18 August 2014

  • Average off-campus student faces an 18 mile round trip to lectures

  • One in 10 travel more than 40 miles a day

  • On average, students face a 258 mile round trip to visit their family home

  • New 1|2|3 Student Current Account offers up to 3% interest and a free four year 16-25 Railcard


University students are spending £485 per year travelling to and from university, equivalent to a collective £6671 million, reveals new research2 from the 1l2l3 Student Current Account.

According to the figures, only a fifth (20 per cent) of students live on their university campus and the remainder travel an average of 18.2 miles (9.1 miles each way) to attend lectures or tutorials.

The study of university students found that in addition to the time-consuming and costly travel to lectures, the average student also faces a travel bill of around £72 to visit their family home. On average, students attend universities that are 128.9 miles (258 mile round trip) from their family home, which is perhaps why 39 per cent say they only travel home once a term or less. Thirteen per cent say they do not travel back at all unless it’s a special occasion like Christmas or a birthday.

More than a fifth (22 per cent) of current university students still live in their family home, with two thirds (66 per cent) admitting cost savings are the main reason why they haven’t moved out. This compares to just a third (34 per cent) who say they decided not to move away because there was a good university close enough to where they live.

Steve Pateman, Head of UK Banking commented: “Being a student can be very costly, particularly if you have significant travel costs to cover. As the cost of travel continues to rise, students will need to ensure they make the most of their money and take advantage of cost savings wherever possible. Our new 1l2l3 Student Current Account allows students to earn up to 3% interest on balances and offers savings of over £7003 on train fares with the free 4-year 16-25 Railcard, which could go a long way towards bringing travel costs down.”

Students studying in and around Edinburgh are the furthest away from their family homes, travelling on average 174.5 miles each way to visit their home city. In contrast, students who attend universities in and around Birmingham have stayed closer to home, facing an average journey of 105.9 miles each way.

Table one: Distance from family home by university city

Closest city to university Distance from family home (miles)
Edinburgh  174.5
Plymouth  168.6
Glasgow  145.9
Cardiff  145.2
Bristol  143.2
Cambridge  143.0
Manchester  135.6
Leeds  125.3
London 122.3
Liverpool  114.1
Oxford  112.5
Nottingham 110.4
 Sheffield 108.0
Birmingham  105.9
Average  128.9


The 1|2|3 Student Current Account offers an interest-free, fee-free Arranged Overdraft up to a maximum of £1,500 in the first three years of study, £1,800 in year four and up to £2,000 in year five. The Santander 16-25 Railcard, in-credit interest and interest-free Arranged Overdraft show the long term value Santander is offering, which is why more students opened their accounts with Santander than any other bank in 20134.

“Watch our latest spoof advert which supports the new 1|2|3 Student Current Account and features Jenson Button, and visit the Santander Students facebook page for the chance to win three interailing tickets for you and two friends with £1,000 spending money each. Plus there is a daily prize draw of £123 daily prize draw for everyone who enters. Visit to enter.”

- Ends -

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

Notes to Editors
1) According to 2012/13 HESA Data, there are 1,381,121 full time undergraduate students in the UK. On average students spend £485 a year on their university commutes. 485*1381121= 669843685
2) Research conducted by YouthSight, 24th – 26th June 2014 amongst a UK representative sample of 2,000 full time undergraduate students.
3) Source: ATOC. *Average annual 16-25 Railcard saving over 4 years based on average saving in 2013.
4) Santander has a 38% Market Share, scoring #1 in September and October 2013, according to CACI.

Santander’s 1|2|3 Student Current Account offers:
Credit interest on the balance;
-1.00% AER/gross (variable) on balances £100 or more
-2.00% AER/ 1.98% gross (variable) on balances £200 or more
-3.00% AER/ 2.96% gross (variable) on balances £300 or more (up to £2,000)

Interest-free and fee-free Arranged Overdraft;
-£1,500 in years 1, 2 and 3
-£1,800 in year 4
-£2,000 in year 5

VISA debit card (option of contactless)

Easy access- withdraw up to £300 daily without charge

Online and Mobile banking - allowing customers to check statements, pay bills, move money and lots more.

1|2|3 Postgraduate Current Accounts offers:
Interest-free and fee-free Arranged Overdraft;-£1,500 in years 1, 2 and 3 -£1,800 in year 4

1|2|3 Graduate Current Account offers;
Interest free and fee-free arranged overdraft; up to £2,000

Terms and conditions apply. Please visit

About Us

Santander UK is a leading financial services provider in the UK and offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 31 December 2013, Santander UK serves more than 14 million active customers with c. 20,000 employees, c. 1,000 branches and 50 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

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