If you’re looking to get a bike to save money, ditching the car in favor of walking or cycling to work can be a game-changer.
But is it really cheaper to switch to a bike, and is it worth it?
The first thing to note is that there are some pros and cons to cycling instead of driving.
Pros of switching to a bike
It’s a healthier alternative
There’s no doubt about it, cycling rather than driving will have a huge benefit to your health. Even if you replace your daily drive once or twice a week with cycling, the benefits of increased exercise are:
- Weight loss
- Better mental health
- Increased energy
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
If you already have a gym membership, replacing that with regular cycling can help you save money as well.
It’s much cheaper
While there is the initial cost and the cost of maintenance to think about, both of these things will end up much cheaper in the long run than filling up your car with gas every week.
Running your car daily will also add to wear and tear which requires regular maintenance. By using it less often, you could potentially save money on that as well.
Another saving you can make with a bike vs. a car is on parking costs. Those who work in cities will often grumble at the price of parking (and the difficulty of finding a spot). But with a bike, you don’t have to worry about that.
It’s better for the environment
Fewer cars on the road is only a good thing for the environment. There’s also less wear and tear on roads, less traffic and congestion.
Cons of switching to a bike
If you don’t already have a bike, a new one could set you back $500 or more if you want a reliable model. You will likely also need to pay for cycling clothes, shoes, a helmet, bike pump, bike lights, and other equipment.
While it’s significantly less than buying a new car, this initial cost can put some people off – especially if they’re looking to save money first and foremost.
A slightly bumpy trail on the way to work can end up in a quick puncture. Regular cyclists need to contend with regular punctures and other maintenance costs. These may be cheaper than taking your car to a garage, but they can add up over time.
Many issues you’ll be able to handle yourself but they can be time-consuming to fix. Remember maintenance isn’t just something you do when something breaks either. You need to do regular chain lubing, cleaning, changing tires, buying new parts on top of fixing things like punctures.
One of the main reasons people don’t like cycling to work is because you’re far more exposed on a bike than in a car. You’re also smaller and drivers often don’t notice cyclists when changing lanes, for example. That means you always have to be vigilant.
Is it worth cycling instead of driving to save on transportation costs?
Once you invest in a bike and equipment, it is almost always cheaper to cycle than it is to drive. With fuel costs as high as they are now (with no sign of dropping), for many, it’s a no-brainer to save some money.
Is it worth completely ditching your car?
One exercise you can do is to add up all the monthly costs related to your car. This could be maintenance, insurance, tax, and so on. And then go through your bank statements to see how much gas on average you’re buying each month.
Shop around for bikes to find an average cost that fits into your budget and also price up the cost of accessories you’ll need. Compare your initial cost of buying a bike vs. the ongoing costs of running a car.
At some point, you’ll “break-even” and it could be way sooner than you think.
What if you want to keep your car and also cycle?
If you intend on keeping your car, another thing you could try is looking at how much you usually spend on gas a week, dividing that by your typical number of driving days, for example, five working days, to find out the average cost per day.
Cycling just twice a week will reduce your gas cost by that amount each week – which could be a significant saving over time.
Overall, switching just once or twice a week can have great benefits on your health and wallet. But it’s important to be aware of all the pros and cons before you make your decision.
Are you ready to give biking a chance at becoming your main transportation source but need money to buy the bike, helmet and accessories? If so, consider an online loan from Jora Credit today.