You have just passed your driving test and soon you’ll be flying the nest and heading off to university, so naturally you’ll be wondering whether this is the right time to get your very own wheels.
Let’s look at some pros and cons of having a car at uni, so you can head off on your next adventure with no doubts.
Pros – Keep homesickness at bay
One of the main advantages of having a car at uni is that it makes it far easier to come back home whenever you want to. Even if you are hugely excited about leaving and starting a new life, it can be quite challenging at the beginning and many students suffer with homesickness during the first few months – right about the same time they get Fresher’s Flu or run out of clean clothes!
That’s why being able to hop into your car whenever you want and head back to your home comforts would be such a luxury, with your mum’s home cooking, a warm house and a familiar bed always within your reach.
Cons – Time to keep home away
At the same time, being able to check out and head home every weekend could be a disadvantage. If you get into the habit of doing this, you miss the opportunity to have quality time with your new housemates getting to know them better.
You might also find it hard to really settle into your new life if you keep returning to see your old friends. And once they start heading off to different parts of the country, you might have missed out on the chance to make solid friendships during those first important months at uni. It can also become very costly due to fuel prices.
Pros – Getting your shopping done
Anyone who has lived on campus without a car knows how difficult it can be to do your weekly shopping armed with just your two hands to carry your plastic bags home. You’ll soon regret your pints of milk, tins of beans and cans of coke after you leave the shop.
If you’ve ever had a shopping bag tear and your groceries spill all over the floor, you’ll know what a treasure having your own car is!
Cons – You end up being a taxi service
Of course, while having your own car means you can do your shopping in ease and comfort, it won’t be long before your new housemates, course mates and random students across the street start asking you for lifts so you can help them do their shopping too.
You might find you end up being a taxi service to your peers, which may be annoying at times if it restricts what you want to do.
Pros – Excuse for nights off
One benefit of having a car at uni is it is a good excuse to have a night off drinking once in a while. You might not always want to have a heavy night, especially if you have early morning lectures, which is why being the designated driver gives you a good reason to ease off the booze from time to time.
If you do want a drink, don’t forget to read up on the drink driving limits so you know the safe amount you can have before getting behind the wheel. However, it’s always best to abstain from drink completely if you are driving, better to be safe than sorry.
Cons – Always being the designated driver
Of course, you might be making a rod for your own back by offering to be the designated driver on a night out, as friends may get used to your generosity and ask you to drive them every time – particularly if your student house is quite far out of the city.
There are bound to be other students with cars, so be sure you start a designated driver rota so you can all stay safe while enjoying the first months of uni life.
So if you decide to buy yourself a little run-around for your fresher’s year, make sure you get your hands on affordable car insurance for students to make sure you are correctly covered for every eventually along the way.