Thousands of students will be starting and returning to university in a few weeks time.
Whether it’s your first time away from home, or you’re mentally preparing for a new semester the last thing you need to be worrying about is parking at uni.
We wanted to help, we’ve pulled together some top tips so you can focus on getting settled in, concentrating on your studies, and enjoying yourself.
Decide if you need your car
This might sound like a weird tip but think about it. Depending on where you’re going to uni, and where you’re staying, having a car might not be as useful as you think.
Many university campuses now are like their own mini towns, with everything a student needs right on their doorstep, usually within easy walking distance. This might mean that your car isn’t necessary, as least not while you’re staying in halls.
Not only does that mean your time at uni is a little bit kinder to the environment because you’re spending more time on foot than behind the wheel, but in the process, you save money on parking and petrol, which can make a massive difference to your finances while you’re studying.
If you’re torn between driving or using public transport we have a blog that might be able to help, you can take a look here.
Parking at uni? Get a permit
If you have to take your car with you to university one thing you should look into as soon as possible is a parking permit. This can get you access to car parks across campus and make sure you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of parking attendants and car park rules.
Most universities will need you to apply for your parking permit, it’s a good idea to do this as soon as possible, just so it’s one less thing to try and arrange while you’re moving and getting settled in.
Just be aware that permits tend to require an additional payment, so you need to factor that into your budgeting for uni too.
If you’re looking for accommodation, check the parking in advance
If you’re moving into a student flat with friends, the process of flat hunting can be fun. But you need to focus on the things that will make life easier for you. Having enough space and decent internet speeds are key things to help you relax and study. But, if you drive, you need to think about the parking situation too.
When it comes to parking at uni you need to be able to leave your car somewhere safe, secure, and ideally not miles away from your flat.
Update your insurance
With changing where your car is being kept, and potentially how it’s being parked, you need to make sure your insurance policy is kept up to date.
Because you’re not parking at home, you might find that your insurance premium changes. Using a site like Money Supermarket or Compare the Market can be really useful in making sure you get a good deal. Sometimes these sites get access to better deals and offers too, so it’s important to do your research when you update your insurance when parking at uni.
Learn some basic car maintenance
For many people studying, money is tight. This is why it’s a great idea to teach yourself a little bit of basic car maintenance before you arrive on campus.
Simple things like knowing how to check your oil, tyre pressures and even how to switch out a wiper blade, can all save you a trip to the garage and keep your car in tip-top condition. Our blog post on checks to make before your MOT is a great starting point.
Find mechanics, petrol stations and charging points
If the maintenance doesn’t work, it’s always a good idea to know where your nearest mechanic is. The same goes for petrol stations and EV charging points (depending on your car).
This way you never run the risk of the panicked drive and phoning around if something goes wrong with your car or you’re running low on fuel.
Go for an explore and figure out your commute
When you’re moving to a new area it’s important to have a wander around. Explore, work out where everything is and even have a practice run of your commute if you can. This way you work out how long it takes to get places, how long public transport takes, what parking at uni is like, and how long the walk from the car park to a lecture can be.
You get to know an area better, and as an added bonus you know how long it will take you to get to classes, as well as getting a feel for what traffic in an area is like.
Have you got any top tips for surviving uni? Let us know by reaching out on social media.