At this point you may be noticing that lots of people have cars. You may also notice that you want one too. We put a big Q & A in the resources section covering what to buy and when, parking, and some other things that students tend to ask about.
Probably before third year. It’s needed to get to the hospitals in London, though one or two always seem to manage without a car. Some people find that because of where they live or the amount of times they need to commute per day (or to other cities) it was worth buying a car in first or second year – this is fine. Basically, make sure that however you commute (bus, walking, biking, or car) you can safely get to where you need to go. Speaking of safety, living in Canada budgeting for a set of winter tires as well would be wise.
Most students seem to be buying a new car, or a used car that’s one or two years old. The advantage is that the car is yours – and a good car should last you at least 10 years. Practically, this means it should see you through residency. Some students buy used – very used.
Advantage: It’s cheaper, which means less interest on your line of credit (if that’s how you’re paying for it).
Disadvantage: Older cars can have issues which result in repair costs and time spent without your car. You may not run into this, but consider the cost savings versus peace of mind. Car troubles can be stressful.
Leased cars can also avoid this problem entirely by always being under warranty for a monthly or bi-weekly cost. At the end of the lease contract the dealer may offer to sell you the car, but it will probably be more expensive than if you had bought or financed the car to begin with. Whichever way you go, get somebody who knows about cars to make sure the car is safe to drive before you buy.
A small new car, reasonably well equipped, will cost between $20 000 and $25 000 (taxes and fees in). A used car that’s a year or two old should cost around $15 000 to $17 000, including tax. An older used car can be $6 000-8 000. Cheaper cars exist, but be careful about deals that seem too good to be true (they usually are). As cars are assets, be aware they are reported on OSAP, the exemption is $5 000, but can be raised to $10 000 for clerkship with a form from the Learner Equity & Wellness office.
On campus parking costs $400 a year, $30 of which you get back from your transponder deposit when you’re done. Most people parking in Springett or Elgin lots, which are both about 10 minute walks from MSB. After 4:00 P.M. you can park anywhere, which is useful for clubs but not for class.
Hospital parking is $50 a month including tax, plus a $20 deposit for a transponder. With it you can park in the visitor lots at UH or Victoria hospitals. It’s a bit more expensive than on campus parking, but you can park in covered garages during the winter and most of the trip to MSB is indoors. A hospital pass is also helpful for observerships and starts to make a lot of sense during clerkship and beyond – plus those random times you have PCCIA or PCCM at Victoria Hospital. Without a pass, the daily rate for hospital parking is $12 for either UH or Vic. If you only plan to drive once in a while, this could be an option.
You can purchase a parking permit from Campus Parking Services. As medical students, you will need to identify yourself as such to receive the correct pass which are reserved for us separate from the rest of the student body. The following are available: student permits, pay & display, residence students parking. For more information: Windsor Parking