For a long time, motorbikes have been a rather polarising topic. You either think they’re a death trap on wheels or a fuel-efficient, not to mention cool, way to get around. But as petrol prices continue to rise, an attitude shift is underway.
The sting of inflation
When your weekly grocery shop costs $50 more than it did a year ago, it costs you double to fill your tank, and your bills seem to be going up and up, there is a combination of factors to blame:
The ongoing impacts of COVIDyep, we’re still dealing with that
Supply chain issues due to severe weather and labour shortages
Recent rate rises
Life’s expensive, so it’s not surprising that many Australians are looking for more affordable ways to get around.
Costs of Car vs Motorbike Ownership
For those seriously considering ditching two wheels and joining the motorcycle crew, there are multiple factors to consider. Some critical questions to ask yourself before buying a motorbike are:
Do you feel confident riding a motorcycle in a variety of traffic conditions?
Are you happy to ride in wet weather?
Can you sacrifice the space and convenience of transporting goods that a car provides?
Are you committed to wearing all the required safety gear every time you go for a ride?
If you answered a firm yes to all of the above, it’s time to talk about costs.
*We couldn’t find enough publicly available information from reputable sources to provide an average. Insurance premiums are determined by where the bike is ridden and stored, the individual’s driving history and licence type, as well as a number of other factors.
Other motorbike costs to consider
Riding a motorbike requires a different licence to your usual driver’s licence – unless you’re keen to zip around on a moped, in which case you only need a car licence in QLD, WA, SA and the NT.
In all states, you are required to complete a Driver Knowledge Test. In many states, a pre-learner course is also mandatory before you can collect your motorbike licence. This usually comes in the form of a two-day, in-person training course.
All of the above come with a cost, which can add up if you don’t pass the firstor second or third time.
Tolls and on-road costs
Toll roads are the bane of every driver’s existence, but there may be some relief for motorcyclists. In some states, toll prices are discountedsometimes halved! for motorbikes. Unfortunately, in NSW, motorcycles are classified as Class 2 vehicles – the same as cars – and therefore come with the standard toll fee on most pay-per-use roads.
Keep in mind that most toll roads are privately owned, and prices for use vary.
Maintenance and repairs
Cars typically have a longer lifespan than motorbikes, so it’s important to service your bike regularly to help it go the distance. As with any second-hand vehicle purchase, motorbikes can come with unexpected problems that require major repairs. Ask around and read reviews to find a trustworthy mechanic. It’s a good idea to send your bike in for a tune-up every 8,000-32,000kms10.
How to finance your motorbike purchase
Unless you have a stack of cash sitting in the bank, you might need some help securing your dream bike.
Disclaimer: This article contains general information only, and is not general advice or personal advice. Wisr Services does not recommend any product or service discussed in this article. You must get your own financial, taxation, or legal advice, and understand any risks before considering whether a product or service discussed in this article may be appropriate for you. We have taken reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but the information is subject to change. We may not update the article to reflect any change. Carefully consider your personal situation before purchasing a vehicle of any kind.
3 Based on registration costs in NSW: https://www.canstar.com.au/car-insurance/registration-cost-nsw/
4 Based on average costs in NSW: https://www.canstar.com.au/car-insurance/what-does-car-insurance-cost/
6 In May 2022, the average fuel price in NSW was $2.05/L for unleaded and $2.10/L for diesel. Calculations are based on the tank size of an average small car https://www.budgetdirect.com.au/car-insurance/research/petrol-diesel-electric-car-ranges.html45L , average large car 65L and the average motorcycle 15L .
8 Based on the average registration cost of a motorcycle in a metropolitan area in Victoria. https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/registration/registration-fees/motorcycle-fees