Car Care at College

AAA Mid States

For many parents across the country, preparing their teens for college includes reminding them to eat healthily and call home on a regular basis. This is also an opportunity to familiarize them with the added responsibility of taking care of their own vehicle. AAA reminds parents to equip their children with a comprehensive plan for proper vehicle maintenance, and review what to do when unexpected problems arise.

  • Contact your insurer. If the teen is moving away to college, notify your insurance provider, even if the car is left behind. A separate policy might be required. Parents or children may be eligible for one or more discounts.


  • Check state minimum liability requirements. If the child is headed out of state with the car, check with the insurance provider to ensure minimum requirements are met. Insurance providers know the requirements of each state it’s licensed to do business.


  • Check and maintain tires. Tires should be checked at least once a month using a tire pressure gauge.


  • Maintenance schedule. Regular maintenance helps extend the life of the vehicle and helps mitigate repair costs. Review the owner’s manual and the need for oil changes, replacing filters, batteries, and brakes.


  • Identify the nearest repair shop. Find a trusted repair shop near the school. Visit to locate nearby AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities.


  • Prepare for emergencies. Breakdowns and other roadside emergencies happen. Make sure the vehicle has a well-stocked roadside emergency kit. Important items include a flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, a first-aid kit, bottled water, rags or paper towels, a tire pressure gauge, a blanket, granola or energy bars, and a selection of basic hand tools. In areas with winter ice and snow, add an ice scraper, snow brush, and kitty litter or other material to increase traction if stuck in the snow.


  • AAA membership. Emergency roadside assistance for flat tires, dead batteries, fuel delivery, towing, and other roadside services is available 24/7.

To learn more about insurance coverage for college students, including cost and discount options, contact your AAA Insurance Agent at 1-800-222-1469, go to, or stop by your local AAA office.