Going to college or university is the start of an exciting chapter.

While it might be intimidating because you don’t know anyone, it’s a wonderful opportunity to spread your wings, find some new friends, get a part-time job and explore your new town. But, depending on what you’re studying, there might not be time to jump right into a part-time job, so you’ll need to work creatively with your money. One way to do that is through carpooling with your own vehicle.

But, if you don’t have a vehicle, perhaps you should speak to your parents or a finance company that can help you purchase any one of the affordable used cars for sale in South Africa or in your area. Chances are there are many other students which could also do with some carpool help too.

Here are a few tips for you to consider this option with some college friends:

It’s convenient: Having a reliable carpool system is extremely convenient when you team up with people who live nearby you. The point of carpooling is to drop the costs of your own petrol and vehicle maintenance by communicating with people in the area and creating some sort of lift service. The system will not be feasible if you have to travel long distances to fetch someone, so make sure that whoever you decide to team up with lives close enough. This makes carpooling fast, easy and efficient.

It’s environmentally-friendly: With so many cars on the road, emitting dangerous fumes on a daily basis, carpooling is an ideal contribution to the environment. It’s a helpful way to reduce your carbon footprint and take better care of the environment while helping someone out with a lift. Often times, carpooling is a great option simply for petrol costs if your vehicle is heavy on petrol. If this is the case, you don’t necessarily want to be driving a vehicle like this, so perhaps take your first year to look for used car deals more appropriate for your student lifestyle. This could also mean the reverse. If you’re relying on others to pick you up in the mornings, maybe you should look at used cars for sale in South Africa for your own transport.

You’ll never miss class: We all know the feeling of having to hit the snooze button. And if you’ve had a late night of studying or socialising, you might find it tempting to skip class. But, if you’re paying someone and relying on them to pick you up from your home or visa versa, you need to keep to the deal. Carpooling is a motivating way to never miss class and always be on time. It will contribute to your attendance and, hopefully, your marks throughout the year.

You’ll save money: As mentioned, the student life is expensive. If you don’t have a job, you need to explore new ways to save money. As it stands, working with your budget is going to be hard, so make sure that your carpooling activity saves you some cash. Think about how much you could save by not having to pay for travel costs every single day. And, of course, the bigger the group, the bigger the savings.

It’s a reliable option: Driving with someone who you feel comfortable with is a safe option. Depending on the area, there might not be public transport to and from college or university. And even if there is, you’re already new to the area so you’re not very familiar with the community. Some public transport operations aren’t always reliable. If you have class at 8 am, the first bus might only come past at 8 am. Therefore, carpooling with people you know and trust will make you feel safe and relaxed during your daily commute.

You’ll make some friends: One of the biggest perks about carpooling is getting the opportunity to make friends and meet new people. You might be an introvert who wouldn’t see yourself speaking to anyone if it weren’t for this carpooling opportunity, so there is always a positive hiding behind each corner. Carpooling also provides you with a safety net. It means that you will never be travelling alone early in the morning or late at night, and your fellow travellers will always have a clear idea of where you are and what you’re doing.

Final words Teaming up with a group of individuals who also want to save money on fuel and parking fees, and make friends can really benefit your life and make your first year of studying all the more exciting. From friendships, a healthier bank balance, an improved environment and commitment to your studies, it’s a big question why more students don’t take advantage of this opportunity. Who knows, this might even be the business venture you’ve always dreamed of: purchase one of the many used cars in South Africa that are light on fuel and affordable in price, and start offering a transport system for students.

First year in a new environment is already a massive challenge, mentally and emotionally, so try and step out of your comfort zone and do new things. Not to mention, struggling through traffic every day is not the ideal way to spend the younger years of your life. If you could join forces and eliminate that irritation and anger with other like-minded individuals, this is something that should definitely be considered.