With the university year starting again, a question that we get asked a lot is should I take my car with me?
Taking your car with you seems like a no-brainer, but have you thought about everything that comes with it?
Not having to wait for the bus or train into the city centre seems appealing, but how much will it cost to drive instead?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
You’ve moved away from home to a new city and you are now your own boss. Having a car gives you that extra sense of freedom!
Not only that, but it can be practical. Avoid the odds of the train line going down, missing your bus or your transport being too crowded, with your own car, you can make the decisions when you please.
Getting your money’s worth.
You have already paid for your insurance, MOT and tax for the year, so why let your car sit at home? You have paid all that money to keep your car legal so why waste it on just a few trips when you occasionally visit home?
There is nothing worse than lugging heavy shopping bags for miles! With a car, you can take yourself to the supermarket and fill your cupboards.
Starting university comes with many responsibilities and the food shop now is unfortunately one of them!
You meet so many people at uni and naturally want to do fun things. A car will allow you to visit neighbouring cities, national parks and so much more.
Train tickets can be expensive so having the option to drive instead, splitting the cost of petrol with your friends, can be cheaper, not limiting you to staying put.
Do remember to be extra careful when driving with your friends in the car. With every extra similar-aged passenger, you’re four times more likely to crash, compared to driving alone. Take your time and don’t take chances.
Having your car massively widens your options for jobs. Whether these are part-time jobs or work experience for your degree, it can really help broaden your search if you know you have the option of flexible travel.
Imagine securing a job to find out there is no public transport past a certain point in the evening! It could be incredibly frustrating.
What about the disadvantages?
I am sure everyone has noticed the hike in petrol prices these days, so having the option to cut this outgoing should be tempting enough! A regular tank of petrol can cost at least £40 a week, so weigh up whether this is a necessity or just a luxury that you could do without.
Could you try a term without your car and see how you get on? If it was easier than you thought, leave it at home!
If you’re in your first year and are trying to make friends, remember not to let new flatmates take advantage of you!
Of course, you want to be helpful and friendly but if you are constantly being asked for lifts then it is going to start to annoy you, and will cost you!
I bet you haven’t even thought about this! Are you moving to a city centre? It isn’t beyond the realms of reality for uni to charge you for parking. If your uni accommodation doesn’t include parking then you will either have to pay or will have to find alternative options elsewhere which could be further away from your accommodation and also expensive.
Heading to London? Give ‘congestion charges’ a google! You might have to pay more for where you are driving. These charges can be up to £15 a day. Do your homework!
Be careful when driving in new cities for unknown bus lanes. It is so easy to be caught out when you aren’t familiar with the roads!
There are many good and bad points about taking your car to university, but you just need to think about what is best for you. Not every situation is the same!
At the end of the day, the choice is yours, all we ask is that you consider all of the above before you make your decision.