Books? Check Comforter? Check Oil Change? Check
If you are sending your son or daughter to college with the family car, this is a momentous occasion. Not only is your child on their own without you there to supervise their comings and goings, but now the family car is no longer in your driveway. Mom or Dad are not going to be available to come at a moment’s notice to rescue the bird who has left the nest.
Just like you talked to your kids about sex and drugs, now it’s time for another adult talk: how to be a responsible car owner far away from home.
Give your kids this list of what they need to do so they can avoid emergencies and hassles. Preparation will help your college student. No need to worry about these items when they need to concentrate on classes and labs, social life and handling finances.
- Remind your child what to do in case of an accident. Do they know where to find the insurance verification in the glove compartment? Do they have the insurance contact number in their phone? Do they know what information to gather in case of an accident (the name and driver’s license of the other driver, names of any passengers, the license plate number of the other car, location of accident, photos and descriptions of any damages, name and badge number of police who takes police report, case number of police report)?
- Make sure everybody is aware of the parking situation in the college location. Where will the car be parked? Will it cost money? Who is paying for the parking (parents or student)? Have the parents seen the parking spot and does everybody think the parking locale is safe and secure? Be sure that you understand the rules for on-campus parking for your child. Many schools have very limited parking for students and often give out parking permits to upperclassmen only, or on a first come-first served basis.
- Make sure you keep a log of when maintenance should be scheduled. Prior to leaving for college, be sure the tires are in good shape and that the oil has been changed. Be sure that the jack and spare tire are in good working order. Make arrangements to find a reputable repair shop or dealership in the city your child will be living in.
- Go over automobile finances: who is responsible for paying for insurance? For car maintenance? For gas? Will this arrangement change if there is an accident? Does your insurance cover damages to your own car? What will happen if the car is not driveable?
- Reiterate the big rules: no driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Don’t let friends drive your car if that’s the agreed upon rule.