Should a College Student Have a Car?

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Female college student in a car

A car is an absolute essential for US college students. It can come as a complete surprise for international students, but most young people can’t imagine their lives without a car. Of course, college years are no different. Depending on the state and city you study in, a car can play a big role in your success and productivity. After all, spending hours commuting or constantly looking for a ride can get exhausting really fast. Thus, it’s best to take care of such a need and find a car before you go to college. However, as always, there are certain exceptions to the rule. Let’s see whether every college student should have a car and when it may not be necessary.

Are you renting or living on campus?

There is a big difference in your logistics when you rent a room in the city or stay on campus. Of course, the latter suggests you don’t leave campus much. Students already have everything they need close to them. They will get to the classes on time, simply on foot. Diners, libraries, social events, and pretty much all their college life is centered around the campus. So, they have little to no reason to purchase a car for such a lifestyle. There is virtually no need for one.

In fact, a car can even become a burden to young people. Thus, students will have to pay parking fees for a vehicle they rarely use. Besides, not all schools even have enough parking spots. In fact, some colleges limit their parking permits, for example, giving them only to the staff or postgraduates.

Next, a parked car still requires maintenance, check-ups, oil refills, etc. Insurance will also take a large chunk of a student’s annual budget. Not to mention, young people risk additional car repairs for neglecting a car for a long period of time without use. Of course, a car is useful for planning trips and running errands around the town. Still, remembering the abovementioned issues, it’s worth considering how much money each of these rides will cost you.

What are the safest options?

On the other hand, a car will be a big asset to students who rent apartments in the city and so live far from campus. This way, they will have better control over their commuting options and time management. However, a number of factors will still play a role here. For example, does the city have good public transportation and convenient infrastructure? If yes, perhaps, students won’t find trouble.

Next, there is an issue of safety. What is the most reliable and secure way to travel if commuting is necessary? Of course, public transport will be the safest option, especially if the city has an underground transport system. For one, people under twenty are notoriously bad drivers. Not to mention that students often experience a lot of pressure and anxiety due to academic pressure and personal issues. Stressed drivers with little experience on the road create a dangerous environment.

In this case, using the subway or buses can be a better option for everyone. Also, a student will have more free time on their hands while commuting. So, they can repeat homework, try meditation apps, or look up research paper services online.

Working students

These days, most students often need to take part-time jobs. Hence, a lot of young people support themselves financially during college. However, combining work and studies is not so easy. Of course, a car can be a big advantage in such circumstances. Students will be more mobile and quick. Though, in such a case, young people need to be wise during car shopping. Choosing the right car to serve your purposes is important.

Working students should spend a big share of their paychecks on car maintenance and insurance. Still, busy students can afford to break down in the middle of the road, missing classes and work, and pay for the tow truck. They want the safest, most practical, and most reliable car there is. Yet, it shouldn’t cost students more than they can afford. So, the choice is hard to make in an instant.

Bottom line

A good car can be a great asset to many busy students. However, there are conditions to follow and expectations to manage before making such a decision. First of all, a student should determine the purpose of having a car in college in the first place. For example, they need additional reasons for buying a car beyond just wanting one. Thus, campus living is specifically designed to meet all students’ needs and wants within the given territory. This means young people don’t need a car on campus. In fact, they will find it quite restraining with time.

Overall, students should weigh the pros and cons to determine whether a car is a necessity for them. Each person will have good reasoning for having or not having a car in college. The general opinion should not affect how you feel about having a car in college. Yet, you should consider convenience, safety, and maintenance costs before making up your mind.

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