Vehicle Considerations for College Students

Your young adult has graduated high school and they’re all ready to start their adult lives in college. As a parent, you want to put your young adult in the best position to succeed in their schooling, which might include equipping them with a new car. But what kind of car is suitable for a college student? What are some of the concerns and considerations of your young adult driving to and around the university?

Here you’ll find some of our best tips for parents of high school graduates regarding how to choose the best vehicle to suit their needs while protecting their safety.

Compact Cars

While many students may want large cars, the reality is the smaller cars are more suitable for university students for a variety of reasons. According to Budget, compact cars have great fuel economy, are easy to park in small spaces, handle the road well, and are affordable. Your young adult will likely be pinching pennies while they are in school, so the savings on gas money can go a long way towards their purchase of books and meals.

Some people assume that all smaller cars are more dangerous than larger cars, but improvements in safety standards have come a long way. Many compact cars perform exceptionally well in crash tests. Highway safety groups in the US test cars’ crash performance extensively, so you can easily review a car’s safety score before you make the purchase.


The great benefit of motorcycles is that they are small (making them easy to park) and get great gas mileage. They could be a good option for getting around small areas like a college campus. Best Beginner Motorcycles claims that they are cheaper than cars, but the cost comes from their low storage capacity. It’s impossible, for example, to furnish a dorm room by taking a motorcycle to college. You will also need to consider the cost of safety gear, such as a helmet.


Scooters aren’t the first vehicle to come to mind when you’re thinking about gifting your college student a car, but they’re a favorite among many students for several good reasons. Although they lack in horsepower and capacity, and may not be cleared for freeway travel, scooters are very fuel efficient, easy to learn how to ride, and very commute-friendly. Most of them are automatic, unlike motorcycles, so no knowledge of operating a manual transmission is needed. They’re also easier to find parking space for, which is a common college student struggle. As a benefit for you, scooters tend to be significantly more affordable than the other two options mentioned here.

When choosing the best vehicle for your college student, you should think primarily about saving money and protecting their safety. For this reason, a car with a good track record of crash test performance combined with good fuel economy is likely to be your best bet.

Personalize your student’s new ride with a fun custom sticker from our shop!

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