Bike vs car: cost comparison

1 of 1

Getting on a moped or bike costs half as much as driving a car, and we’ve got the figures to prove it.

Our research below shows that a 17-year-old driving a car will have spent around £2640 to get on the road, while a 16-year-old riding a moped will have spent just £1288. A saving of over 52%.

If you’re 16+ and are looking to get out on the roads independently, here’s how to do it…

To begin with, you have three options:

• At 16 you are legally allowed to ride a 50cc moped
• At 17 you can either: ride a 125cc motorcycle or drive a car

Here’s how each one prices up…

50cc Moped 125cc Motorcycle Car
Apply for provisional licence £50 £50 £50
40hrs of lessons x x £800
Theory test x x £31
Practical test x x £62
CBT £89 £89 x
Purchase vehicle £695 [2002 Baotian BT49 – 4000 miles] £795 [1999 Honda CG125 – 4000 miles] £575 [1998 Ford Fiesta 1.25 LX – 60,000 miles]
Purchase helmet/gloves/jacket £120 [£50 Jacket, £30 Gloves, £40 Helmet] £120 [£50 Jacket, £30 Gloves, £40 Helmet] x
Tax £15 £15 £125
Insurance £319.22 TPFT £357 TPFT £996.96 TPFT
TOTAL £1288.22 £1426 £2639.96

As the figures show, a large cost of driving a car comes from high insurance premiums: in this case three times more than the cost of insuring a bike.

On top of that, there’s the cost of paying for lessons. While some people may need as little as 20 hours of instruction, some require up to 70 or even 80. The national average is 40hrs, with an additional 20hrs of private practice with a family member or friend.

The big advantage of two-wheelers is that you will be able to travel independently from the day you’ve passed your CBT. The incentives for then going on to get your full bike licence are: being able to carry pillion passengers, ride on motorways and ride larger capacity bikes (as well as not having to renew your CBT every two years). And, as you’ll have spent two years riding on the roads, you may only need a handful of lessons before you take your test, which could cost as little as £200 in total.

Even without the privileges of holding a full license, riding a bike means you can get yourself from A to B at a young age at a very low cost.

To find out more about getting your bike licence visit:

Dan Aspel

By Dan Aspel