Things I've Done To Save Money As A Student Car-Owner
man in black t-shirt and blue denim jeans sitting on car seat
Photo by Omotayo Tajudeen on Unsplash

Things I've Done To Save Money As A Student Car-Owner

Ellie-Rose Baker July 9, 2022

Owning a car is expensive, especially at the moment, so unless you are nifty, owning a car as a student can be near-impossible, so I’m sharing some things I’ve done to make it work.

When applying for university, I had to decide between two situations: living at home and buying a car, or moving away from university and not buying a car.

Okay, there were many other reasons why I chose to live at home and commute to university, but the financial side of car-owning was certainly up there.

Here are some ways in the last three years that I have managed to save money on the various aspects of car-owning at university.

Photo by Bas Peperzak on Unsplash

Buying A Car

  • Second hand: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t be afraid to shop around, either: I found that the price difference between garages for the same car was really surprising.
  • One-off payment: Between my student loan and my savings from my part-time job, I was in a comfortable enough position to be able to buy my car outright. Although I realise that I was fortunate to be able to do this if you also can you may be saving quite a bit in the long run.


There’s not really much that you can do about saving money when insuring your car aside from shopping around. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure, and don’t be afraid to negotiate if you’ve seen a lower price elsewhere.

However, if you do have the opportunity to get multicar cover with a close family member, in my third year of driving, this saved me a whopping £100.


On-campus or street parking for students that are living away from home can be ridiculously priced if you’re even lucky enough to get a guaranteed space.

To park in my university car park daily (as a commuter), would cost me £30 a week. As an alternative, I had a look around and parked in the free train station car park. I had to add five minutes to my journey for the walk, but it saved me a lot.

Bear in mind: make sure that you are respectful of resident parking if this is your only option – be careful not to block driveways or streets.

Photo by Jay Skyler on Unsplash


Finally, the big one, particularly at the moment.

  • If you’re lucky enough for your closest petrol station to be a supermarket chain, use it. Privately owned petrol stations tend to be more expensive.
  • Make sure that you don’t carry any unnecessary weight in your car – empty your boot, clear your back seats – this causes drag which will mean that you burn through your petrol faster.
  • Try to avoid multiple short journey. Plan out your errands list so you don’t have to go back and forth. One slightly longer journey will be better than lots of short ones.

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Ellie-Rose Baker, alumni of the University of South Wales, is an almost adult, tackling the big wide world with an English and Creative Writing degree in one hand, and a cuppa in the other. A Freelance Journalist for Freshered, Ellie-Rose's primary focus' are navigating postgraduate life, climate change and literature. She also takes her writing inspiration from her other roles which include theatre ushering and English teaching.