If you have a car at college or are considering keeping your car in the city where you study, one thing to consider is the potential to receive parking tickets. Not only are parking tickets an expensive cost to cash-strapped college kids, but they can quickly become a hassle beyond simply paying a fine. Learn the four things you need to know about college parking tickets and how you can prevent your next run-in with the parking ticket police.
- The money factor – Parking tickets can be expensive — the cost is meant to teach you not to let it happen again. But before you ever get a parking ticket you should plan how you would pay the fine. Do you keep checks handy at school to mail in payment or can you pay online? If you don’t have the money, would your parents be willing to help or would you have to pick up a side job in order to pay? It’s smart to consider these options before you’re put in a potentially sticky situation.
- The location factor – Another factor to consider is where the ticket is sent if it’s not left on your windshield. While most parking tickets are left on your car, what if you run a red light on campus and are mailed a ticket? Will it be sent to your campus address or to your parent’s house? It probably depends on the address tied to your license plate, so be sure your parents are on the lookout for your mail while you’re away.
- The timing factor – Paying a ticket as soon as you get it is key. Often, there’s a certain time limit you have to pay the fine. If you wait longer, the charge increases. If you still haven’t paid after the allotted time, there’s the possibility you may have to go to court or worse – they might even secure a warrant for your arrest or revoke your license. Don’t let these consequences happen. Simply pay the ticket as soon as you get it and it won’t come back to haunt you later.
- The future factor – Some universities and even some states consider parking tickets on college campuses part of your public driving record. However, on many other campuses, parking tickets go on your permanent education record and transcript but usually don’t affect your public driving record. This is good news for college students who park carelessly around campus.
How to prevent a parking ticket
You’ll rarely have to deal with a dreaded parking ticket on campus if you follow these prevention tips:
- Double check where you park. Don’t park in illegal zones or prohibited spaces no matter how short of a time you’ll be there. Don’t park in fire lanes, handicapped spots or lots requiring a parking pass you don’t have.
- Always pay the meters. Even if you’re only planning on parking for a few minutes while running inside to pick up lunch, always keep spare change in your car. A few quarters can save you a hefty ticket.
- Keep your parking pass handy. Hang it from your rearview mirror so it’s always in the car when you need it. Don’t loan it to friends who may not return it, and don’t carry it in your backpack where you can easily forget it.
Another way to keep money in your pocket is to request a few auto insurance quotes to make sure you’re getting the best coverage for your budget. There are even some car insurance discounts that you may qualify for, such as a good student discount, which rewards you for good grades.
Sponsored content was created and provided by Nationwide Insurance.