1. Trains and buses – this option is most useful in large cities and especially for students whose families live in London and who will be attending a college in the capital. You can purchase an oyster card that holds an annual season ticket, allowing your child unlimited travel on the underground, docklands light railway, overground trains in the city, and buses. This will enable them to visit you whenever they fancy, go shopping in town, attend lectures in various locations and basically go wherever they wish without having to worry about how much it will cost. An all-zones ticket will provide the most flexibility with regard to possible destinations.
2. A second hand car – if your son or daughter has already passed their driving test, buying them a small, economical car is well worth considering. It will give them a sense of independence that public transport cannot and mean that they can travel at any time of night or day rather than having to organise their trips around train and bus timetables. The only problem will be whether they can afford the petrol to go wherever they want but you can always give them a monthly allowance if this is likely to be an issue.
3. A cheap motorcycle – whilst some parents may not like the idea of their child riding a bike on busy roads, if your son or daughter is sensible and you buy them a well-maintained model, there is no reason why they cannot use it to travel safely and economically throughout their college years. A big advantage of this mode of transport is that motorcycle insurance is relatively inexpensive and a small bike will use far less petrol than a car. Your child will need to pass a test before they are allowed to ride on public roads, so you should include the cost of basic training in your budget when evaluating this option.
4. A bicycle – this is another option that is only really practical for students that live in a large city and are planning to attend a university that is not too far from home. If your son or daughter will be studying at a college that is many miles away, they are unlikely to want to ride home at the weekends. However, they could still use a cycle to get about the town or city in which their university is located and take it on a train or bus whenever they wish to come home for a couple of days.
Before you decide on the most suitable option for your child, it is a good idea to talk to them about their feelings on the matter. There is no point, for example, in buying a car for your son if he absolutely hates driving and has no intention of learning how to do so. Young ladies that are worried about safety issues on public transport may be equally unenthusiastic about the prospect of coming home on a night bus after spending the evening with friends in town. If you can afford to offer your child a choice, this will obviously be appreciated.
About the Author: Carole Nash is a motorcycle insurance provider in the UK that works with a panel of leading insurers to ensure that they offer not just appropriate and excellent cover but also great value for money.