Do You Need a Car While You’re in School?
“I need a car to get around.” That’s what many students say when they go to college. But keep in mind that having a car means a lot of indirect costs ─ not just the price of the car but also gas, insurance, maintenance, repairs, parking, permits, and so forth. Consider the following in deciding whether a car is a necessity or just a convenience:
- What are your transportation needs?
Would you be commuting to campus or have obligations like a job that require regular transportation? Or would you spend most of your time on campus?
- Explore alternative transportation options
Most public transportation options serve colleges located in their service area. If you need routine transportation, check out local bus routes to see if they can work for you. If your transportation needs are occasional, try a ride sharing service. Using a ride sharing service a few times per month is less expensive than owning a car.
- Do the math
Carefully estimate the total monthly costs for car payments, gas, insurance, etc. Does that fit in your budget? Could you handle a major repair that might mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars?
- Think of the money you’ll save
Not having a car will certainly mean fewer expenses and possibly less money that you have to borrow for your education.