I’ve just got into University – Should I bring my car?
So, you got your A-Level results, you got into your dream university, and now you’re looking forward to Freshers’ Week. First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! Welcome to the best and possibly worst three years of your life. But more about that later, now it’s time for the biggest question of any young driver: Should I take my car to University? Everybody will give you a different answer to this one, so we decided to break it down for you! (we got your back, I know – we’re pretty great huh?) Here’s a list of pros and cons to make your decision-making process that tiny bit easier.
Let’s start with the pros…
Travelling back home will be much easier.
You have definitely witnessed those poor souls dragging their suitcases onto trains in the rain, desperately trying to get back home to mum. 80% of the time the trains are delayed or cancelled, so you are stranded on the platform, hungry, cold and desperate for your mum to make you a cuppa. You can avoid all this indefinitely though if you bring your car with you! Pack up your car whenever you want, you don’t even have to use a suitcase if you don’t want too – just throw it all in the boot! Hit the road and hopefully the traffic won’t be too horrendous – you will be enjoying that cuppa with mum in no time.
Hungry for a BIG food shop? No problem!
You’ve never known pain like having to put food back on the supermarket shelf because you can’t physically carry it back to the flat. I can feel the tears welling at the thought. The only good thing about it is the sheer amount of exercise you do walking back to the flat with 4 bags – your muscles will love you, but your stomach wont. Bring your car, fill the boot (and potentially the back seat) and eat until your heart is content. Let’s just hope you have enough space in the fridge…
Drive-thru all the time!
Sticking to the topic of food, the drive-thru is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Woke up craving a McDonalds breakfast? You can get it. Need that Starbucks coffee before you start writing that essay? No problem. Desperate for that KFC bargain bucket because you can’t be bothered cooking tea? It’s all yours. Now I realise that these are very unhealthy habits but let’s face it – university is stressful, you probably won’t be as good of a cook as you think you are and you’ll be craving all the rubbish food in the world to comfort them deadline breakdowns.
Don’t worry about that part time job.
If you are university student that is just starting out – chances are you will need to get a part-time job. If your accommodation is out of the centre of town though, this can prove to be a pain with getting something that is within walking distance. With the addition of a car, you can pick a job ANYWHERE. The list will be endless rather than limited – so don’t pick working in that dingy bar just because it is next door to the flat, find somewhere more exciting!
No depending on public transport.
Let’s be honest, public transport is a blessing and a curse. It’s cheap, readily available and gets you where you need to be. It’s also usually delayed, busy and you have to walk ages to the station or bus stop if there isn’t one close by. Your day trips out are limited by how long you stay there and 9 times out of 10, you will find yourself running desperately to catch the next train or bus because you just had to pick up that vanilla latte for the trip home. Bring the car, save the hassle.
Looking to explore the surrounding area of your new home? Now you can! The possibilities for day trips are endless with a car! If you are based in the city, then escape to the country. If you are based in the country, take a trip to the city. No longer will you be stuck indoors on a Saturday questioning whether you want to go to the same shop in town for the same stuff – experience something different! PLUS – your friends will love you. Day trips with new friends? Nothing better.
Now I know the pros look pretty good so far, but obviously there is always going to be a downside. Let’s take a look at the cons, shall we?
Can I even park at my accommodation?
Now this will obviously differ depending on the accommodation and university that you are staying at. Some accommodations don’t provide parking spaces but usually they will provide parking spaces for students with cars. However, they will be limited and yes, you will have to pay for it. Prices differ across different accommodation so make sure you look up the price for parking before you book! Don’t worry, it’s not a pay daily thing. You will usually have to pay an added extra on top of your rent to cover the space.
Will I need to buy a permit?
Now this probably only applies if you move into a student house but I thought it would still be handy to mention it. Student accommodations with parking spaces won’t require you to get a permit, but student houses might do. If you are looking to park on the street outside your house and you don’t need a permit – lucky you! If not, check your local council website and you should be able to purchase one from the GOV website.
The pain of purchasing petrol
Budgeting your money is a must at university but let’s face it, you will probably be skint 70% of the time. Therefore, having to budget the extra cost for petrol money will probably become the bane of your life. Whilst your friends are saving that extra £20 for a night out, yours will probably be going straight to the petrol station pump.
Is everything within walking distance?
Realistically you have to decide whether you really need to use your car or not. If everything you need is within walking distance, then is there really a point? If you plan on exploring and going off here, there and everywhere on a weekend then go ahead! But if you don’t really want to leave the flat on the weekend and you can walk to university during the week, are the extra costs really worth it?
You will be loved – but you will probably hate it
Unless you are a super patient, kind and understanding individual, you will start to despise your mates constantly asking you for a lift. Even more so when they don’t contribute a couple of quid for petrol. It’s like that feeling when you open a packet of chewing gum – at first you don’t mind handing out one piece, but after the third and fourth time? It starts to take the mick. Obviously if you are an amazing individual this won’t bother you but for the rest of us? Yeah, you’ll wish you never brought it in no time.
There you have it, our list of pros and cons for bringing your car to university. Hopefully this has helped you make your mind up in some way and if not? Good luck to you! You don’t have long to decide so you should probably hurry yourself up. Have fun at university and embrace every minute of it – it’ll be over before you know it.