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Best cars for students

Heading off to University and keen to take a car with you? There are a couple of important things to take into consideration. Price and running costs are usually the main aspects you’ll be thinking of and picking the right insurance and car at a price that suits you can often be time consuming than first anticipated! Whatever model you end up going for, it pays in the long run to purchase from a reputable main dealer, such as T W White & Sons, so you know you aren’t likely to be hit with unexpected issues and large bills just days after you pick up your new wheels. 

Things to consider

When you’re picking a car to take to university with you there are a few factors to think about. Unless you already have an unconditional offer it’s best to wait for your results to come out, especially if you have a wide range of course choices and universities on your shortlist. You may end up in a city based university where you would be better off using public transport to get around and in which case may want to re-think your car choices. Also, consider how far away from home your university is, how often you expect you will come home, how much stuff you are planning on taking to/from university on a termly basis and the rail or bus links available.

If you are looking at working in a part time job during your studies, or joining a society which involves traveling (for example to sports matches or exhibitions) a car will greatly open up your options! These considerations may also shape the kind of car you’re looking at, especially if you’re studying Music and play the Double Bass, or are going to sign up for a sports team that involves carrying a lot of kit around – make sure your vehicle fits the bill.

Don't buy a lemon

It’s also easy to be blindsided by a low up front cost or to go straight for the car you’ve always wanted, even if it means getting a 20 year old model with 200,000 miles on the clock and Category C or D accident status! When picking a new car it should really be head over heart as there is nothing worse than breaking down in the rain on a busy motorway after an exhausting away match or field work excursion, or spending most of your student loan on insuring a sporty number with racing stripes for it to then fail its MOT a month later. We would recommend considering the cost of the car overall, including purchase price, finance arrangements, annual tax, running costs (fuel, insurance, breakdown cover, congestion charges, parking, time to next MOT, tyre condition), reliability and resale value in your decision. As a general rule, look for good condition vehicles, low mileage (not above 50,000 miles) and warranty options as a key point.

Top student friendly cars

Here are a couple of the top picks of Student friendly cars which are not going to break the bank, yet practical and stylish enough to happily offer all your new university friends a lift in:
Don't forget: Always remember to park responsibly and away from permanent residents’ properties. When parking on campus you should obtain a permit and only park in designated car parks. Never drive home from a night out and be aware of other road users around the university campus, particularly cyclists and joggers.

Suzuki Ignis

The Suzuki Ignis is a small stylish car, yet boasts all the latest in safety and security. With 5 doors and plenty of boot space this car is ideal for shipping pretty much everything you own back and forth from university and the spacious interior, with comfortable cloth upholstery seats means that carting friends around won’t be an issue. When you’ve packed all your belongings up at home and are ready to head off to Uni, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much space there is inside!

Plus, unlike many small cars on the market today, the Ignis shouts personality. Plus it’s packed with lots of standard kit including alloy wheels, air-con, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, phone charging and electric front windows and despite its size 4 adults can sit comfortably and fit their stuff in the boot too.  This is a great practical, value for money solution which should hold its resale value well when you want to part exchange it and buy something new when that graduate scheme starts paying out.

Mazda 2

Bursting with energy and character, the Mazda 2 is definitely a head turner and offers the perfect combination of fuel economy and performance to help you save the pounds on running costs!

The car is smooth and fun to drive, with a quick engine, good gearbox and quiet road noise. You can get a model with a 7 inch infotainment display screen which provides satnav, social media updates and internet radio streaming so whether you’re on the move or parked up there’s plenty to improve your experience. To keep the parents happy there are tons of safety features such as anti-lock brakes with stability and braking assistance to help increase the force of brakes in case of emergency. You also get Electronic Stability Control as used in racing cars to prevent dangerous spins and traction control to stop wheel spin when accelerating in the wet. If you can negotiate a higher spec model then there are blind spot monitoring upgrades to detect vehicles behind you and flash and buzz in the mirror if you haven’t seen them. This works well with the lane departure system to warn you when you start crossing into another lane and autonomous emergency braking.

If budget is a key decision influencer for you, then another great option to consider would be an older generation or used Mazda 2. Older models tend to sell for over half the price of new models, ranging from £3,000 - £8,000.

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