Saving money as a student driver
While heading off to university is an exciting time in life, it can also be very costly. Whether you choose student accommodation or elect to stay at home, driving can be yet another way to spend your money.
While you could be tempted to ditch the car entirely, there are loads of students for whom that isn’t an option. With that in mind, here are our top tips for reducing student driving costs.
Students can save a fairly decent chunk of money on their annual insurance premiums by going through an official student insurer over a standard one. Considering the high cost of insurance for many young drivers aged 17-24, this could be a big money saver.
However, if you still find your premium high you can always consider the following tips:
- Work out your annual mileage. Lower mileage will reduce your premium – and if you’re located near campus you may not drive as far as you used to.
- Consider fitting a telematics box. While a ‘black box’ is sometimes considered restrictive, it reduces costs considerably and promotes safe driving.
- Ensure your car is a low-cost, insurable model from a low insurance group. You most likely don’t need the power of a sport model. Stick to low engine sizes to keep premiums down.
If you’re using your car to commute to university, or travelling home at weekends, advertise your availability to car-share among your fellow students. You can help recoup petrol costs by letting someone hitch a ride.
Most universities have student car parks, meaning you can avoid extortionate city centre parking costs with free or discounted parking. Most require a permit or some form of proof that you’re a student, so ensure you’re up to date with your university’s rules before parking in one of these.
Become a mechanic
Lots of car problems can be fixed manually without rushing to a garage. Simple fixes such as changing bulbs and topping up oil are easy to do with just a little bit of help from Google or your car’s manual.
Fuel up sensibly
Fuel costs vary between providers but it’s generally cheaper to head to the lowest-cost station you can and fill your tank in one go. This means you won’t be caught out with low petrol and have to use an expensive station. A petrol price comparison tool will help you find the cheapest providers.
Opt for a car that offers high fuel economy alongside a low insurance group — a Ford Fiesta is a perfect choice and is available at Motorparks for eye-catching prices at the moment. The savings in the long-run can be huge.
Try not to speed or over-rev the car too, as this will burn fuel and cost you more in the long run.