Off-Road Overdraft

Meet the student who blew his entire maintenance loan on a Land Rover only fit for the scrap heap!

Katie Bend land rover the tab bristol university of bristol university of nottingham

“A student loan is designed to help students pay for university tuition, books, and living expenses.”

That’s what Wikipedia says, but as we all know, this is very much open to interpretation.

Booze, cigarettes, and donor kebabs are what most students get from their Maintenance Loan, although on rare occasions, some students dream of bigger, bolder, and more extravagant investments.

The Tab caught up with one student, who had a rather different idea of how his cash was to be spent.

When Matt* received his first instalment as a Fresher at Nottingham University, there was only one thing on his mind, something that as a young boy he had only dreamed about being able to afford.

Now, his dream is a reality, all thanks to the good old student loan system.

“It was a complete wreck”

Tab: So Matt, I have heard the rumours. Could you confirm how you scandalously misused your student loan!?

Matt: Basically, I had always wanted a Land Rover Defender, and when I got my first instalment of student loan, and a student account with an overdraft, I spent both on buying my Land Rover.

Tab: Defenders are pretty damn expensive, how did you manage to afford it, even with the help of a loan?

M: Well, the next instalment of my loan at Christmas then went on buying new wheels and tyres, and welding the chassis back together and fixing the steering.

Tab: So I take it that the Land Rover was not in the best condition!?

M: I bought it blind off eBay and it was a complete wreck needing huge amounts of work! Where on earth it got its M.O.T. from just before I bought it is anybody’s guess as really it was only fit for the scrap yard.

Tab: So with your loan and overdraft spent fixing up the car, how did you afford university?

M: I was in OTC (Officer Training Corps) which pays you, and I also worked as much as possible, and regularly chose fuel over beer!

“Something that doesn’t have heating isn’t the way to attract women”

Tab: What were people’s reactions to you spending your loan in this way?

M: No one had the chance to say anything about it as I just turned up with my Defender having bought it. My parents weren’t too impressed at first as it was such a wreck and needed so much doing to it but they eventually came around!

Tab: Do you feel like you missed out on anything, having spent your money on the car?

M: No, I don’t feel I missed out on anything. I usually just budgeted in other areas, like food etc. and the mess bar in the OTC was very cheap.

Tab: …and how well did having a Defender go down with the ladies!?

M: Haha not particularly well! Something which you have to climb into that smells of oil and diesel and doesn’t have any heating isn’t the best way to attract women! But having transport was better than not.

Tab: Do you think you became something of a BNOC?

M: Not particularly, it made me more noticeable but not BNOC standard. It went down best at OTC but then the Army love Land Rovers and so having one there was always going to be good. Plus the ability to transport 16 people with full kit form the TA centre to the station at the end of an exercise was always popular.

Fully Pimped: Xzibit would be proud of this fix-up job

Tab: Over three years on, what is the state of the car, and most importantly, was it worth it?

M: Well since then, a year of work earnings and another two and half years of student loans later, every major component has been replaced or overhauled and all that is still original is the axles and the front wings. But, absolutely, it was worth every penny!

*Name has been changed at the request of the student