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Can a Motorcycle Save You Money Over a Car?

Car v motorbike money

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If you need personal transport but are conscious of the costs, a motorcycle generally offers more bang for your buck than a car.

However, there are certain things to consider before getting on those two-wheels.

First, let’s address the obvious savings you can make by buying a motorcycle instead of a 4-wheeler …

1) Cheaper to Buy

Right out of the gate motorcycles are cheaper to buy than cars, whether you’re going for an entry level low-powered model or a top of the range luxury special edition. The same is true whether you go for a brand new or previously owned bike.

Of course, it’s hard to compare like-for-like because they’re different products. But, if you need to purchase a personal mode of transport to get for A to B, a bike is all round cheaper. You can get a brand-new bike for as little as $5,000.

2) Lower Insurance

In general, and based on the lowest liability coverage, motorcycles offer cheaper insurance than cars (mostly because the bike’s value is lower), though your individual circumstances could cause exceptions to this rule.

However, if you have a spotless record and are not a teenager trying to insure a top-end sports bike, then on average bikes are much cheaper to insure.

If you get a bike on finance you are usually then required to get collision and comprehensive coverage, which boosts the cost, but the same level of coverage in a car is also much higher.

Tip: If you don’t want to buy your bike through regular finance, you could always secure a loan online and make the purchase upfront, thus saving on insurance.

3) Better Mileage

Motorbikes also, on average, provide better mileage. This means you can travel further on a bike on the same amount of gas.

So, if you need something to get you to and from work each day, you will spend less at the pumps with a bike.can a motorbike save money

These are the obvious and most important savings, but you will also need to consider the following before making your final decision …

1) Repairs

One area that is likely to set you back in costs with your bike is repairs and maintenance. It is just more common to have to ‘tinker’ with your bike than it is a car and bike owners tend to be more enthusiastic about buying aftermarket parts.

Bike tires often need to be replaced in as short as 3,000 miles, which is much more often than with a car.

Then there’s also the cost of accessories like safety gear to take into account. Full leathers and a helmet can set you back quite a bit and you cannot scrimp on these safety measures.

Despite all this, you’ll still be better off with a bike than a car, but these are certainly costs you must consider.

2) Breakdown Cover

If you’re out on the road on a bike by yourself, you’re going to want comprehensive breakdown cover in case something goes wrong and you’re stranded.

Because bikes tend to need work doing more often, the cost of breakdown cover is usually higher than with cars, but not by an amount that would make a car the overall cheaper option.

3) Hobby vs Necessity

Even if it doesn’t start out that way, riding often becomes a hobby. You’ll start taking longer routes because they’re more scenic, you’ll want to travel to places because you enjoy the ride, you’ll begin buying new parts for the bike and even consider upgrading or buying a second one.

If that’s the case, you may end up spending more than you would have done on a car.

You must also consider whether a bike meets all your needs. Sometimes it’s just not practical and you have to fork out for a rental car. What happens if you start a family?


Ultimately a bike is comparatively cheaper than a car if you use it for the same purpose and buy in the same range, but costs can skyrocket if you’re not careful. Your decision to buy one will also depend on your personal situation.

Do you own a bike for financial reasons? Let us know how you have benefitted in the comments below!

  1. Was this article from an American perspective?
    Bikes can be far more expensive than cars to own and operate and the country you’re in makes a big difference.
    In Australia parts and insurance and maintenance and riding gear and needing to use taxis or hire cars or have access to a car or fitting the bike with sidecar and or trailer adds significantly to the general cost of operating a motorcycle as primary transport.
    A little kei car or other no bigger than a wheelie bin car can get better economy be cheaper to buy and insure and you don’t need riding gear to use it. You can usually transport a passenger or two and a weeks grocery shopping without hooking up trailer and sidecar etc.
    But if you need to commute into a city that allows filtering and has free parking for bikes you can save a lot on parking fuel time and stress! But best of all you have a bike!

  2. If you’re a two-car family you can certainly make the bike option cheaper if you get an economical bike and get rid of one car. I did this all my working life, i.e. wife had the car, I had the bike. A 500cc to 650cc seems to be the sweet spot re economy and practicality.

  3. Other factors … proper protective clothing (extra cost), parking (cost & time saving), cheaper tolls and time saving vs traffic.

  4. My bike costs more to register than my wife’s 4cyl car.
    My bike requires servicing more often (less km between services) than the car.
    Add in all that protective gear.

    I save money on parking (would be $12/day for a car).
    Fuel economy is better, but only by about 1 litre per 100km.
    I save time by filtering through traffic.

    On the motorbike, I get to and from work with a HUGE smile on my face! 🙂

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