As parents, we’ve got a mile long list of things to do before sending our college students back to school. We try to prepare them for how to cook and do laundry, keep themselves safe when walking alone around campus, how to make smart decisions on classes, friends and activities, and even basic budgeting and money management tips. But what about when they take a car with them? College drivers are still relatively new drivers, but now they are on their own and possibly far from home.
If your teen is preparing to take a car with them to college this fall, our team at Herb Chambers Honda of Seekonk wants to help you send them off prepared and ready.
Before They Leave
There are many factors that go into deciding whether a student should have a car with them on campus. To start with, have they been a responsible driver during their high school years? If not, then maybe the entire idea should be tabled for a while. Additionally, families should determine if a car is even allowed, since some colleges have restrictions on freshmen bringing a vehicle. Next is determining the feasibility. Is there parking available on campus, and if so, are there fees?
Parents also need to discuss giving rides and loaning out the vehicle. Who is allowed to ride with the student, and most importantly, are friends allowed to drive the car? Lastly, the family’s insurer needs to be notified that the car will be parked in a new location. There may be rate changes, and even discounts available, but most importantly, it will prevent any lapses in coverage for failure to notify.
Before packing up and sending your student off, give the car a thorough once over for all its systems. Our service team offers a multi-point checklist to make sure your Honda is road ready and safe. Then set up a regular maintenance schedule (for oil changes and tire rotations) that the student knows to follow while away. Major services may be due while on campus, and students should be aware and plan for these as well. Finally, have your teen practice checking the tires and air pressures; as cars parked outside, especially in colder climates, may need to have these adjusted as the seasons change.
No one wants the car to break down, but when it happens, students need to be prepared to handle it. Go over all the various warning lights on the vehicle, what they mean, and what to do if one is activated. Then help them find a reputable repair and service shop close to campus, so students know where to go if something goes wrong.
When an emergency happens away at school, mom and dad most likely cannot come to the scene and help out. Parents should go over all the procedures with their teens and keep a checklist in the car on what to do in case of an accident. This includes keeping insurance details and phone numbers for roadside services on hand and readily available. As always, an emergency kit should be stocked, geared towards the weather climates and road conditions of where the school is located, and kept in the vehicle at all times as well.
A car on campus offers students a lot of freedom and flexibility. Taking a few extra steps to ensure teens are prepared to handle the added responsibility will help make it a successful and beneficial addition to their time away at school.
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