Students and driving go hand in hand. Picture the scene: you’re a fresh-faced high school-leaver about to embark on the next phase of your educational journey. You roll up for day one of your life as a uni student in your first car, and just like that you become known as the person everyone can tap up for lifts. Typical…
On the other hand, what if you don’t have a car and you need to travel far and wide between various campuses? What about getting home after a night on the town? These might sound like frivolous problems to the graduated among us, but for students these are all real issues.
That’s why we’ve ‘Liftshared’ the topic of student transport to bring you a survival guide to getting around as a driver or passenger on a student budget.
1. Your personal class-to-class chauffeur
If you happen to be the driver in your year that everyone turns to for lifts, you might feel obliged to ferry your mates around to each class as a way of keeping them sweet. Everyone likes a helpful person, but remember that it costs money to keep your car on the road.
Using Liftshare, you can actually set up regular journeys to your classes and offer them up to your year-mates on an ongoing basis, or to anyone else who needs to get to campus. Why not send details of your trips around the year via email, or let someone at the university newspaper or blog know that you are offering lifts?
Before you know it, you’ll be a campus hero, and you’ll have saved a great deal on keeping your motor on the road.
2. The dreaded 3am phone call
Those who had a car during university will know this one all too well. It’s 3am and you’re tucked up in your warm, comfy bed, and the nightclubs are just getting out in town. Suddenly, your phone rings and it’s your flatmate or uni buddies needing a lift home. What do you do?
This one is massively inconvenient, but if you know you’re going to be out in town with your friends or up by the time the clubs start emptying, you could play the designated driver and set up a Liftshare journey home after a night out in advance, just to make sure you get your petrol costs back. You can also do this for regular university socials, showcase events and other gatherings in and around your campus.
Either way, you’ll sleep soundly knowing your mates got home safely, plus they’ll help cover the cost of your journey.
3. Public transport vs student loans
If you’re a non-driving student, the cost of public transport to classes can become something of an issue, especially if you’ve decided against getting a student loan. Your transport outgoings can start to mount up if you work a part-time job on top of your studies, even more so if your job is a bit out of the way.
By searching for destinations on Liftshare, or by suggesting it to someone who drives in your year, you can find other drivers heading to your place of work or your campus to help keep your travel costs down. You’ll be surprised at just how many people are offering up lifts on the site, and if you ask around your campus, you can always work out a schedule or deal with other drivers.
4. Keep it clean
This is more of a precautionary tip, as we’ve been in situations where – while taking and giving lifts during university, kebabs have been spilled on the floor of our vehicle, soft drinks have exploded all over the back seat and worse. University can be a wild time, where we cut loose on our journey into the wider world and with that often comes a degree of horseplay.
So if you happen to be a driver, make sure you get those cleaning products in, and if you travel often with your flat-mates, you can even split the cost of getting your ride equipped for food-based disasters. The money you save on petrol by using Liftshare can also go to your cleaning budget, road tax or insurance costs. It’s all relative.
5. Hitting the festival circuit
Music festivals and university summer breaks are common partners, so if you’re planning a summer trip to Glastonbury, Download or the Carling festivals, be sure to post the trip on Liftshare before you go.
By making sure all your car’s seats are filled, you’re going to save a packet on your petrol costs there and back. Plus, you’ll have more people to chat and share banter with during the road trip. That means more cash for you to spend on plastic air horns, beach balls and a few brews at the festival. The same goes for your passengers.
So if you’re planning on going to a music festival as a driver or passenger, let the Liftshare community know about it and get ready to save some mega bucks, and maybe even make some new friends in the process.