Having a car while you're at IU can come in handy if you want to get around town more conveniently, but don't fool yourself into thinking that you'll drive up to class in the morning and save yourself a walk. Not only are there a limited number of parking lots, but the zones are confusing, so even if you think you're parking legally, you could still get a ticket. IU makes a ridiculous amount of capital off unsuspecting drivers, and they never falter. Leave your car in the wrong spot for too long, and you'll end up with multiple tickets! Worst of all, if you don't pay your ticket within a few days (and what college student has $40 to cough up for no good reason?), the debt is transferred to your bursar bill. If you don't pay it, you don't graduate.
Getting a permit for the dorms is like throwing darts in the dark, but if you're lucky enough to hit the bull's-eye and you stay on campus, you're set for the year. You can laugh at the poor schmucks who park miles away at the stadium, until you get to the bank and discover you're out yet another hundred or so bucks for the permit. To give a little credit where it's deserved, IU knows the parking situation is pathetic, and it gives a sad little attempt every now and again to help, like a lottery for the chance to buy a permit for one of the parking garages near campus. These sad attempts generally do nothing but further infuriate those who are left behind. If you don't mind hiking to the stadium when you need your car (and when there are football or basketball games, which is almost every weekend), then having a car may be beneficial. Remember, however, that you can still get a ticket for not having a good enough place to park your car once the patrols have ordered you to move it. Otherwise, make friends with someone who has a car and leave yours at home.