Driving to University

Friday, 16 September 2016

If you have a child or grandchild that will be heading to university in the next few weeks, you might be tasked with taking them (and their mountain of stuff) to their university halls or student house. It’s very important that you consider safety during your trip, so to help, we’ve created this guide.

Start planning now

You don’t want to get to the morning of the big move to find that the budding student wants to take so much stuff that you have to squeeze into the driver’s seat. Find out exactly how Driving to Unimany bags and boxes they’re planning on taking and if you think your vision is going to be impaired (e.g. your boot is going to be so filled with stuff so you won’t be able to see anything but bin bags when you look through the rear view mirror), you’ll need to consider either borrowing or hiring a bigger car or small van.

Borrowing a friend’s car

If you have fully comprehensive insurance, you need to check your policy to see if it permits you to drive other vehicles. If unsure, give your insurer a quick ring to double check. If you are covered, you will be able to drive a friend or family member’s car. If you aren’t currently covered, your insurer may be willing to insure you temporarily if you pay a small fee.

Hiring from a car renting firm

If you’ll need to hire a car or van from a car renting firm, you’re best booking now to make sure that the vehicle you want is available. You won’t need to sort out your own insurance, as the car renting firm will do this for you. You will however, need to locate your driving license, double check it’s valid and make sure you take it with you when you go to pick up the car or van. Some firms will drop the car off at your home instead, which can be a good plus point.

As well as paying to hire the car, you’ll need to leave a deposit but this will be returned to you when you give the vehicle back. Some car renting firms will charge extra if you want to hire a sat nav, so try and borrow one from a friend if you don’t own one yourself. 

On the day

Whether you’ve got to travel for one hour or several to get to the university, it’s going to be a long day so try and get a good night’s sleep the night before. It’s surprising how long it takes to pack a car up, especially if the budding student isn’t very organised.

Make sure you take plenty of drinks and snacks with you in the car and you’ve got a full tank of petrol. Check that you’ve got enough oil and your tyres are pumped up, especially if you’re going to be travelling on a motorway. Remember, you might need some spare change to pay for tolls or parking charges, depending on your destination so have some close to hand.

Once you arrive, it’ll take a while to unpack everything and the budding student might want you to take them to a supermarket to buy their first shop before you head off. It can be hard to leave them behind but try not to get too upset. If you find you’re too emotional once they’ve disappeared inside, try to take a minute and don’t feel like you have to drive off straight away. Driving when you’re crying is never a good idea!

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