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Freshmen: Should I Bring My Car to Campus?

A question frequently asked during a college visit information session is “Can I bring my car to campus?” The answer to this is either going to be “Yes” or “No” depending on the school’s policy. “Should I?” is the question prospective students usually fail to ask. Below, Megan Wilson, Assistant Director of Admission at Western Carolina University addresses this topic as part of our heading to college series. VW Bug SF, should I bring my car to campusThe question of the ages:

Should I bring my car to college when I move to campus?

Students, when deciding whether or not to pack your wheels along with your bedding and clothing, there are a few things to consider. First, does your intended college allow freshmen to bring their cars? This may clear up the “to bring or not to bring” question right off the bat. Secondly, look at where your college is located. Is there an on-campus transportation system? A public transportation system that has a stop on campus? If you’re attending a college in a large city, these options should be available. If you are attending a more rural institution, a local public transportation system may be less established or might have shorter operating hours. Ask yourself why you want to bring your car to campus.

The Tough Questions

Do you really need a car or is it a convenience or comfort issue? Can you carpool with people also attending your university? (If yes, then having a car is a convenience.) Do you plan on going home every weekend or once a month? (If yes, then having a car is a comfort.) Do you have a job back home that requires regular trips back? (If yes, then having a car is a necessity.) Are you planning on working off-campus while attending college? (If yes, then having a car is a necessity.) Having a car on campus is not a decision to take lightly. Are you prepared for or can you afford the day-to-day maintenance of owning a personal vehicle?

Sit down with your parents. Discuss the pros and cons of bringing your car to campus. I didn’t bring a car to college as a freshman and I survived. I walked. Caught rides with friends. Worked on campus. I learned my way around my university and made friends. I built a relationship with my roommate, my suitemates and my university, and it made my college experience exciting. It made it…more. Bottom line, there is no right or wrong answer. Whether you bring your car or leave it at home, the decision is ultimately up to you.  You can always do it on a trial basis and see how it goes.


Megan Wilson, Assistant Director of Admission, Western Carolina University, NC, admissions.wcu.edu.


Updated July 2019