Written by Graham Cutbill-White
One of the few negatives about heading off to university is the prospect of giving up your car for a few years. You probably haven’t been driving very long, and so the idea of being without a car can be quite frustrating – you might find however that not owning a car while at university could be the best decision to make.
For so many reasons, not owning a car while at university can be a smart move that could not only make your life easier but save you a lot of money.
Most students choose not to take a car to university and that’s why very few campuses have student parking, but beyond the lack of spaces, you can also save money on insurance and stop yourself from being a cheap taxi service. To help you make the right decision, here are just 5 of the reasons why you shouldn’t own a car while at university and embrace the pedestrian life.
When you first start driving you’ll love being a taxi service for your friends and family, but this all changes when you go to university. Your life is going to be hectic enough without having to worry about picking up your flatmate from the shops or dropping friends off at the station every weekend.
Of course you should be strong and say no when you don’t want to give a lift but the constant asking and guilty feeling for not doing it is something no one really needs in their life. Avoid the hassle and just get the bus with the rest of your classmates.
We all know how expensive taxis can be, especially in the early hours of the morning and guess who’ll be the first person your friends turn to after a night out.
While your wallet and liver may thank you occasionally, if you’re constantly expected to do it, you could miss out on the full fresher’s experience!
You might also find that having your car close by could tempt you to drink and drive. Young drivers (17-24) who have accidents are twice as likely to have been impaired by alcohol as older drivers* despite making up just 8% of people on the road^.
Just one short journey could result in 3 months’ imprisonment, up to £2500 fine or a possible driving ban† if you’re over the legal limit. If you’re someone who could be tempted or pressured into driving after a night out then not having a car If you’re someone who could be tempted or pressured into driving after a night out then not having a car will stop you from getting into trouble.
The biggest reason students don’t take a car to university is the cost of keeping, running and insuring it for the next three-plus years.
The price of petrol alone is more than most students have spare and as you’re most likely going to be making lots of short, infrequent journeys which aren’t the most fuel efficient you could find the costs start to rise.
That’s just running it on a day to day basis, without even thinking about what you’d do if something serious went wrong.
Alongside petrol and general maintenance, the biggest expense you’ll have is your car insurance. You’ll already know just how expensive it can be for young drivers to get car insurance and it’s often too much for students to afford when they move away for university.
Leaving your car at home means you don’t have that massive expense coming out each month and you can put that extra saving towards whatever you want.
By not having a car you won’t have that massive expense coming out each month and that saving along with any money you make from selling your car can be put towards a holiday with your friends or to buy another car when you’ve finished university.
The obvious downside of not owning a car is that when it comes to Christmas, summer holidays and any other time you want to come home, you could be stuck unable to get around.
Well thankfully, with student car insurance from Tempcover, you don’t have to worry because you can get comprehensive car insurance on a short term basis with no long term contracts or intrusive black boxes.
With a scheme specifically designed for university students, Tempcover provides insurance if you want to drive a parent or other family member’s car. Available from 1-28 days at a time, it’s ideal for students home for the holidays.
You’re able to drive where and when you want without the cost of expensive annual insurance or having to get a Statutory Off Road Notification or SORN. It lets you get around when you want to and could save you hundreds of pounds a year!
If you’re determined to take your car to university then you might find you that you have to pay for car parks because the majority of universities have limited to no parking available for students.
Even if there is parking reserved for students, you’ll have to pay for a parking permit which can cost hundreds of pounds a year, plus there is no guarantee you’ll actually get a space as there is usually a queue of other students fighting for those few available spaces.
The time and effort it will take to get your car from your halls to your lessons and back again, hoping and praying to find a space is just not worth it and quite frankly…
Most unis in the UK are either based on one campus or in a city so using a car to get around isn’t very practical. Not only will you find it a lot easier to get around on foot or using public transport (the majority of which is usually heavily discounted for students) but it’s the best way to meet people and explore your new home.
So much of university life is about getting out and exploring, being independent and just using your initiative and without a car to fall back on, you’ll discover more about the place you now call home.