There isn’t a lot of time between their high school graduation and their freshman year. Before you know it, your precious baby is going to be out of the house and on their own for the very first time. You have a lot of emotions to deal with as you’re seeing them off. You also have a lot of questions to answer — and not just whether you should convert their room into an office. A big question faced by many parents just like you is whether your teen needs a car for their college career. If you aren’t sure what the answer is, here are some things to consider:
Do you trust them?
Your teen needs to be responsible before you help them get their first car. Consider this carefully even if they regularly borrow the family car. Taking care of their own vehicle is completely different. You need to know if your teen can handle its maintenance on their own.
What’s your budget?
Though a vehicle can save on housing costs, it still costs money to service, insure, and gas up. It’s important you figure out who will pay for these charges before you invest in a vehicle for your teen. Sit down with them to figure out what everyone can afford. Sometimes the best outcome is a mutual responsibility.
Keeping them on your insurance can save them considerable cash, as young drivers face higher premiums even if they have a clean record. You can also save money by purchasing a family AAA or CAA membership.
Meanwhile, their status as students might help them save money at their local repair shop. In a place like Mississauga, where there are plenty of colleges and universities within a short commute, a local auto repair shop like Veerpreet Service Centre offers a discount to their young drivers. All they have to do is show a valid student ID to receive the best oil change Mississauga has to offer. Even if you don’t live near a college or university, it’s worth asking your local service centre to see if there are any discounts available to your teen driver.
What’s the commute like?
Whether your child has chosen to go to school half-way across the country or just across town, the commute will impact your decision. A car for students who studies far away could mean they’ll be able to come home more often. They’ll be able to drive back on weekends and longer breaks to check in, see high school friends, and do their laundry. Best of all, they won’t have to rely on unreliable or expensive mass transportation to make the trip.
Students who will be studying nearby, on the other hand, can use their car to cut down on living expenses. If it’s a short commute, they might not feel it’s necessary to stay in a dorm for their first year. They can stay at home with you and drive into every class.
Their level of responsibility, your budget, and the commute are major factors influencing whether they need a vehicle during university. Though you have the final say, it’s a decision that needs everyone’s input. Take the time to think about these questions on your own, then talk to your teen about how they feel about them, too. Together, you can figure out whether a vehicle is the right solution for their university career.