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What Are the Risks of My Child Taking a Car to College?

No matter whether it is your first born or the youngest of several children, sending your child off to college for the first time is a nerve-wracking experience for everyone. You worry about them doing well academically, staying out of trouble, and taking care of themselves. They worry about fitting in, the stresses of challenging classes, and adjusting to the first phase of adulthood.

What many parents and children alike often forget about until the last minute is whether or not a car should be included in the college experience, especially as a freshman. Many colleges do not even allow freshman to have cars on campus in an effort to encourage freshmen to stay on campus and get accustomed to life in a new place. For out-of-state students, students with jobs, or students simply used to having cars, however, the issue is sure to come up—and you should be armed with the best knowledge in order to make your decision.

What Are the Risks of Your College Freshman Taking a Car to School?

We all know the benefits of having a car on campus—you won’t have to drive back and forth to pick your child up for every break, your child has the freedom to work or relax off campus, and perhaps even branch out and try some new things. Like every major decision, however, there are some serious things you must consider.

Your college-bound freshman only has about two years of driving under his belt when he leaves for school. His driving experience is probably limited to driving in familiar areas, possibly with you still riding along. As a college freshman, he will likely find himself in a crowded, unfamiliar area with new people and new distractions—a recipe for a fender-bender or worse.

You are already probably paying a pretty penny for your child to be covered under your auto insurance policy, and if he is involved in a wreck, it will only increase your costs. Even without a wreck on record, you will pay based on where your child’s car is kept, and college towns are notoriously expensive for auto insurance policies.

By leaving the car at home for the first year, or even the first semester, of your child’s college experience, you are allowing him to settle in, make new friends, and find his niche on campus. There will be many options for getting around, and this could prevent an accident that could cost more than you bargained for.

If there are no two ways around it and a car must accompany your son or daughter to school, make sure that he or she is a confident, responsible driver. Here’s to a safe school year!


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