Travel is essential at university but it can quickly burn a hole in your finances. As a cash-strapped student, this is far from ideal. Follow our top tips to dramatically cut the cost of travelling from A to B and get your finances in check for 2017.
Consider Car Hire
Passing your driving test brings complete freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want, so understandably it can be hard for some students to give this up when they move to university. However, if you are unable to afford a car at university but miss having your own set of wheels, then car hire can be a great solution to bridge the gap. Hiring a car will allow you to have a vehicle part-time to fit around your lifestyle, and means you can bypass the costs and responsibilities that come with having your own transport. Bonus!
Owning a bicycle at university is essential – not only will it save you a lot of money in car and travel costs but it will also keep you fit and active. If you don’t own a bicycle you may be able to pick up a great deal online – check out sites like Preloved, Gumtree, Freecycle and local Facebook groups. Another great thing about owning a bike is that you don’t have to worry about the stress and cost of parking when you arrive at your destination.
Book an Uber
If you are lucky enough to have Uber cabs operating in your university city and haven’t tried the service, then you are in for a treat. If you are an Uber newbie, you can download the app and search for a discount code online to use for your first ever journey. Sites like vouchercodes.co.uk usually have discounts for new Uber customers which will give you a free ride. Ordering an Uber directly from your phone enables you to see where your taxi is, how long it will be, details of your driver and the registration number of the car. It will also tell you the price of the fare before you get in the cab and your debit card is charged once you have been dropped off at your destination point. This is a godsend because who carries change anymore, right? One final and important point to note is that studies have shown a one-mile journey in an Uber taxi can be almost one and a half times cheaper than taking a black cab.
Shop around for Travel Tickets
Train tickets can be extortionate if you don’t take the time to shop around for a good deal. There are a number of ways to save money on train travel with some careful planning. Firstly, sign up to topcashback.co.uk and earn money back on your train ticket purchases. It’s money you are going to be spending anyway so why not get rewarded for it? Getting a railcard for just over £30 a year is a must for any money savvy student since it allows you to get a third off your tickets on many routes. The card will often pay for itself after one or two long trips, so view it as an investment. Always buy your tickets in advance – purchasing on the day can often be a lot more expensive.
If you want to make further savings, then why not look into getting a coach? This has become a really popular choice of travel among students in recent years. The reason for this is that in most cases it will be cheaper than making the same journey by train. If you have the extra time then it is definitely worth looking into. For example, Megabus.com offers some fares from just £1 plus a 50p booking fee. To bag yourself one of these deals though you will need to be flexible about the date and time you travel as well as book your tickets in advance.
Article provided by Chloe Hashemi on behalf of Norwich car hire company, First Self Drive.