Parking on campus favors upperclassmen and students who reside in social houses and apartments because many come equipped with their own lots, but the best parking is reserved for faculty, administrators, and guests. However, while Bowdoin's parking situation isn't perfect, students view it as pretty good, or at least adequate. The campus is so small that even the farthest parking space is not too far of a walk from anywhere. Spots fill up very quickly, though, as do parking spots in the rest of town. First-years are no longer allowed to bring cars to school, but there are a few tales of wealthy parents paying for a place off campus for their first-year son or daughter to store a vehicle.
The parking permit system relies on color-coded decals that designate where you can park. To preserve campus beauty, the College has avoided putting up many parking signs and relies on students' ability to figure out where they are permitted to park. If students do park in the wrong lot, they will be ticketed and possibly towed, and one main student complaint is that they do not get adequate warning to move their car before it is towed. Students can receive a maximum of six parking tickets in an academic year, at which time they will have their parking privileges revoked.