Having a car at uni doesn’t mean you’re a Middle Eastern prince

Everyone’s always asking for a lift


Contrary to popular belief, having a car and being a student doesn’t automatically make you rich (and a prince from the Middle East – because we have a few of those at Sussex who drive flashy sports cars that I will never be able to afford). Here is a list of pros about having a car at uni, some of which are even money-related.

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Day out with bae <3 

You can get petrol money from friends 

This is a great way to pay for petrol and sometimes you even get more money than what you actually paid. I also like to bribe people and get them to bring me coffees when I drive them, which is glorious. Plus it means lots of fun roadtrips with great company and a constant influx of DJs on your aux cable.

It’s cheaper and more reliable than public transport

Public transport costs are constantly on the rise as the UK’s public transport isn’t subsidised by the government. You also get to avoid rush hour rides of hell on the 25 and don’t have to rely on Southern (the worst rail company in the UK) to get you from A to B.

There’s lots of free parking in Brighton 

Most of the Hanover side of Lewes road is free to park in and the campus parking tickets don’t actually count (shh don’t tell) so that’s not an expense I need to worry about.

You get to explore new areas 

This is probably one of my favourite things about having a car at uni. There are so many areas that you just wouldn’t venture out to as a student. Mainly because we’re lazy and probably stoned. I’ve explored some lovely areas like Seven Dials, Kemptown, Hove as well as further lands like the beautiful Lewes and Devil’s Dyke. Ok I lied the best part about having a car is being able to go to the McDonald’s drive thru in the Marina – driving through it is like a car maze and you feel like you’re in Mean Girls.

Still don’t believe us? We asked some car-owners to explain why they love having a car at uni.

Fred

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Fred looking fly (Number available on request)

Why did you decide to get a car?

Both my older sisters were driving before me so it was the normal thing to do and where I live none of my mates are close to me so it was a lot more convenient having a car. First year I didn’t have it and being on campus it was fine but second year it made things easier getting up for 9ams and made it way easier just to jump out of bed and go straight to uni.

Is it as expensive as it seems?

It’s cheaper than the bus and if people pay me for the lifts that I give them, because I give lifts everyday then it’s even cheaper. I probably spend like 10 on petrol/week going to and from uni and I go in everyday anyway so would be sending 18 anyway so like half.

Do people give you shit for having one?

No one gives me shit but I do drive a red mini which is quite…stereotypical. Some people laugh and say they could’ve guessed. I also get called lazy because I use it too much and I should probably cycle in summer and always say I’m going to but don’t.

What’s the best thing about having a car at uni?

Being able to play music and sing along on my journeys in, always gets me in a good mood.

Sarah

12810379_489206307870578_1836083263_oHow did you become a car owner? 

I didn’t decide to get a car, my mum and dad used the money they’d inherited from my uncle to buy one that me and dad could share.

Is it as expensive as it seems?

It’s definitely more pricey than the bus, but I prefer to cycle to uni and save my petrol for when I actually need it, like going to Ovingdean or going home to see family. The buying the car isn’t the expensive bit, it’s the road tax, MOTs, and gas.

Do people give you shit for having one?

People have never given me shit for having a car, probably because I don’t use it all the time, and will give people lifts for very little money. But I do feel a little guilty when I see campaigns like naked bike rides against car culture. The only shit I’ve received for my car is from birds who seem to be attracted to it.

What’s the best thing about having a car at uni?

The best thing about having a car at uni is the flexibility. I don’t have to think twice about going to pick up takeaway, planning a day out, or picking up last minute booze from Asda in the way that people who only take the bus do.

Paddy

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How did you become a car owner?

I got a car originally because I wanted something that gave me the freedom of going anywhere I wanted. I didnt grow up in a city, and my nearest friend was a 20 minute drive or hour and a half cycle away. It wasn’t the most social world… thats why I decided I must get a car so I can finally socialise and not spend days in the house.

Is it as expensive as it seems?

Cars are very expensive. I’m lucky, my parents cover my insurance which takes away about a quarter of the monetary responsibility. Most of it is spent on fuel. It’s much cheaper to drive myself into uni a week on less than £10. It is more expensive using the bus, when just considering fuel, say, but when you add in, MOT, servicing, oil changes, tax, burst tyres, and my worst enemy the ticket officer, then you’re looking at something that will slowly but surely take up a lot of your money.

Do people give you shit for having one?

I’m seen as a valuable asset to almost anyone who doesn’t have a car. I’ve been pretty generous with helping friends out. In the last month for example, I’ve driven to Bournemouth to collect a mate’s drum kit, went to Tunbridge Wells to help collect speakers and stands for a gig, collected friends from airports and most days give lifts into uni. The biggest problem I find is that most people don’t have a lot of recognition that a person is driving.

I have a friend who was in a car accident recently, a hit-and-run. His accident has reinforced that the road is dangerous, and that people need to be more considerate.

Best thing about having it at uni?

The best thing about having a car in uni is not going on public transport. When you get on a train or a bus, you, in all honesty would prefer to be in a car. But driving has its negatives, and sitting in traffic for two hours with friends exclaiming their boredom challenges one’s zen.

Jack

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How did you become a car owner?

I got a car because all of my friends back home live on average about 20 minutes away and the trains are not convenient at all. Also when I turned 17 my grandma got her license taken off her so I got to have her car which I now share with my sister.

Is it as expensive as it seems?

It’s about as expensive as I thought it would be. If you’re driving alone it’s pretty uneconomical but if you manage to give a few people lifts then it works out better value than getting the train and it’s a lot less grim than the Megabus.

Do people give you shit for it?

People do give me shit for it because it’s quite clearly my granny’s old car, it’s a ‘mushroom brown’ Ford Fiesta.

Best thing about having it at uni?

Best thing for me about having a car at uni is during the summer you can drive to nice places on the coast like this river near Lewes where you can go swimming. Also it’s easy to do weekend trips across the UK like to Manchester or Cardiff without planning it weeks in advance.”