Ah, university life – the epitome of frugal living, according to well-established stereotypes at least. For your typical young adult academic, each 15-week semester is one of penny-pinching and doing an impressive job of living on not a huge amount of money, with many staple luxuries off the table.
One of those staple luxuries tends to be a car, with most students lacking access to their own vehicle throughout their study tenure. Having a car at university, however, can be a super useful addition – and a rather cost-effective one if utilised correctly.
Here are five reasons why you should be driving at university.
Take the stress out of getting about
University life tends to demand you get around a lot. Attending lectures, doing the food shop, going to events – all these obligations combine to give you a relatively busy and geographically spread-out schedule as a student. While most students will opt to walk, cycle or use public transport, having a car means you can get everywhere you need to with minimum fuss and on your own terms.
Great if you’re late a lot or need to travel beyond your local area, and you’ll also be a god amongst friends who you can help out with lifts.
Enjoy additional freedom
Speaking of travelling beyond your local area, owning a car means you open yourself up to a number of additional travel possibilities that non-drivers won’t have. With a car, you can travel where you want, when you want and with who you want. That means day trips out to other towns and cities, music festivals and heading anywhere that isn’t on the local bus or train lines just got a lot simpler.
Make trips home easier
If you’re missing your mum’s cooking (or have 25 loads of washing to do), owning a car can make getting home a doddle compared to a long slog on the train. With your car sat on your doorstep at all times, you’ll find it easier to get to and from your home more frequently, meaning nobody ends up missing each other too much.
Effortless food shopping
Bigger food shops at university present a unique and interesting challenge to the car-less students partaking in them. Do you try and brave carrying six rammed carrier bags full of goods all the way home? Do you shell out for a taxi to get you back? Do you borrow a trolley to wheel your goods up the street?
Whatever your choice, none of the above solutions are ideal for a variety of exhausting, expensive and legally questionable reasons. Get a car, though, and you don’t need to worry about any haulage concerns, instead allowing you to make the most of your big shop every time you go.
Make moving day a dream
The same concept for shopping goes for moving, too. Sure, moving day usually means bringing in mum and dad and their car to do some heavy lifting and shifting, but having your own vehicle allows you to do any move as you please, be it a parent-free one or one where you can enjoy extra space.
They say the sooner you can learn to drive, the better, and even though running a car at uni might seem a little OTT for your student loan, it can be a financially sound move to avoid the likes of taxi and public transports fares, not to mention a bunch of hassle. With summer here, the world reopening and cheap learner driver insurance available, now is as good a time as any to get behind the wheel and start experiencing the world on your own four wheels.
Is owning a car at university for everyone? With plenty of costs attached, the answer is probably not. However, if you can afford a car, even just to run it every now and again, you’ll find it’ll probably make university life a whole lot easier for you.