Are you a student looking forward to the start of university? Going away to study is certainly an exciting process, but it’s important to remember that life as an undergraduate can be expensive. One area that doesn’t necessarily have to apply to, however, is owning an car.
As obvious as it might sound, students don’t have a full-time job so they should be looking to save money wherever possible. This is something that can definitely be done when it comes to owning a car, so even if you might not always take the most enthusiastic approach to your studies – let’s face it, early morning lectures are hardly anyone’s idea of fun – you should be on the ball when it comes to cutting your vehicle’s costs.
Let’s imagine you’re a student who is yet to purchase a vehicle. Where you buy one from is something you should give particular consideration to. Although you’d be easily forgiven for heading straight to the nearest car dealership, you ought to be aware it’s not your only option for buying an automobile, far from it in fact.
It’s worth checking out the classified section of your local newspaper, while visiting a car auction offers you the chance to pick up a set of wheels for considerably less than its market value. If you’re lucky, you could end up driving away in a car that costs thousands of pounds less than what you’d have to pay if you bought it from a showroom. Whether you’re hoping to get a Ford car at an auction or would prefer a VW Polo, these events often see hundreds, if not thousands, of vehicles go under the hammer, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get the model that’s right for you.
Whatever car you’re hoping to buy, it’s a good idea to purchase one that has a relatively small engine. Although that may sound like being something of a killjoy, it’s worth bearing in mind that such vehicles cost less and are cheaper to insure than their more powerful counterparts.
Insurance is one of the biggest expenses that young car owners have to contend with, so having a small, compact car will cost much less to insure. As a general rule, students face much higher insurance costs than people in their 20s and 30s, so you should always be looking at ways to minimize these expenses. Among your options in doing this are taking out a ‘pay-as-you-go’ policy, and ensuring your vehicle is stored in a secure garage when not being used. It’s also a good idea to install security devices such an immobilizer, alarm and tracker, as doing this can see insurance companies offer a discount on your cover.
Keeping on top of car maintenance will also go some way to lowering the costs of being on the road. Having it serviced on a regular basis and using the right kind of engine oil can help prevent major mechanical problems – which can often be costly to put right – from occurring. To maintain your car’s fuel efficiency, you’ll also need to make sure that your tires are always inflated to the correct levels, check your handbook if you’re not sure what these are.
Are you a student who owns, or is planning to own, a car? How do you plan on reducing the costs that come with having a set of wheels?