6 ways to reduce car and travel costs at university

Male student with bike

Travel is essential and can often be one of your biggest expenses as a student. However, there are several ways you can save money.  Let’s look at six ways to reduce your travel budget at university…

Assess your driving habits

If you are hell-bent on keeping your own set of wheels at university then changing a few of your driving habits could get you up to 33% further on a tank of fuel, according to the AA. Some of their top tips for driving more fuel efficiently include not over-revving your engine, keeping tyres at the right pressure, not using air conditioning, taking the roof rack off, driving in the right gear and not stopping and starting the car aggressively. Getting your car serviced when it’s due also made the list.

Car hire

If you are unable to afford a car at university but miss the freedom of having your own transport, then car hire is a great option. If you need to get your shopping done, nail a placement, get to lectures and seminars or have an important interview, then hiring a car casually would fit around your lifestyle and not break the bank.

Get on your bike

Cycling is a great way of travelling around as a student and means you can get fit and save money at the same time. If you don’t own a bicycle, you may be able to grab a bargain online – check out sites like Preloved, Gumtree and local Facebook groups. It is also worth checking out websites like Freecycle to see if anyone is listing a bicycle that they no longer need anymore. Always remember to make sure your secondhand bike is roadworthy before using it.

Get an Uber

Studies have shown that a one mile journey in an Uber taxi can be almost one and a half times cheaper than taking a black cab. Add to this a really user friendly app, knowing the amount of the journey before you get in the taxi, having a record of your driver and the car details and the fact you can split the fare with friends, Uber becomes a very attractive option for a night out. What’s more, if you are a newbie to Uber, you can often get a discount code to use for your first ever journey.

Cut train costs

Public transport can be cheaper than driving but there are still ways of saving money with some careful planning. Train travel can be expensive if you don’t shop around for the best deal. Getting a railcard for just £30 a year is a godsend and will often pay for itself over one or two long trips. It enables you to get a third off your tickets on many routes. Purchasing a 3-year Railcard online will cost £70 and will save you £20 in the long-run. Avoid buying tickets on the day since advance tickets are often cheaper.

If you travel in London, Oyster cards are a must-have for any student and can be used on the Tube, buses and most local over-ground trains. For example, a short Tube journey in Central London would set you back £4.30 in cash but the same journey will be just £2.70 with an Oyster Card.  Link your Railcard with your Oyster Card to get more discounts. To do this just take your Oyster card and your National Rail discount card to an Underground or Overground ticket office or select National Rail ticket offices.

Take a coach

Getting a coach usually takes longer but in most cases it will be cheaper than making the same journey by train. For example, Megabus.com offer some fares from as little as £1 + 50p booking fee.  Being flexible about what time of day you travel, purchasing off-peak tickets and booking in advance can all bring the cost of traveling by coach down.

Article written by Rebecca D’Souza on behalf of Norwich car hire company First Self Drive.

Image: Bernard Bodo/123rf.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *