Before your teen goes off to college, he or she may beg you to buy them a car. If they already have one, they’ll want to take it with them. However, it may not be such a good idea for your college-bound child to have a car. As a matter of fact, your teen may not be able to have a car even if you allow it.
More and more colleges nowadays are forbidding first-year students from having a car on campus for a wide range of issues. One of the main reasons is because of parking. Not allowing cars for freshman will open up a lot of space for the upper classmen as well as the faculty and staff. There may also be a few reasons that you may not want your child to have a car.
One primary concern that you’ll have is with traffic. If your teen is going to a big city, the traffic may be very busy. He or she may not have enough experience driving in that type of traffic. This may not be much of a concern if the college is located in a smaller town.
You’ll be sending your child off to college to study not to party. If they have a car, they’ll be much more likely to spend more time exploring the city instead of doing what they’re supposed to do. If you let your child take a car, make sure they’re responsible enough to use it wisely.
Peer pressure will also be a huge concern for many parents. There will be plenty of kids at college that don’t have their own cars. Your child may be pressured to drive their friends around or even loan the car out to them.
Parking tickets may also be a problem. If your child gets one, you may have to end up paying for them, especially if your child doesn’t have a job and any money to do so.
College students commonly have money problems and look to correct them by getting a part-time job. If your child’s job is located a fair distance away from campus, then you may have no other choice but to provide him or her with a car.
For most people, college will be the first time they’ve spent a significant amount of time away from home. It’s very common for them to get home-sick and want to come back home as much as possible. You’d get to see your child much more often if they have their own car to get back and forth between home and college.
If your child already has a car, another factor that should play a role in your decision is insurance. It may be possible for you to save money by taking the car off the road while your child is away at college. This depends entirely on the company that provides the policy though. If you can’t save money with insurance, then you might as well let someone drive the car since you’re paying for it.
Before letting your teen take a car however, you should always investigate public transportation options. Most college campuses provide shuttles to get to classes. There are also bus stops located strategically across the campuses. If there are plenty of public transportation options, then your child may not need a car.
You could even look into providing him or her with a bike. Bikes can be a great alternative to having a car, especially if you live close to the campus. Besides, riding a bike every day will help ensure that your child stays in shape.
Another option if you don’t want to get your child a car is a car sharing program. With this type of program, your teen could rent a car based on an hourly or daily basis whenever he or she needs it. More and more college campuses are making use of these car sharing programs.
Letting your teen take a car to college is a big decision. It may be a good idea, or absolutely necessary in some cases. You’ll just need to sit down with your child and discuss some of your options. There will undoubtedly be plenty of concerns that you’ll have.