Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 19th February 2016

Compared to cars, bikes just make sense. Riding them is a form of exercise, they give riders more of a mental workout, you can fit loads of them in a single parking spot, and – let’s be honest with ourselves – they look a lot cooler on the road too! But there’s one big determinant that puts bikes head and shoulders above their four-wheeled cousins – and that’s their price.

Bikes can save road users a fair amount of money, but which costs are affected, and by how much?

Initial outlay

The price difference between a bike and a car is huge, even with used models. A new hatchback might weigh in between £10,000 and £20,000, while some new motorbikes can be bought from as little as £3,500.Used prices differ just as much, and a great bike in good nick can sometimes be snapped up for under a grand. Thinking of test riding a second hand bike? We’d recommend taking a qualified mechanic or experienced biker along to any potential viewings, just to be sure you’re not buying a machine that’s likely to break on the way home!

Spanners and bills

The price of a bike service is roughly about the same as a car, although this depends on the garage, state of the vehicle, and what model the bike is. The service interval for bikes can be quite a bit shorter than that of a car but – providing you don’t push the bike to its limits – the cost of everyday items, such as tyres, will rarely exceed that of a car.

Thanks to the lack of bodywork on a bike, it’s can be easier to conduct your own repairs, meaning enormously slashed costs, both in terms of labour and parts – just make sure you know what you’re doing before you start messing around with the engine or electrics!

More miles, more money

Depending on the motorcycle, bikes regularly outperform cars when it comes down to how many miles you’ll enjoy per gallon of petrol. 30mpg is the lowest value you’d expect from a bike – hardly a gas-guzzler – and miles per gallon scores can easily enter triple figures on less powerful bikes.

Getting cover

Insurance costs for motorcycles are far less than for cars. According to, the average cost of insuring a bike for a year is £210.49, compared to £478 for the average car. Bearing in mind that most bikes well exceed cars when it comes down to performance, and that even high-spec bikes will cost less to insure than the average car, super-fast experiences can be easily attained, all for a hatchback price. Sound good? Get in touch with us to find out just how cheap your bike insurance could be!

The three letter word

The biggest difference between the two is tax. MoneySuperMarket’s research showed that tax for a 125cc motorcycle cost £16, compared to £110 for the average car – a staggering difference of 85%!

Bikes aren’t as expensive as you’d think, and compared to a car they represent a huge bargain. So if you’re thinking of doing your test and swinging your leg over a nippy 125cc or 1,200cc hog, be sure to check our blog for all the latest news, reviews and top tips!