Considerations for Taking a Car to College
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Posted by Lisa D. on July 29, 2016 in Auto Focus

Congratulations! You are a parent of a college student. It’s a time of celebration, reflection, anticipation—and questions. What do they need in their dorm room? When should you visit? When will they come home? Should they take a car?

 

Let’s tackle the car question. When deciding if your student should take a car to college, consider the following:

 

  1. Are cars allowed? Check with the school to find out if freshmen are allowed to bring cars. Some colleges do not permit freshmen to bring cars because they want to encourage students to stay on campus and others have limited parking availability. Some schools do a lottery for parking passes, so even if the school does allow freshmen to bring vehicles, there is no guarantee for a pass to park on or near campus. If a vehicle is not allowed, or you cannot secure a parking space cannot be secured, your question is answered (at least for the first year). However, you still need to talk with your insurance agent about changes to your auto policy, so keep reading!
  2. Cost of Parking. If campus parking is allowed, it will come at a cost. College parking passes can range anywhere from $25 to $700 per semester, depending on the university. Though a parking pass provides permission to park, it does not guarantee that a parking place will always be available. Finding out where your student can park the vehicle is another important step. There are often designated freshman parking lots, which tend to be located far away. A hindrance to parking on the street is that parking tickets can be common on campus and add up quickly. And parking is just one cost to consider. You also need to think about the cost of gas, maintenance, and insurance.
  3. Need vs. Want. Knowing the difference between needing a car and wanting a car at college is an essential part of the decision. The reasons to need a car in college should be reasons that are critical for your student’s success in college, such as an off-campus internship, job, or other major commitment. The reasons to want a car in college are reasons that are not critical to your student’s success, such as leaving campus at any time, visiting friends, or heading home on the weekends.
  4. Alternative transportation. Taking a car to college can be convenient and desirable, but there may be other ways to get around that prevent being stranded on campus. Walk, bike, take public transportation or a taxi, rideshare, or carpool with other students. These options could not only save money, but can also be good for the environment, great exercise, and positive social experiences.
  5. Consequences of the decision. How will the decision affect your student? Having a car at college provides independence, flexibility, and the convenience of getting around at a moment’s notice. It could serve as a source of income if charging to drive others around (because this will happen). However, it also comes with great responsibility. Other students may ask to drive the car. It could become a distraction from staying on campus, being involved in college life, or studying.

 

Whether or not your student takes a car to college, your auto insurance policy’s coverage and price are likely to change. Contact your independent insurance agent to determine what coverage is best for your situation and about any applicable discounts.  

Lisa D.
Lisa D. has over 14 years of experience in the auto insurance industry, including 12 years at ACUITY. She obtained her P&C license and sold personal insurance for two years before starting at ACUITY, where she focuses on researching new auto coverages, helping with the auto pricing system, and leading auto insurance-related projects. On top of that, Lisa has her Association in General Insurance (AINS) and Associate in Personal Insurance (API) designations. Outside of work, Lisa enjoys cooking, photography, and spending time with her family. The last two go hand in hand, as she takes pictures of her kids every day.


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Posted By: Lisa D. on September 28, 2017 in Auto Focus
Electric vehicles (EVs) have been around longer than many people realize. (Records trace the first EVs back to the 1800s!) Technological advancements, increased environmental awareness, swelling fuel prices, and availability have contributed to the recent increase in EV popularity. In addition, EVs have never been more safe, sleek, or exciting to drive than they are today.