Convince My Parents To Let Me Use The Car for College, Please!


I am 19, a rising sophomore in college. I go to a private college that is a distance from the city, so it takes some driving to get to places like Wal-Mart to buy necessities. My parents are still uneasy about me having a car at college. It’s not much of a money issue. They think I’m not responsible enough to take care of one just because I have a messy room. It’s bull, because I take care of my technology that I own. I’m big on tech. Also, they can’t say much because they themselves are pack rats that have issues with organization. Everyone has organization issues.

Also, they’re worried about the 14 hour (max) trip to travel out to school. I already have someone that’s going with me, there, problem solved, two drivers…one to drive, the other for directions and keeping the other one awake and aware.

Back on the responsibility issue, they’ve always been overly protective parents. They wouldn’t let me ride with friends who had only had their license for a year, etc. And I’m thinking, I need to learn time management with having a vehicle, if not now, when? However, they’re stubborn, and I could appreciate an army more of reasons. Thanks!!

P.S. It’s a standard '94 Honda Accord.


Another thing is, trying to borrow vehicles is a hassle and time-consuming, something I don’t have much of at College. Borrowing a car leaves me at the whim of the other person’s schedule. So let’s be honest, borrowing cars is never particularly fun for anybody. Plus when I do, I end up plunking down more cash than I would paying for my own gas.


You are nineteen and in college forget what your parents think. Show them you are an adult and go buy your own car :slight_smile:


Your parents are right.


Your parents are right.


It is time to stand on your own two feet. Parents be damned, what do they know?! You’re not a kid any more. Get a job and buy your own car.


If it’s not much of a money issue, then why not ask your parents to sell you the '94 Honda?
That way they can be absolved of responsibility for the car.

Maybe if you showed them you could clean up your room, and keep it clean, they might begin to trust you a bit further and sell you the Honda before the fall term begins.

I bought my first car when I was in high school all on my own; earning an exorbitant 1.25 an hour while working summers and part-time at the local university maintenance dept.
It worked for me; it can work for you.


Hey annonymous, I bought my first car while in hi school making $1.25 also. And I thought that I was lucky to afford JR college tuition. But then the SS got me. If only we could be half as wise as we were when we were 19.


I’m anonymous (ok4450) because CarTalk logged me out yet again.

My first sled was a '59 Chevy Impala 2 DR HT that I bought from a graduating senior girl who lived around the corner and who had babied this thing. 250 bucks total price and wished I had it back today.
After I got a nickel raise and hit 1.30 per hour (pre-taxes) I was really on a roll. :slight_smile:


Well I think you are 19 and need to make your own decisions now. I can understand their concern, but after all, providing wings as well as shelter is part of being a good parent. The duty of a parent is to provide a safe flight for their kids, not keep them from any risk.

I didn’t have a car as a freshman, but did the other years. I was 200 miles away and freshman year was a major hassle just for supplies and occasional entertainment. Coming home without a car required either flying which was a major expense, or an 8 hour bus ride.

Some campuses don’t want cars but then have good transportation systems where a car is really not necessary. Others though are a major pain without transportation. I would rather have my daughter in her own car than standing on the street waiting for a bus. You just have to be super careful in parking lots these days. But a cell phone and a car-pretty basic these days.


Be thankful you have parents who care enough to say no. Accept it and do your best to focus on your education.


I never thought that cleaning a room could be so darned important. The secret is to not get it disorganized too much. Unconscious cleaning is a hard thing to learn, but you can get away with a little dust if the place looks spartan. Maybe bluffing that you have a good motorcycle deal lined up will help you to shake that Honda out of the home nest. That was kind of a joke. It would probably make the parents more concerned about your decision making skills. There may be some form of public transportation hiding nearby. I hope you find a way to make life easier. I only say that because I once knew a guy who could find the only cheap apartment in Tokyo. He and his wife have got to be rich by now.


Someday you’ll appreciate how much your parent’s decision to not simply give you a car has helped you. At some point your mindset should change from “why won’t they give me this or that” to “what do I need to do in order to start making money for these things on my own.”


Do you have a job? Do you have one over the summer? Maybe it is time. If you think your messy room is a problem, is it really too much work to clean it up? If you do, then you are likely to think it is too much trouble to change the oil as well.

Sorry but your parents are making more sense than you are, and I think you know it. In fact I would not be surprised if you were not fully aware of exactly the kind of responses you were going to get and I do hope you have had fun with this, I have.


When you want to be grown, you do what grown folks do. Get a job, buy your own car and drive it till the wheels fall off.


Are they paying for college partially or 100%? If they are do as wish. If not tell them what you have decided and your old enough to stand on your own.


Do you really want your parents to give you the disadvantage of too many advantages?


It’s really NOT a matter of your parents letting you drive a car at college…it’s really a matter of them BUYING you a car for college.

It’s their money and their standards.

My daughter is now a Senior in college (MIT). Because of her classes she actually needs a vehicle. So she has my old 98 Pathfinder. But we’re not that far away. She brings it home on weekends when she needs an oil change or tuneup or something.

In MOST cases you don’t need a vehicle. It can be a hassle, but you probably don’t NEED one. My daughter doesn’t NEED one, but it sure makes her life easier with one.


I am going to go with a lot of the others and say, if it’s their car it’s their decision. If it’s your car it’s your decision. Can you afford to buy your own? Are you paying part or all of your tuition? I include scholarships as you paying part because presumably you earned those. Anyway, if your parents are footing part or all of your tuition and living expenses then they certainly have some right to say no to a car they are paying for. If you are paying for it all on your own, then it’s up to you to decide if a car is worth the additional costs.

I guess it boils down to this, pay your own way, or live by the rules of those who are paying.


My kids are grown now. I told them at that age: INDEPENDENCE IS FOR THE INDEPENDENT. Period, end of debate.

One is a professor of Mathematics. One is in med school. One has a Master’s Degree in Sci. Ed. One is a stay at home mom.