Taking a car to university: Here’s what you need to know | AA Cars

Whether you’re going to university for the first time or returning for another year, you might be considering taking your car with you – especially given the current coronavirus pandemic. 

Once you’ve considered the factors and decided to take your car with you, you’ll need to make sure your car is safe and legal to use around your university. Let’s take a look.

Get the right parking permit

There’s already lots to think about when going to university – so you definitely don’t want to get a fine for parking illegally (or even in the wrong place).

Depending on your accommodation, you might either need to park in the university itself or on a residential street. Some universities are stricter than others when it comes to permits, but most will require you to have one to park there, and you often have to meet certain criteria to qualify.

If you live off-campus in a shared house or similar, residential parking will vary depending on where you live. For example, if you live close to a city centre, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll need some kind of parking permit. These vary in price, and it’s worth checking whether anyone else at your address has a car – often permits for a second car cost much more than the first. 

To avoid fines, make sure you research getting the right permit beforehand. 

Make sure your vehicle is safe and secure

If you’re moving to a city for the first time, you may need to be extra vigilant and secure about your car. While it goes without saying that you should always lock your vehicle, you should also be careful about what you leave on display in your vehicle – e.g any valuables. 

Car crime is often worse in urban areas, and if your car is parked on a city street, there’s a risk of it being targeted if any items – no matter how cheap or unimportant you might think they are – are on display. The last thing you want to return to is a stolen vehicle. 

Another precaution you could consider is getting a steering lock for your vehicle – especially if your car is more expensive and likely to be targeted by criminals. 


It’s very important that your insurance documents reflect your main address. 

So if you’re going to be spending most of your time at university and that’s where your car will be, the address on your insurance documents needs to be updated. Depending on where ‘home’ is, you might notice your insurance premiums rise. 

As always, make sure all details are correct – so, for example, if the car’s parked on a street all the time, that’s what needs to be stated in the policy, not that it’s on a ‘driveway’. It’s important to make these changes to avoid your insurance being invalidated.

Unsure about what car to buy to take to university. Click here to discover the best options.


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