Moving to uni gives you a great opportunity to leave all those hindrances behind and start an annoyance free life (almost.) Personally, I was so happy to say goodbye to my noisy – but lovely – neighbours, painfully slow Wi-Fi, and a rural location where Freeview is people’s answer to “extensive entertainment”.

Image: Car fully packed and ready to leave

One thing that I was reluctant to give up, however, was my beloved 57 plate Fiat Punto. In fact I cried more knowing that I wasn’t going to drive my bashed-up motor for a while, than I did when I departed from my parents in the campus car park.

Until the day I left, I was unsure whether to bring my car, so I’ve created a list of the pros and cons that were going through my head and what led me to ultimately leave my car at home.

The Pros?

  • I would say to anyone who lives “quite far” from Salford that a car may not be a bad shout, of course that is if you have one. By “quite far”, what I mean is it wouldn’t be quicker to get the train due to changes or just general travel time, yet it’s not far enough to be able to get a flight. For me, it was much quicker to fly home to Southampton (40mins) instead of an unbearable 4hr car journey!
  • You won’t have to carry your shopping. But then again, if you show the number 50 bus your student ID, they’ll give you a free ride back to the campus to avoid the 10 minute walk (if you’re lazy like me.)

Image: Woman looking for groceries

  • There are lots of parking options available if you’re staying in on-campus housing. Parking is free at John Lester and Eddie Colman halls of residence, and while it does cost at Peel Park Quarter, it is only £28PCM which is good value cheap for safe, private city parking.

SO why shouldn’t I bring my car?

  • Manchester public transport is spectacular! Bus lanes make for easy travel, even in rush hour, something which cars don’t have the luxury of, and if you’re feeling that extra bit Mancunian, why not get the tram? If you prefer a good-ol-train like me, it’s worth knowing that with a rail card from Salford Crescent, a return into Manchester city centre is just £1.80!
  • “I didn’t sign up to be an Uber driver”. Too bad – and guess what, your mates won’t pay you.

Image: Man ready to accept card payment in a car

  • Now for the scary bit, sit down and work out how much money you could save from leaving your car back at home. A calculated estimate brought me to £1800 per year! £1000 for insurance, £120 for tax, £280 for 10 months of parking, and £400 for petrol. That’s a lot of money that could be spent elsewhere…(fancy popping to the Students’ Union anyone?).

Image: Toy car driving over a pile of money.

What I reckon:

Ultimately, the most important thing I thought about was “will it help me with my course?”. For me it was no, as I don’t need to travel for my course, whereas my flat mate Natalie studies nursing, and for her, having a car makes it much easier to get to her placements.

I would honestly say, if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. Over my time at Salford, keeping a car would cost me over £5000. That’s half a year’s tuition, all for a method of transport which is inferior to Manchester’s network of public transport.