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Should I Take My Car to Bristol University?

A question we’re regularly asked by students when looking at accommodation whilst studying for a degree in Bristol is ‘should I bring my car with me?’ At first thought, it may seem like a great idea, offering freedom, easy transport home and being able to have a lie in before driving to campus.

However, expensive running costs, lack of parking and the risk of becoming a personal taxi service to your housemates should all be taken into account. 

The Costs of Running a Car at University

It’s no secret that cars cost a bomb to run, in fact, leaving the car at home is one of our top tips for saving money at university.

Aside from the immediate costs for petrol to run the car, you’ll need to consider the cost of taxing and insuring your car for the duration of your time at university - you may find your insurance premiums are more expensive than back home should your university residence not have dedicated parking.

Additionally, just by driving the car, you are putting more miles on it, something that devalues the car and increases the risk of a fault when it comes to your next service.

The risk of accidental damage, breakdown, vandalism and theft is also increased as opposed to leaving your car in a safe place at home.

Does Your Accommodation Have Parking?

Parking spots in major cities such as Bristol are notoriously difficult to come by. If your accommodation doesn’t have a driveway or dedicated space, you’ll need to find another place to park. In halls, where you are most likely to stay in your first year of university, parking spaces are very limited and generally reserved for visitors as opposed to residents. 

In private accommodation, some areas will operate a free residents parking scheme, whereby you’ll receive a permit to park your car on the road by your house. However, given that your car will be on the road (and thus more likely to be damaged), you can expect to pay more on your insurance premiums.   

Additionally, most universities don’t have dedicated parking for students, meaning you’ll likely need to park off-campus for lectures, this can result in having to pay expensive parking charges and will extend your commuting time to and from the university.

You Might Become a Personal Taxi Service

Whilst it’s certainly handy to have a friend that drives, being said driver can result in you becoming a taxi service for your friends and housemates.

Whilst this can be useful at times, being called upon after nights out on the town may become tedious – you may also find that having your car close by increases the temptation or pressure from others to give lifts after having a drink.

There are Several Alternative Methods of Transport 

Whilst ‘freedom’ is one of the most common reasons cited for wanting to drive and own a car, when at university, you’ll find that decent transport links that dodge the traffic and the proximity of accommodation to town centres means there’s really no need for a car.

Bristol has several efficient methods of transport including:

  • Walking – As well as keeping you fit, walking allows you to explore the city and gives you more time to talk with friends on the way to lectures and social events.
  • Cycling – The cycle lanes in Bristol are a great way to stay fit dodge the traffic, both universities also provide space to lock up your bike whilst in lectures. Find out more about cycling around Bristol.
  • Buses – Buses run frequently to and from both universities in Bristol. What’s more, those in full-time education may be eligible for discounts of up to 30% on their bus fares!
  • TrainsTrain is the ideal method for travelling longer distances around the city and for when you go back home after term. A railcard is a great way to save on fares.

For more information, check out the student guide to getting around Bristol.

Stress-Free Bristol Student Accommodation

At Bristol Digs, we appreciate that there are many tough decisions to be made at university – so we make sure your student accommodation meets all your individual needs, for example, should you choose to bring your car, we can help you find properties with adequate parking.

For more information, or to request a viewing of one of our properties, give one of the team a call today on 0117 930 8750 or browse a range of the properties we have available.

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