Most people might assume that a motorbike is cheaper to run than a car. However, things really aren’t that simple at all, especially when factoring in things like insurance, makes and models, maintenance costs, and even just the amount of usage per vehicle. Answers vary considerably from vehicle to vehicle, driver to driver.
Still, is there a way to put a finger on any kind of conclusive answer here? Well, below are a few things to consider that may shed light on a few general differences here.
Generally, bikes are cheaper to insure, personal circumstances allowing. Cars are larger and have far more components, especially when compared against bikes that aren’t modified. This means there are more chances of things like accidents, breakages and internal faults occurring, with more potential for significant damage.
There’s also the case that new drivers also experience a tough time with insurance premiums too, often getting swindled and borderline robbed out of their money just to get on the road. Biker insurance companies work differently, with companies like Devitt offering insurance policies that bring down new biker’s premiums overtime in a fair and just manner. Bikes are more affordable in that regard.
Still, it’s also worth considering the sudden surge of thefts around motorcycles recently, especially in areas like London. These days there’s almost a subculture around the crime, so ensuring against that growing likelihood in certain areas will be costly for bikers, as their vehicles are easier to both steal and sell on. Cars may well be safer on that score, and thus cheaper to insure on that level.
Fuel and tax
Fuel costs come down to the drivers and how they handle and navigate their vehicle. Still, motorbike users will spend less time doing things like sitting in traffic. After all, they can wind their bikes through stationary cars to the front of any car queue, and after that whizz off to their destination. It’s a small difference once or twice, but over the course of a lifetime, bike riders are spending a lot less time being still with their engines chugging away.
Cars are also taxed on the emissions they pump out into the world too, which is called Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). In a sense then, car owners are charged by how environmentally friendly their vehicles are, and most aren’t! While diesel and petrol vehicles will reportedly be banned by 2040, the reality is most drivers are still causing emissions today. It’s one of the biggest expenses car owners pay up for, whereas bikers are only taxed a smaller rate based on their engine size alone.
There’s no concrete answer as to whether cars or bikes are always cheaper to run. Much of it comes down to the drivers and owners’ behaviours, but bikes are probably cheaper in most (but not all) instances. However, when electric cars become more commonplace, that consensus could well change.