How to save for a car while at uni

Sophia Lamberton 5 May 2022
Young man behind the wheel of a car

Saving for a car while at uni may seem impossible but there are ways to make it a reality.

Thinking about saving for a car at uni? Many students might think that getting a car while they’re at uni is beyond their reach. But with these tips and some careful planning, you’ll be able to save enough money.

What costs are involved in owning a car?

Before you start saving, it’s really important to think about all the costs of having a car. Remember that you’re going to have to pay for car insurance, which can be really expensive for younger people. Also, you need to factor in maintenance costs, tax, petrol, and parking. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to help you put aside some money and keep costs low. 

Working and studying

Set yourself a realistic goal for how much money you want to save, and then set up a savings account as early as possible, so you’re earning interest on the money you save. This sounds obvious, but getting a part-time job is the quickest way to save for a car. Even if it’s just one day a week, having a job will allow you to put some cash aside for your car.

Plus, getting a part-time job is a great way to learn new skills and boost your CV when you apply for graduate roles.

The bank of Mum and Dad

One way to get some help towards the cost of buying a car is to ask your parents if they’d be willing to chip in. If you can show them how much money you’ve saved already, how you plan to pay for all the other costs of having a car, and how much you’ll save using your own car rather than public transport, they might offer to help you out. Even if it’s only £100, it will take you one step closer to buying a car.

When it comes to choosing a car, you could ask your family or friends to see if anyone’s planning on selling their old car. You don’t really need a brand new car if you’re going to uni, so save some money by buying an older, second-hand one. Plus, the older your car, the lower your insurance premium will be. Although there’s a higher chance your car will be less reliable. You need to weigh up the risks.

What can you cut back on to save money?

A simple way to save money is to cut back on what you spend each week. Make a spreadsheet and list how much you spend on takeaway coffees, lunchtime meal deals, bus fare, taxis, nights out etc. 

If you find yourself buying coffee every day or lunch on the go, an easy way to save money is to turn it into a treat by only doing this once or twice a week. It may not seem like you’ll be saving a lot, but trust us, it really adds up over time.

Tips for insurance

Car insurance for young people is expensive, but there are ways you can reduce the cost. Firstly, consider the level of coverage you need. Here are a few things to think about: Will you be parking your car on campus or on a busy road? Will you be parking your car in a safe place or is it likely to be broken into or damaged? 

One of the best pieces of advice we can offer is to shop around for car insurance, which takes time, but it’s worth it and could save you hundreds. Some of the best deals we’ve seen are from companies like Endsleigh. We also recommend checking out price comparison websites like Money Supermarket to get an idea of how much it will cost.

Another way to save on car insurance is to check if your insurance policy has the option of having a Black Box fitted in your car. The box measures how much you drive and how safe you are behind the wheel. This type of insurance is sometimes known as Pay as You Drive or ‘black box insurance’, so you’ll only have to pay for cover when you drive your car.

Have you thought about having a car at uni? Join the Student Hut Community and share your opinions via the paid surveys.

Sophia Lamberton 5 May 2022