Tips for Taking Your Car to College
by Cameron Sloane
When you’re deciding what to take to college, one of the most important things to figure out is whether you’ll need a car. Having a car in college offers a lot of conveniences: You won’t have to rely on public transportation or ask friends for rides, so you’ll be able to come and go as you please. But before you head off to campus with a car, here are a few things to consider.
Parking on campus
If you’re going to live on campus, find out what your college’s student-vehicle policy is. Colleges often don’t allow first-year students to bring cars on campus.
If you are allowed to bring a car to your college campus, find out what parking options are available. You’ll probably need to get a parking permit, so make sure you budget for the cost. Also, familiarize yourself with – and follow – your college’s regulations for parking on campus to avoid tickets.
Sharing your car at college
You’ll probably make friends who didn’t bring a car to college. Before the situation arises, think about whether you’re willing to lend your car or give them rides. If you don’t want to share your car or drive your friends around, you can offer to take them along when you’re already making a trip somewhere. Thinking through these scenarios before you take your car to college will help you avoid being put on the spot and making a decision you aren’t comfortable with.
Safety and maintenance
While you have your car at college, you should take steps to protect and maintain it. Whether you’re parking on campus or elsewhere, don’t leave valuables in your car. Always lock up and roll the windows up completely.
Don’t skip regular maintenance appointments when you’re at college. Your car still needs oil changes and air and fuel filter changes. Also, be sure to regularly check the pressure of your tires, including your spare tire, if you have one.
Make sure you know how to change a flat tire and that you have the necessary. Keep an emergency kit in your car with jumper cables, warning lights, first-aid supplies, foam tire-sealant, a flashlight and a blanket. You may want to consider getting full coverage car insurance that comes with Roadside Assistance.
Driver’s license and insurance
Before you take your car to college, make sure your driver’s license is current and isn’t going to expire while you’re away at school. Renewing it ahead of time will save you the hassle of a trip to the driver’s license office in the middle of a busy semester.
Also, make sure your car insurance is up-to-date and that you have valid proof of insurance in your vehicle. Having reliable coverage will help give you and your family peace of mind while you’re in college.