The “Do I Need a Car While I’m at College?” Checklist

When it comes to going to college, many incoming students might be wondering if bringing their car is actually necessary, especially since so much time will be spent in class and conducting studies (wink, wink).

Whether or not you decide to either bring the car you already have or purchase a new vehicle, it’s important to take a few things into consideration before you make your ultimate decision. Below, we’ll help you answer the question “Do I need a vehicle while I’m attending college?”

Where Are You Going to College?

If you’re going to college in your hometown, then this is obviously not going to be a problem for you. People who attend college in the cities and states they grew up in have the luxury of family, perhaps their own vehicle, and knowing all the hotspots there are to offer. But, the one thing these people miss out on is experiencing going to college in a brand spanking new city.

If you’re going to college in a city that’s very spread out, like, say, Phoenix or Los Angeles, then it’s probably a good idea to bring your vehicle with you, otherwise, you’re going to have a hard time getting around. Of course, getting around is not impossible, especially if you simply plan on staying and living close to the college you’re attending, in which case you might consider sparing yourself having to worry about parking and paying for gas.

If you’re living in a city that is more condensed, like, say, San Francisco, then you’ll probably be all right leaving your vehicle at home and riding public transportation. 

Where Are You Living?

No matter where you decide to commit when it comes to college, if you plan on living on campus or close to campus, you’ll more likely be able to get away with not bringing your car, truck, SUV, or party van. Just make sure that there is at least one grocery store close within walking distance so you can feed yourself.

People might decide to do away with bringing their car to college because they don’t want to have to pay for parking, insurance, gas, and maintenance for their vehicle while they’re having to conduct their studies. Another benefit of this choice beyond saving money is that a student will be more likely to engage in their studies when they don’t give themself the option of taking their cars to go for a drive, shopping, or to a social gathering of some sort.

To Car or Not to Car?

Whether a student decides to bring their car to college with them is ultimately their decision and should always be made while weighing all of the options. If an individual wants to bring their own vehicle, it’s important to note that parking will have to be paid for (at the university and in some living situations), insurance will have to be maintained, and any upkeep and repair will be immediately necessary if the student depends in their vehicle to get to class.

Some students may decide to purchase a vehicle in the same city/state they decide to go to college in, in which cases even the busiest students can take advantage of online car showroom services to view options that will help them make their decision.

In the end, for some students, deciding to bring their vehicle is simply not an option. But, for those who have the luxury of making the decision, it’s good to be ready to pay for operating and maintaining the vehicle while grappling with the rigorous demands of a college course load.

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