Should I bring my car to college?

by | Aug 7, 2018 | Transport Tips

Should I Bring My Car to College?

When setting off to college, freshmen will have a very long list of items that they “simply must” carry with them on their college journey. This list often includes things like:

  • Cell phones
  • Laptops and an assortment of chargers
  • Fully packed backpacks or suitcases
  • Their coolest clothes
  • Maybe a printer
  • Bedding
  • Their favorite game system (Xbox or PS)

New students are usually only interested in bringing a few of the comforts of home to make them less homesick.

Bringing a car to college might seem like a given for most college students, however, but is it a good idea? Should you bring your car to college?

Well, the answer to that question depends on a number of things! First and foremost, you should be asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does the university I am attending allow new students to bring their cars?
  • Where is my college located?
  • Is there any on-campus transport system in place?
  • Is there a public transport system that makes frequent campus stops?

These options are mostly available for those who attend a university in large cities. If you`re attending a smaller institution, there may be a less established local public transport system, or whatever transport system that might exist may have limited operating hours.

Pros of Bringing a Car to College

While it’s true that bringing your car with you to college has both advantages and disadvantages, it’s the fact that bringing your car with you has the same inherent benefits that it offers you at home that often pits the scale. Let’s look at some of those advantages:

It makes movement easy if and when you need a break: Depending on what you need a break from, whether it’s taking someone on a picnic or a date, going to concerts in town, or going to have a dinner with friends; the ability to get out of school anytime you want is an excellent reason to bring your car with you. It awards the freedom of mobility that some students may crave.

You can be of help to your friends: Having access to your own car puts you in an advantageous position to help your friends who might want to move, transport property, or just need a ride to the airport.

You don’t have to worry about commuting during breaks: When you have your own car, getting home irrespective of the distance can happen on your own terms. You will never be bothered with the worry and stress over expensive flights, delayed trains, long bus rides, or any other transportation-related woes.

Easy to plan road trips: you can be of immense value to your friends by being able to provide the much-needed transportation to memorable events like spring break weekends. Being in possession of a car certainly ensures that you get to go and that you oversee the travel plans.

Your car can help you get a job or internship off campus: Getting an internship off campus is not dependent on owning a car, however, but it certainly makes it easier to commute to and from school. It also opens several other opportunities, such as working part-time, or acting as an Uber driver while you’re at it, for some additional income.

Your car allows you to save on shopping:
Bringing your car with you to college might come with some additional costs, but it can also help save some money as well. With a car on campus, you will have virtually unlimited options as to where you can shop.

You can simply go for a drive to discount clothing stores, find cheaper food vendor options, and other more affordable retail shops that may be outside the walking zone or scope of public transportation.

You can go home when needed:
If you are urgently needed to attend to family-oriented affairs such as babysit your adorable niece or go home for your Grandma’s birthday party, then you can easily do so without having to worry about flight availability.

Having your car with you can help you save a lot of time that might have been wasted on things like trying to find the right train or flight layovers.

Walking becomes a thing of the past:
While you are encouraged to walk as much as you can from a health perspective, college life involves way too much of it. You walk to and from classes, to the student mess hall, and back to your dorm. Having a car on campus will certainly cut down on that while saving you time that you can dedicate to studying

Your car will give you a sense of independence: When you have your own car, you don’t have to ask for rides and feel guilty about being a bother to your friends. This means you don’t owe anyone any cash for gas, and you can commute as you please in accordance with your own schedule.

The idea of having a car with you on campus during your college life largely depends on your desired lifestyle while on campus. As is the case with most things in college, it’s always a good idea to make an informed and educated decision about the choice that seems ideal to you.

Cons of Bringing a Car to College

Although bringing your car with you to college could definitely make your life much easier and awards you with a certain amount of freedom, it also has some serious disadvantages that could very well make your life a bit more difficult.

New studies have even begun suggesting that fewer students want to drive, so here are a few of the disadvantages to bringing your car with you to college that you should consider:

You will have to service and maintain your car: As a student, it is often difficult to find enough money to meet your basic needs, let alone the expenses that come with maintaining a car. The lack of finances can make your life very stressful since you may not have enough money to maintain the vehicle when it breaks down.

Besides, sometimes the price of gas can go up making it not affordable; especially for students who don’t have a job and depend solely on their parents to help pay for the necessities while they are in school.

Maintaining a car in college, therefore, is very difficult when one does not have enough money to budget for the car and school requirements.

The cost of parking is expensive:
As we all know, cars require a good parking spot where the owner will feel that it is secure and safe from theft and vandalism. You, therefore, must be ready to incur the expenses that come with parking.

Paying for a secure parking spot, especially in college, can be very expensive.

When you calculate the amount used to pay for parking annually, you will find that a lot of that parking money would have been better suited to cover other expenses, such as food. You should closely consider whether your budget can cover the cost of parking.

The weather can be challenging: During extreme weather conditions such as snowy months and rainy seasons, it may be very challenging for you because you may be forced to incur various costs. For example, during the snowy seasons, students may not have places to park their cars. As the snow falls, it covers the vehicle, and this will require you to dig it out first.

Also, during the snowy seasons, every car owner incurs a higher cost of vehicle maintenance due to damages that may have occurred because of the weather.

The schools also maintain the right to restrict those who own vehicles from parking in certain areas such as side streets.

You will feel an obligation to do people favors: If you own a car, your friends will automatically expect you to offer to drive them to various places. This will not only waste your time, but also your gas, and increase the number of times your vehicle has to go for service. The sad thing is that you may not be able to say no to your friends; at least not at every turn. This means that your friends will put you out more often than not, which could strain your friendship.

Shipping your car might be expensive:
Your car will never move magically from where it’s located to your final destination – your school. When you live very far away from the campus, it can be very expensive to drive your car to school. Spending many hours (sometimes days) driving to and from campus may not be practical.

You will likely need to ship your car. Although this is often very safe and convenient, it can cost a lot of money, and not everyone can afford to incur this additional college cost.

It can be distracting to your academics: As much as you think that being able to leave campus whenever you want is a wonderful advantage that comes with having your car, the truth is that sometimes it might be the exact opposite.

When you own a car, you might be tempted to drive at night, visit a few towns away to check on your friends, or go for fun events simply because you have the means to get there whenever you want to.

The temptation and freedom that comes with owning a car makes it harder for you to say no to frivolities. However, if you do not have a car, you may have to suffer the logistics that are involved in moving around.

Accidents do happen: Statistics show that the crash rate from teenagers has been reported to be three times that of drivers who are 20 years and above per mile. These are statistics forwarded by the insurance institute for highway safety.

If a student owns a vehicle in college, their insurance premium rises rapidly. That is because insurance companies know that accidents do happen; more so when college students are behind the wheel. Furthermore, the kind of mental stress that is brought by accidents might derail the students from focusing on their studies.

However, despite all these disadvantages you still might want to bring your car with you anyway. The truth is that having it really does make your college life so much easier. Now the question remains: how do you get your car to college?

How to Ship a Car

Shipping a car simply means transporting your car from one region to another using a professional outfit.

If you choose to have your car shipped instead of driving it to college yourself, then simply follow the recommendations below to make sure your car is shipped properly:

  • Make sure your car is clean by washing it; even if it will be transported on an open trailer:
  • This is for the purpose of noticing any chips, dings, or other cosmetic damage correctly.

  • Keep your personal belongings safe:
  • It is best to simply remove them from the car prior to the car being shipped.

  • Switch off the car alarm:
  • To stop it from constantly going off during transportation, you should disarm the car alarm.

    Not only would this be a bother, but it can also drain your battery.

  • Leave the gas tank empty:
  • This ensures there is no added weight.

    It’s recommended that the tank should be at 1/8th to 1/4th of a tank just to shave off as much weight as possible.

  • Tighten any loose parts or specialty items:
  • Things like ground effects, spoilers or fog lights should always be secured prior to shipping.

  • In case of wide mirrors, fold them back:
  • Just to avoid any unnecessary damages and breakages.

  • Retract the antenna:
  • To prevent it from swaying all over the place as it moves and to avoid the risk of it breaking off during transport.

  • Convertible cars should be properly secured with the top up:
  • By covering all the openings, you are preventing damages caused by air or moisture.

    If the top can’t be raised, then you had better cover it with a secure fitting tarp that will keep the elements out.

  • Carefully prepare a list of all the required operational steps to be followed:
  • How to start, stop or drive your vehicle off the trailer. This is for easy loading and unloading.

  • Highlight any pre-existing damage to your car:
  • You can even take pictures of the damaged parts prior to transporting it.

You should also ensure that the car battery is charged, the tires are inflated, top off all the fluids, and notify the driver if any leakages or other problems exist.

Still interested in bringing your car to college with you? The first step of booking an auto transport is learning about the companies you’re considering for the move.

Go ahead and research J&S Transportation – we’ll take good care of you and will be able to provide you with an instant quote.