Starting college is very exciting! Along with all the excitement come an endless stream of decisions—where to live, who to live with, what classes to take, what clubs to join, etc. If you’re trying to decide whether or not you want to have a car in college, there are a lot of things to take into consideration before choosing.

Continue reading for some of the pros and cons of having a car in college.

Living Off Campus

Living off campus has one of the best advantages a student can wish for: privacy. Not having to put up with an entire hall of other students or constant activity in common areas is truly a blessing for some. If you decide to start your studies in off-campus housing, you might need to decide whether bringing a car to college is worth it.

Naturally, if you live closer to your college campus, like in Wharton Rentals’ Ohio University off-campus housing, your need for a car will decrease. However, some students still choose to bring a vehicle depending on a few factors.


  • Easier to be on time for classes. With a car, you can easily commute to campus and always ensure you get there on time. Most students who live far from campus have to wake up early to catch the bus or wait for a fellow student to pick them up. If you own a car, you can benefit from those extra minutes of sleep or additional studying before you have to get to campus.
  • Convenience. Grocery, clothes, or book shopping can all be done easily when you drive yourself. No biking in terrible weather or waiting for a favor from a friend. You can go where you want, whenever you want.
  • Parking. If your off-campus housing offers guaranteed parking spaces, you’ll have a safe, reliable spot to put your car when you’re not using it. You won’t have to circle the block looking for parking or worry about the safety of the area you left your car in.
  • Moving in and out. With your own car, you will find moving apartments much easier. On move-in day you won’t need someone to drop you off or load your things up, you’ll be able to move on your own schedule instead of being at the mercy of whoever is helping you out.


  • Finances. If you’re on a tight budget, having a car might put unnecessary strain on your wallet. There are predictable costs like a car payment, gas, regular oil changes, etc. that you can plan for, but the unpredictable costs will sneak up on you. New tires, replacing the windshield, parking tickets, and more can pile up on you. Do some careful, comprehensive budget planning before you decide to bring your car.
  • Parking (or lack thereof). It’s time for your morning classes, and you’re driving your car to campus. It can be a nightmare to find a parking spot while everyone else is also moving around during the morning peak hour. Apart from the difficulty with campus parking, if your apartment doesn’t offer designated parking you could be in for long walks between your home and wherever you find an open street spot.

What Works Best For You

While some can care for the finances and maintenance needs of a car, others have no choice or desire to have a car in college and prefer other means of transportation.

Both options can work—it’s just a matter of figuring out what’s best for your specific situation. Before you get on your way to driving to school, weigh all the positives and negatives of bringing a car with you to college.

Your off campus experience should be a positive one! For modern, affordable housing near Ohio University, contact Wharton Rentals.

Wharton Rentals is committed to making the off-campus living experience a positive one for college students in Athens, Ohio.

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