The Pros and Cons of Owning a Car in College

If you are attending college for the first time, you may feel overwhelmed. Between the large campus, heavy workload, and deadlines to meet, it can prove to be tedious. Outside of your studies you may find other stressors that weigh heavily on your success. Tuition, work, and a social life may be required. For that reason, some students attending college will take a car with them. But is that the right choice? Here are some pros and cons of owning a car in college.


There  is a convenience to owning a car while studying and working. If you are juggling a job and school, it would be beneficial to have transportation back and forth. With campuses constantly growing it can take up to 30 minutes to walk from your dorm to your classes in the morning. This is an instance where having a car would be beneficial.

Time Away

Sometimes your studies can prove to be too much and you just need to get away. Having a way off campus when you need it can give you time to step back and clear your mind. Taking a short drive and concentrating on something that isn’t in a textbook can help you see things clearer. It usually helps find a solution to a problem when you aren’t thinking about it anymore.

Low Cost Travel

With the holiday break here, many students are heading home for the holidays. Airline tickets have gone up in price over the years and many can’t afford to fly. By driving home for the holidays you are able to spend it with your loved ones, enjoy your break from professors, studies, and homework, and save money.


On the other side of the cost spectrum is the con of cost. Parking permits, maintenance, car payments, insurance and gas can add up quickly. For some college students this cost can be too much to afford. With increases in local bus travel, carpooling, and bike riders, there are cheaper options for getting around campus and town.

Car insurance for college students living on campus has a higher rate. This is partly due to the college lifestyle, parties, distances they must drive, and age. Some find it beneficial to wait until after college to get a vehicle for personal use, or leave their existing car with family.

Giving Rides

One of the biggest cons about having a car in college is the people who don’t have a car. Constant interruptions by those asking for rides can affect your studies and ultimately your grades. Even worse are the ones who ask to borrow your car, which forces you to make a decision. If you say no, it means you don’t trust them with it, and if you say yes, something might happen while they are driving it.

Urge to Skip Class

Urges are often a result of opportunity. If you have the means to skip the class and take a long drive, go to the movies, or hit the mall, you may give into your urges. For some students, it is hard to fight the urge to runaway for an afternoon and hide from the responsibilities of college. If you are this type of student it is not suggested to have a car while attending.

College is supposed to be a time of learning, growing and exploring. Though it is difficult to do what you need to do when you need to do it without a car, in some cases it is better than actually having one. Most campuses offer free bus fare for students going around campus or back and forth from town. Don’t think you have to take a car with you if you think it will be more of a burden than a benefit.

Jarod Matthews is a contributor for cartaxbands, where you can find information about Car Tax Bands as well as the forms needed to file your car tax online.

Categories: College Life   Tags: owning a car, car in college