Taking a car to university can make it easier to move your belongings into your accommodation and to travel at weekends.

If you are planning on taking your car with you to university, then there are a few things you should bear in mind before setting off.

Read on and make sure that you have considered the points in this article before driving to university.


Should You Take Your Car with You to University?

Whilst taking your car with you to university can make navigating the local area and travelling at weekends easier, there are a few factors to consider.

Taking a car to university can be another expense alongside the cost of accommodation, bills, fuel, and food shops – though there are ways you can earn money from your car if this interests you.

Without your car, you can’t become the designated driver if your friends have had a drink or need a lift somewhere.

That being said, a car can make doing those food shops easier – you won’t need to carry everything home yourself!

Some university accommodations may charge you for your parking spot. You may be able to park on the pavement of a nearby street, but your vehicle may be more susceptible to car theft if you do so.

If your university or college is located in the middle of a city centre, then you might decide against taking your car with you – especially if there are good public transport links in the area.

If you choose to leave your car in a different location – perhaps at your family home - then you should make a point of driving the vehicle every now and then so that you can keep the battery and engine in good working condition.

You should consider applying for a SORN if you are planning on keeping your car off the road for the majority of the year.


Make Sure You Have Car Insurance and Breakdown Cover

Your car insurance policy will need to be registered to the address which you spend the most time living at.

That means that if your car is coming with you to university, this will be your university address.

If your insurance policy is currently registered to your parents’ home, then you need to contact your insurance provider to have the address changed before you go to university.

Please note that changing your address could make your premium more expensive, but you could invalidate any future claims if you don’t let them know about this change.

As you will likely spend time travelling back and forth between university and home, you may also want to revisit your breakdown cover.


Familiarise Yourself with Your Chosen Route

Make sure that you have a plan in place before setting off.

Spend some time getting to know the route you will take to get to university. Ideally, try to set off at a quieter time of day so that you can avoid the morning and evening rush hours which can impact town and city roads.

It can be easy to forget to do so but checking that your chosen travel day is not the same as a major sporting or cultural event is also well worth doing if you want to avoid the extra stress.

If you have never driven on a motorway before, it may be worth finding some time to practice doing so before your journey to university.

Remember to leave space in your lane and be aware of your speed and other road users – especially at junctions. The middle lane is for overtaking, so try not to hog this lane!


Pack Your Car Properly

When you load your car up with all your belongings, it is important that you evenly distribute the weight of these items throughout the vehicle.

Place heavier items in the centre of the car, and larger items at the back.

Don’t stack anything above headrest height – it could obstruct your view of the road around you.

This is a good opportunity to think about what you really need and use on a weekly basis.

Take only what you need, and you’ll be doing your car a favour.

Make sure that you take a drink of water or juice with you for the journey – dehydration can be dangerous when you’re behind the wheel.

It helps to always keep an emergency kit in your car in case of a breakdown or other eventuality, too.


Set Aside Enough Time for the Journey

Chances are this journey could be emotional and stressful for you, which is why it is so important that you set aside plenty of time for the journey.

Factor in potential traffic jams and pit stops into your drive so that you can arrive at your destination in good time, without adding additional stress to the process.


Take Regular Breaks From Driving

If your journey is more than a couple of hours long, be sure to schedule breaks into your journey.

Plan your route to factor in stops at service stations or head for food at a café or restaurant if you have time.


Check That Your Car Is Working Well

There are several simple checks you should carry out before setting off for university.

Make sure that your oil and coolant levels are sufficiently topped up. You can do the dipstick test to check your oil level, and you should check your coolant to make sure that the engine doesn’t overheat as you drive.

You should also check that your tyres are correctly inflated and that your lights are working well. These checks will make a breakdown less likely to occur.


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We hope you have enjoyed learning about driving to university. We have plenty of blogs about taking care of your car on a budget if you are looking to save a bit of money whilst you study.