Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

Student accommodation guide #4: living at home

Heading to a local university – or one within commuting distance? If you're considering living at home, here are the pros and the cons...

We explain more about all the living options available to you in our student accommodation guide.

Missed out on a place in halls?

If you tried and failed to bag a place in university accommodation, don't panic. You’re not alone – more than one in 10 (13%) of the students we spoke to last year who went through Clearing said they ended up not getting university accommodation.

There are alternative accommodation options open to you, including private student halls or private-rented housing. But if you’re within commuting distance of your university, another option – and one that will significantly cut your costs – is living at home. 

Living at home: pros and cons

Before ruling out other accommodation options, weigh up the pros and cons of staying at home…


  • Cheap option: even with commuting costs, you should save money overall
  • No moving out: one less hassle to worry about when starting university
  • Home perks: someone else to sort out your cooking, washing, cleaning..?


  • Commuting: could take up a lot of your time (and money!)
  • Someone else’s rules: expect less independence than your living-in-halls peers
  • Away from the action: you’ll need to find other ways to meet students. 
Lived with my mum for two first years. Plus points: food, no noisy neighbours, no rent or money issues, free laundry service. Downsides: making friends can be harder and the rules of the house are made by parents.  Third Year Film Studies Student | University Of The West Of England - Bristol

Typical costs: staying at home vs. uni accommodation 

Whatever your arrangement, chances are living at home will be by far your most affordable accommodation option. According to the NUS Homes Fit For Study report, compare average rents of just £72 per month for those staying at home with £426 for university-managed halls, or £366 for privately-rented housing. And the majority of students surveyed who were living at home weren't actually paying any rent at all!

That said, when comparing with other options, do factor in the cost of your commute into university.


Search Which? University

Find further advice or search for information on a course or university

Expert tips for uni - straight to your inbox
Free to students, teachers and parents
Sign me up