Questions to Ponder When Your College Kid Wants a Car
If you've ever sent a child off to college, then you know that it's stressful and emotional, especially when a vehicle is in the mix. According to TeenDriverSource.com, college student drivers are likely to be in more accidents than younger adults (ages 24-28), so it's a concern for parents and college administrators alike.
At Alexander Collision Center, we know that many of our blog readers have kids that will soon be leaving for college as they depart Oxnard, CA to pursue their dreams. Many of them will want to bring their cherished vehicles along, while many parents are concerned and troubled by the idea for obvious reasons.
So, here is a handful of questions to ask yourself as a parent and to discuss in-depth with your child.
Does your college kid really need a car? In many colleges, no one really drives and on some campuses, there are bicycles available for common use. Some major universities do not give underclassmen campus parking permits, because they don't want freshmen and sophomores driving if at all possible. Depending on the school that your son or daughter is attending, there are likely several viable options available for college students including public transportation, carpooling, car sharing and an hourly car rental program such as Zipcar, for example.
Sensible or stylish? Every single freshman in the country would like to show up for class on the first day in a classy convertible or a fancy sports car, but the smarter way to go is something a little less exciting. There are several new and used vehicles on the market that get top ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for good gas mileage on the highway and with enough interior space to bring laundry home every other weekend.
Is special financing available for college students? Vehicle manufacturers know all too well that buyer loyalty starts with a young person’s first vehicle, and that's why they work with financial institutions to make it easier for college students to get into special deals, usually featuring low-interest rates and affordable monthly payments.
How can a parent prevent distracted driving? It’s fairly easy for young drivers to be distracted by their cell phones, or while their friends are chatting or eating in the vehicle. Teach them to put down their phones in the car and reinforce it on a regular basis. Instruct young drivers how to handle a vehicular accident, because preparing for the possibility can prevent making a bad situation even worse. Assemble a collision kit for your kid's car that includes copies of their vehicle registration and insurance paperwork, an accident recording app on their cell phone, several flares, bottled water and a complete first-aid kit.
If you can make the right decisions when your college student driver is leaving for school, it will alleviate the stress and make it an easier transition for both of you.
Sources: AAA, DMV.org and Yahoo News