Get Schooled: How to Save Money When You Head Back to Class

Labor Day is upon us, which signifies the unofficial end of the summer and start of the school year. Even if this is your second (or third) time setting out to get a new degree, you still might experience the first-day-jitters, especially if you are moving to a new city. You also might be watching your wallet more closely – will you need to swap your cold-pressed juice for ramen? There are pros and cons to bringing your car to school with you, and while it provides a convenient way get around, it could also become quite costly. Follow these cost-saving car tips to maximize your savings during the school year.


Get situated.
Before you start scheming ways to save money, you should get the logistics squared away. Let your car insurance company know that you have changed cities and head to the DMV to update your license and registration (only if needed). Drive around so you get a feel for the area and evaluate your parking situation near home and school. The last thing you need is a parking ticket! Waze is a great way to identify the best routes and understand the worst times to drive. You’ll be driving like a local in no time.

Scope out the transit situation.
Once you have a feel for your new city, you should check out the public transportation options. If you aren’t living near campus, your school will likely have a resource to help identify the best transportation methods in the area, whether it be a train or your school’s dedicated shuttle bus. Google Maps (and soon Apple Maps) will be your new best friend, showing you the best way to get from Point A to Point B via public transit. You should also see if there are student rates or if your school offers any public transportation discounts. Biking or walking to class are always great options as well!

Start re-filling the bank account.
If you realize that you are primarily using your car for monthly grocery runs and family visits, consider renting your car out using a peer-to-peer car rental service like Getaround or RelayRides. Getaround touts that car owners can earn $10,000 per year by renting out their car – that’s a good chunk of change to put towards student loans! And don’t worry about this interfering with your busy schedule. Getaround will take care all of the logistics, from scheduling rental times to providing a secure way for the renter to access your car.

Switch to per-mile insurance.
Now that you are driving less, you could save even more money by switching to pay-per-mile car insurance. Your monthly bill will be based on the miles you drive, so if you don’t drive much, you won’t pay much. And don’t worry about the occasional road trip or long drive home during school breaks. With Metromile, you won’t be billed if you drive over 250 miles a day (150 in certain states). Try getting a quote at to see potential savings.

We hope this advice will make going back to school a little less daunting. Have any student cost-saving tips of your own? Send us a tweet @Metromile or let us know in the comments section below!