You’ve been collecting all the stuff you need over the past few weeks – the pots, pans, plates, the bed linen, the towels, the cleaning stuff (yes, we know…) and now it’s time to head off to university. 

But how on earth will you fit all of that into a small hatchback?

While you might think that you’ll never fit that quart into a pint pot, a little judicious preparation will pay dividends. Here are’s top tips:

1. Invest in a roof box

The best piece of advice we could offer is to get a roof box. They might seem expensive but it’s amazing how much you can fit into one, you’ll practically add another one third of space for all your essentials. Plus, think of all the times you will have to come back and forth from uni to home, it will always come in handy. There are of course always future festivals, camping trips and the like so you’re sure to get your money’s worth before long!

2. Space saving vacuum packing

Vacuum packing bags are perfect because they can shrink bulky items, including duvets and jumpers, down into much more manageable sizes that can be shoe-horned into small spaces.

3. Bags not boxes

Try to use bags when you pack your stuff instead of boxes because they can be manipulated into gaps. But, if you need to pack fragile items, use smaller boxes rather than large ones because you can fit them in better.

4. Think big first

It makes sense to pack larger items first and then fit the smaller bags and boxes in and around them – it also helps to keep your centre of gravity low – which is, arguably, better for fuel economy!

5. Safety first

It’s likely that you are taking everything but the kitchen sink, so while your car is laden, you will have to adjust your tyre pressure because of the extra weight (don’t forget to adjust them again after you have unpacked!). Check your handbook to see what pressure they should be.

Make sure that the weight of all your goods and chattels – plus passengers and driver – does not take your car over its Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) or Maximum Permitted Weight (MPW). You can find what your vehicle’s MAM and MPW are by checking the handbook or looking on the VIN plate, which is under the bonnet.

Once everything is safely packed, before driving off, check that you have a clear view through your rear view mirror and that your parcel shelf only has items up to the line of the back seats. Anything above that and they could come flying into the cabin, particularly if you have to brake sharply.

Good luck with your university career!