If you’re fortunate enough to have your car at college, don’t expect it to be in perfect condition when you graduate. Campus events, limited parking, and a slew of other conditions can really take a toll on your car’s condition. Here are the top 5 ways your car could take a hit over the next four years.
How to avoid this: Make sure all decorative materials can be easily washed off, and keep drunken friends away from the interior (at least until the DD has to drive them home).
Showing team spirit is great and all, but if your car is participating in the tailgate party, be wary — it might be getting owned. From spilled beer to the messages you voluntary paint all over your vehicle, your SUV might look a little weathered after you party outside of the stadium.
Eating Fast Food
How to avoid this: Bring a snack you can eat while walking from your car to your class/event/etc. If you have to get fast food, park and eat it before driving again or wait until you reach your destination.
I don’t care if it’s 2 a.m. and all you want in the world are some chicken nuggets. Do not eat and drive, and don’t let your friends chow down on cheeseburgers in the backseat. If you do, you’re just asking for ketchup, honey mustard, and other condiment stains on your seats — not to mention the possibility of getting into an accident because you’re not paying attention.
Parking … Anywhere
How to avoid this: Try to park in an area with a cluster of empty spaces. (However, if it’s dark or the area’s dangerous, don’t compromise your safety by parking farther. Safety > a car scratch.)
Because there’s such limited parking on many college campuses, a lot of the spaces are in cramped quarters. Whether you’re in a parking garage or a crowded lot, it’s possible the driver backing out next to you will scrape by your car or scratch it accidentally. Unfortunately, there’s not too much you can do but cry a single tear and move on.
Driving a Drunk Friend Home
How to avoid this (the mess, not the DDing): Don’t avoid taking your friends home if you’re sober and they’re drunk. Again, safety should always come first. But ask them to let you know if they’re about to puke all over the car so you can pull over.
Liquor stains are one thing — cleaning vomit out of the upholstery is another. This will not be a pleasant experience. Try to keep your friends from getting too drunk, and if you can’t manage that, at least tell them to have the decency to roll down the window.
How to avoid this: Leave extra early for class until you get an idea of where the spots are and when.
Apparently not being able to find a parking spot in time to go to class isn’t a great reason to park in a fire lane. Getting towed wrecks your mood more than your car, but it’s still worth noting, as it definitely hurts your wallet. Some car insurance companies cover towing costs, so while you’re in college, you might want to invest in this extra.
College doesn’t show much mercy on your car, so if there are precautions you can take, make sure to take them. Also be prepared to do more cleaning than you’ve probably ever had to do.