CarRegistrationAdvisors.org’s Guide to Choosing Between a Car and a Motorcycle
It is a common misconception among drivers that owning a motorcycle is always more cost-effective and convenient than owning a car. Realistically, the best way to know if a motorcycle is truly the more economical choice is to consider your personal needs. If you don’t need or have a lot of space, you drive a reasonable amount and don’t mind getting wet occasionally, a motorcycle would save you in gas and time if nothing else. This guide from the team at CarRegistrationAdvisors.org outlines the pros and cons of choosing between a motorcycle and a car for everyday driving.
By themselves, motorcycles are much cheaper than the average car. While most new cars start between $11,000 and $15,000 upfront, most new beginner motorcycles are available for under $10,000. Prices for used motorcycles and cars vary more depending on age and mileage. Motorcycles are also more gas efficient than cars, though you have to fill up more often. They average more than 40 miles per gallon (MPG), some reaching as high as 60 MPG. Cars average between 20 and 30 MPG.
Insurance rates for motorists vary from city to city and are based on a variety of factors including your age, the amount of insured drivers in your area and the age of the vehicle. This means that buying a motorcycle will not necessarily lower your vehicle insurance rates. In fact, in areas where collision insurance is required, the price to insure a motorcycle is sometimes significantly higher. The experts at CarRegistrationAdvisors.org recommend obtaining insurance quotes from a variety of companies and for different makes and models to find out what is the cheapest in your area.
Motorcycle maintenance is cheaper, but only if you know what you are doing. Motorcycles require maintenance more often, including tire replacement every few thousand miles depending on your driving habits. If you or a friend are able to perform the repairs at home, parts can be ordered online and you will save on labor and materials.
There are several more costs included in a motorcycle purchase that are not involved in a car purchase, however. Training classes, motorcycle licenses and proper riding gear are all additional expenses to consider when buying a motorcycle that will raise the price by hundreds of dollars.
Motorcycle safety is very different than car safety. Training classes are highly recommended and even required in many states for beginners as a prerequisite to obtaining a motorcycle license or endorsement, which are also required in most states. These road safety tests usually run at about $300. Additional training is advised to make sure you are as comfortable as possible when operating the bike.
Motorcyclists are able to maneuver through traffic more quickly and easily, but the experts at CarRegistrationAdvisors.org advise that this extra mobility comes with an added safety risk. Other drivers do not always watch out for motorcyclists in their blind spots while changing lanes and making turns. Studies show that motorcyclists are up to 30 percent more likely to suffer a fatal accident while driving than car owners. A car provides the protection of airbags, seatbelts and a metal frame that is designed to absorb a lot of the impact of a collision. Without these features, motorcycles require a lot of additional safety equipment to protect motorists.
A leather jacket is not just a fashion statement for motorcyclists. The thick material protects the rider’s skin from scrapes and burns in case of an accident. Riding pants of a similar material are also recommended in addition to a helmet, gloves and sturdy boots. The team at CarRegistrationAdvisors.org highly recommend full-face helmets for combined face and eye protection. Good quality gear is expensive but necessary for a motorcyclist’s well-being.
If cost and safety are not an issue, experts at CarRegistrationAdvisors.org suggest examining your personal needs and comfort when deciding between a car and a motorcycle. Finding parking for motorcycles is a lot easier than for cars. Motorcycles fit into smaller spaces, so cars that are parked over the line do not hinder parking. There are also parking lots that designate specific spaces for motorcycles only.
If you often need to transport several people or items while you are out and about, a motorcycle will not suffice. A motorcycle can hold two people at most, while a car has a truck and can hold several passengers. Buying a sidecar solves some of these problems, but also cuts into the convenience factor by adding extra bulk and weight.
Riding a motorcycle also leaves you exposed to the elements. Your only protection from rain, snow and other weather conditions is the gear you are wearing. Cars have heaters, air conditioners and shelter from the weather. Many motorcyclists enjoy feeling the breeze while they drive, but car owners achieve a similar experience by rolling down the windows.