Owning a Car on Campus

Your wheels are your freedom. Your wheels are what gets you around. So why not take them to school with you? Here are a few questions you might consider before you make that decision:

Cost of Maintenance – how much does your parking pass, registration, inspection, gas, insurance and maintenance cost? Is it worth keeping your car during your college years? Or are you driving it so little that the cost is prohibitive?

Use – How often can you, or will you, use the car? Is it worth having the car or can you find public transportation or other ways to get around?

Abuse – Will other people count on you for a ride and will you have to fund the transportation? Be careful when you think about having that car because you want to freedom. So does everyone else and if your car is THEIR freedom, they will not hesitate to volunteer you to drive everywhere.

School Policies – Does your school allow freshman to have cars on campus? Where there is limited space for parking, some schools will only allow upper classman to bring a car to school. Know the rules before you bring your car along and find out you cannot park your car on campus.

Security – If your school is not in a particularly safe area, you may risk damage to your car or theft if you attempt to keep it on or near the campus.

Convenience – If you have to park your car in another county somewhere, you are unlikely to use it. It will not be convenient for you to get to and use your car, so it will probably just sit there and gather dust.

Risk – If someone else drives your car or if you are in an accident with others in your car, you may be liable for damages or injury.

Need – If you need the car to get back and forth to your home or to a job or to go shopping you may feel that it is important to keep your car on campus. In this case, check the policies and procedures and apply for your parking sticker.

There are a lot of good reasons to HAVE a car on campus and a lot of reasons you may NOT want to keep your car on campus. Consider the options and trade-offs carefully and then make your decision!


Katherine Harrison

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