For many students heading off for university this week, a car may be on the list of things to organise before they go. A little run-around perhaps to get them around the campus, city and to their lectures.
But owning, driving and maintaining a car can be a costly affair, especially for young drivers. Is it possible for a student to have a car on a budget….and is it worth it?
Students are likely to be charged the highest insurance premiums than any other driver group, with young men paying on average £2,872 per year and young women paying slightly less at £1,671 according to the AA.
To keep insurance costs down as much as possible, students should consider purchasing a smaller car with a small engine. Cars such as the Vauxhall Corsa or the Ford Fiesta are a good option as they can be cheap to run. Fiat cars are also a good choice as they have a reputation for being cheap but tough.
Because students will have passed their tests relatively recently, they are unlikely to have built up any no claims discount. Some insurance companies offer a bonus accelerator scheme allowing young drivers to build up one year of discount in just nine months. Students living away from home should never be tempted to be a named driver on their parents cars, ‘fronting’ is a serious no no in the world of insurance, and can result in the policy being voided.
Other handy tips for students is to invest in some breakdown cover, the likelihood of a student owning a brand new reliable motor is slim, so for many breakdown will be a must, and will save on recovery costs in the event of a breakdown.
There are so many costs associated with having a car, some of which can easily be overlooked such as the annual MOT and road tax. Students must allow for these costs in their budget, as well as some contingency funds for the general up keep and maintenance of the car.
One major cost, and one that most drivers in the UK are struggling with, is the rising cost of fuel. Filling up a run-around may just break the bank, another good reason to choose a fuel-efficient car to keep the costs at the pump down.
There are cheaper alternatives open to students, which will give them access to a car, but without the financial burden of owning their own.
Many universities have set up car clubs, allowing students to ‘pay as you go’, ideal for students that only need a car for occasional use.
Other schemes are also available such as the Streetcar student offers option. Streetcar provide students hourly hire rates on vehicles that are parked around the campus. A spokesperson from Streetcar has commented on the scheme “A lot of universities don’t allow students to bring cars on to campus for environmental reasons, so parking can be restricted. As well as the obvious financial savings of using Streetcar, students also like its flexibility”.
Car share schemes for students have also been introduced to many universities, and for some, is an ideal way of getting around campus. Online facilities have been set up to match up students who take the same journeys, a great way of saving money, meeting new people and not to mention saving the environment!
For more info on this you can visit www.studentcarshare.com
This article was brought to you by Think Insurance, specialists in motor traders insurance.