Parking tickets, traffic, and likely insurance spikes are all reasons to leave your car at home and not bring it to school, especially for your first year at Cal. Berkeley is not a car-friendly place, with pointless roadblocks, random one-way streets, and confusing parking restrictions near campus and in residential areas. The majority of students say that bringing a car to school is a bad idea, money-wise and sanity-wise. Students say that public transportation is convenient, relatively cheap, and widespread, so getting to places, even San Francisco and Oakland, is usually quick and easy. Obtaining school parking permits, as well as city permits, is a hassle, and they are not guaranteed to all who apply.
While there are more reasons to forget about your car than to bring it, a small number of students say that their experiences at Berkeley have actually improved after bringing their cars to school. Students are always excited when their friends bring their cars because that means shopping, traveling, and running errands can be done faster and simpler, and more of the Bay Area is open to them. And if you do decide to bring it, make sure that you’ve got enough money in the bank—you’ll definitely need to draw on your emergency cash for the first five tickets you’ll get from parking on street sweeping days or being two minutes late on filling your meter.