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To buy a car for placements or not?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by ctinblue7, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Hey everyone,
    So am thinking of buying a little car to get me to and from university and placements when doing my PGCE. Yes or no? [​IMG]
  2. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    It will depend where you're doing that PGCE, where you live and where the placements are.

    I know some students who were able to make things work just fine without a car but my own PGCE, which was based in a relatively rural area, would have been impossible without one and everyone on the course had a car.

    Unless you have a pressing need for a car now, I suggest you wait and find out if you need one or not.
  3. It depends whether you have a place on your PGCE course or not as from the way this is worded, you don't yet nor somewhere to live?
    I remember this being one of the pieces of information I ticked on the application form when I came to my interview, and sometimes it can work in your favour, sometimes not.
    For housing in cities for example, having a car restricts the places you can live because you need access to parking and/or permits. Ideally you want somewhere within 20 minutes walking distance of university for the first few weeks and if you do decide to have a car, your accommodation will need parking.
    Speaking for myself, my PGCE is currently in a city in southern Hampshire, and having a car has made things easier for me personally.
    My first placement was in the city itself, but would be at least an hour's walk or time spent on public transport, but 20 minutes in the car. This contrasts my second placement which is 25 minutes up the M3 but because of traffic requires me to leave at 7.30 in the mornings. I also drive my housemate and a fellow trainee, neither of which have cars themselves.
    Don't forget that you also have to factor things in like petrol, insurance and tax. My personal opinion would be Yes, if you can afford to run it and park it.
  4. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Quite simply, yes. The time and energy it will save you (although not money) will be worth it alone.
  5. EcoLady

    EcoLady New commenter

    If you can afford a car that will be reliable, then go for it. You'll have so much more freedom and your life will be far easier.
    If your budget is just for a banger though, then I'd stick with letting uni know that you are reliant on public transport.

  6. Thanks everyone. I'm saving up a little 'car fund' but will only be able to afford a second hand car as will not be able to afford a 'new' car [​IMG]
  7. Fizzbobble

    Fizzbobble Occasional commenter

    I'd be looking for a car from May. I could not have done my PGCE without my car! Not least because my uni placed me 42 miles from home and I had a laptop, bag of marking and resources, books, folders and my handbag to carry.
  8. westnab

    westnab New commenter

    It puts you in the driving seat if you have a car, so to speak!
    Do not be foolish enough to think, as some do, that not having a car will mean you get placed in a school which is easy to get to. University's often struggle to get enough schools to volunteer to take trainees. As others have said, you will be expected to car share with other students who are placed in the same school. It's much easier if you are the one with car. You are then not in a position where other trainees are telling you you have to walk to a central point each morning to be picked up, dropping you off at same unhelpful point in the evening, because they can't be bothered to drive to your flat/house. Some trainees are also unsympathetic about the fact you may need to stay later in school than they would like. If you're the one with the car, there's not much they can do about it.
  9. Thank you westnab, I hadn't thought of this! I guess you're right in saying it would be easier if I was the one in the driving seat! Would you get paid for car sharing for your petrol? Not to seem horrible or anything, but in terms of monthly budgeting.

  10. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    I would never buy a new car, not on an NQT's budget.
  11. Would a taxi drive you somewhere for free? NO!!
    One of the trainees I drive is giving me £20 a week. She calculated that it would be at least that in terms of public transport and my housemate knocked £20 off the last household bill we're paying. In fact I used the money they shoved in my glovebox to fill up the other day, leaving me with money to spend on essentials like food.
    Our journeys are entertaining we say "What is said in the car, stays in the car" and we did have a bit of a sing song on the way home yesterday afternoon after a good week. It sure beats silence and four empty seats!
  12. harderfaster

    harderfaster New commenter

    Surely this isn't the most appropriate economic approach?

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