some universities are a world all their own, but if you need to go home, visit a significant other who goes to another college or hit the grocery store, you might need a car.
When deciding whether to have a car on campus, make sure your college doesn’t have a policy barring them. Some colleges don’t allow cars for freshmen. Others don’t allow students to have them at all. There are campuses that have designated parking areas for students.
If you have an off-campus job, or need to make runs to the grocery store or mall, check out public transportation options, as well as how easy it is to get somewhere on a bike. If you need to reach the airport or want to travel, search for what shuttle options are available. If you want to go visit friends, or a boyfriend of girlfriend at a campus several hours away, look for a train or a service like ZipCar.
If you want to go home for the weekends, first consider how much time you want to spend at home while you’re trying to acclimate to campus.
If you do think you need a car, calculate what it will cost. Parking fees can range, and some are a few hundred dollars a semester. Prepare to pay in advance for a few parking tickets, as campuses then to have aggressive ticketing operations. Add costs for gas, maintenance and emergency repairs into your budget.
You will need to need to notify your insurance you’re leaving for college, even if you don’t take your car with you. If you do take your vehicle, your rates could rise as drivers in urban areas usually charge more than those in rural areas. If your car or insurance is under a parent’s name, have a conversation about who will be able to drive your car because your campus friends are bound to borrow your keys.
If you need a car and your campus doesn’t have a good option for you or you want to have a car as a freshman, check the rates of parking garages in your college town. The parking garages will not be on campus and are therefore not governed by university policy. You could have a car from your first day on campus.