By Mark Stillman
Freshers are gaining a degree of independence when it comes to motoring - with half of them owning a full driving licence, according to a new poll.
First-year higher education students have become self-sufficient away from the family home when it comes to transport - with a third saying they keep their car with them at university or college.
Over 11,000 freshers, mainly aged 18 to 20, were questioned about their driving status for UCAS Media higher education marketing experts.
In addition to those who hold full driving licences, 16 per cent said they are now learning to drive and 23 per cent plan to try "in the next couple of years". About 10 per cent said they did not drive at all.
The statistics were revealed by a poll conducted last December.
This was targeted at students who had recently applied through UCAS - the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry to higher education - and had just started at university or college.
More than 5,000 of the students polled answered the questions about car ownership and usage.
One in two said they possessed their own car, over one in five (22 per cent) said they used a parent's or relative's car and a quarter said they had no access to a vehicle.
The survey found that freshers are loath to raid their savings or increase their loans by spending too much on a car.
Nearly half said they would spend £1,000 or under. Almost 38 per cent said they would spend between £501 and £1000 and just over 11 per cent said they would pay under £500.
More than a quarter said they would pay up to £2,000, 10 per cent said they would spend a maximum £3,000 and only three per cent said they would go up to £5,000.