Car ownership while attending college can be a major financial burden. There are several factors that should be considered before purchasing a car while in college, especially if you plan on financing the vehicle.
A car can provide great convenience, especially if you live off campus. For example, what is your first class is in the morning and your last class is in the late afternoon. Rather than being stuck on campus you might be able to quickly drive home and take a nap if you feel sleepy after your first class. If you go to school further north, this will also come in handy during the winter when walks to class can be very chilly or if your campus is very spread out. Also, you should sign up for the online vehicle registration renewals in case you ever forget to renew your car registration in person. This allows you to renew your registration without having to go through the hassle of standing in line at the DMV, and you will need your renewal ASAP.
2. Freedom of Movement
Having a car can provide you with great freedom of movement. Many colleges are in smaller towns with limited transportation options. If there is an activity or place that you want to go, but your commute time would be too long, having a car can allow you to shorten your trip time significantly. For example, what if you wanted to go home for the weekend or visit a friend at nearby school. Even assuming public transportation is available, you are the mercy of bus or train schedules as may have to make multiple connections. Another issue is that those without a vehicle become dependent on others from everything from getting to a grocery store to weekend trips.
3. Better Opportunities
Having a car can allow you to take advantage of more and better opportunities. For example, if you wanted to work part-time somewhere that is far away or has inflexible hours, then it might be too impractical without having a car. Many positions are only available to those who have a car. This is because the company would need to provide transportation for you, and it's often more practical for them if you already have your own vehicle. Also, an increasing number of students work part-time on weekends for services like Uber or meal delivery companies for extra cash when they are free. These jobs are often ideal for college students as you get to pick what days you want to work and can avoid work schedules around major tests and papers. With a car, it is just often easier to balance school, work, and social life.
4. Social Activities
Having a car can also enhance your social life. College is a time when you make new friends and explore new places. For some people, having a car can provide you with the opportunity to meet up more frequently with friends and roommates in ways that are impractical or impossible without a vehicle. For example, it could allow you to have longer trips to places where activities take place in order to socialize more efficiently. Without your own transportation, this might be too much of a hassle. But if you do have your own car, then it can simply allow for more convenient gatherings with others.
1. A Very High Cost
A car is probably one of the most expensive things that a student can have. Unless you are paying for it with money from your personal savings or family, then it will be very difficult to pay off in the long term due to the monthly interest payments or financing charges. Even if you do not have pay for the car itself, you will still have to shell out for insurance and gas. You could also get in an accident or receive a ticket for speeding, which would make the overall cost even worse. It can also be a huge hassle to deal with car repairs if you own a used car. If you don't have a lot of extra money or good credit, then it might be difficult to get a good financing rate on your vehicle purchase.
2. Low Resale Value
When you are ready to graduate and move on to the next stage of your life, it can be difficult to sell a car that you have been paying off for years. This is because the car has low resale value. Many buyers want newer models or don't want to deal with the hassle of owning a car. They say a car loses 10% of its value the day it drives off the dealer lot. So if and when you do decide to sell it, you may not get as much money as you hoped. However, you can limit this hit if you buy a used car as it has already depreciated and the fall in resale value will be smaller than with a new car.
3. Difficulty in Parking
One of the main disadvantages of having a car while in college is that parking can be difficult and expensive to find. You will want to consider what the parking situation is at your chosen school. For example, many campuses have regulations on whether Freshman may have cars on campus. Depending on location, some schools charge substantial fees for parking near campus. This can be difficult if you are also struggling with financial issues during college since many students don't get paid that much money while working on-campus.
Overall, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of having a car while in college. On one hand, having a car can provide you with great freedom oovement and opportunities. However, on the other hand, a car is very expensive to maintain and can be difficult to park. In the end, it is up to each individual to decide if owning a car is the right decision for them.