Motorcycles vs. Cars: Financial And Other Various Factors To Consider

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I have a brother-in-law that absolutely loves motorcycles. He doesn’t just love them. He rides them, races them, and even builds them – from scratch. I am always amazed when I visit and get to see him building an engine or spray painting a gas tank. Not surprisingly, his love of the open road has also allowed him to save big on transportation costs over the years. He doesn’t just ride for fun, he also rides for frugality. Woot woot! And with that, let’s look at the pros and cons of motorcycles vs. cars.

Deciding whether to get a motorcycle or a car can be a difficult decision, especially if you’re trying to make a frugal decision. After all, it’s not like you can easily change your mind if you the wrong one.

Just the idea of posting a vehicle for sale on Craigslist or the FB Marketplace is enough to make me cringe. Not only do you have to manage the posting, you also have to coordinate showings and try to get a fair price. Good luck trying to get that accomplished in short order.

Obviously, doing your homework upfront will allow you to make the best possible decision for your situation. Lucky for you, with the help of my brother-in-law, I developed a pros and cons list for both motorcycles and cars to help you decide if a motorcycle is worth the savings in transportation costs. Read on, my frugal friend.

Pros Of A Motorcycle / Cons Of A Car

Let’s start by taking a look at the benefits of choosing a

motorcycle - motorcycles vs. cars

My brother-in-law’s race bike. Built from scratch. #impressive

motorcycle over a car. The most obvious benefit is that you can save a considerable amount of money by going down this wonderfully adventurous road. You know we love the sound of that!

Not only do motorcycles cost less

to purchase, but they also cost less to maintain and service, too. Plus, they tend to get way better gas mileage than most vehicles. I mean, just imagine only paying a few dollars when you pull up to a gas station? It would be like the 1980s all over again! Sorry, I had to throw that one in for Mr. MMM. He’s a die-hard 80s fan. 🙂 

And because they’re more fuel-effieicent than most standard cars, you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment. It’s hard to argue with that one!

Another benefit of motorcycle ownership is the amount of space required. This is a huge plus when you’re circling around in a big city trying to find a parking space. You’ll be as stealthy as a ninja when you scoot your little motorcycle into a tiny space between two cars.

And, if those pros aren’t enough to make you want to opt for a motorcycle and feel the wind in your hair, don’t forget, it’s also really cool to ride a bike. It’s always fun to be the cool kid – even when you’re a full-grown adult. 🙂

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Pros Of A Car / Cons Of A Motorcycle

While motorcycles are generally cheaper overall, they can be expensive in terms of insurance and repairs.

Motorcycles are expensive to insure because they’re obviously more dangerous. Because you’re not surrounded by a cabin like you are in a car, you’re much more likely to be seriously injured in an accident. And, unfortunately, the statistics aren’t good. If you are in a crash, you’re 26 times more likely to get hurt.

And don’t forget wildlife. My brother-in-law had an unexpected tangle with a deer one summer night a few years ago. Let’s just say the deer won. Fortunately, he was back in the steel saddle and cruising down the highway again after a quick knee surgery and a couple of months of rest.

Mad Money Cat - motorcycles vs. cars

Mad Money Cat is chauffeured around town. #nobikeorcarneeded

Aside from the safety risks, another disadvantage associated with owning a motorcycle instead of a car is that you won’t have a lot of space to take things with you on your daily commute. But, don’t worry, according to my seasoned motorcycle enthusiast brother-in-law, there are tons of workarounds to this conundrum. Companies like Biker Basics make finding workarounds easy, by providing items like backpacks so you can pack up all of your necessities and hit the road.

One last thing to think about is the weather. If you’re planning on riding a bike full time or mostly full time, you’re going to want to get some good gear for inclement weather. And when I say inclement weather, I’m talking about rain. Not snow. I’m not so sure riding a motorcycle in the snow is a good idea, ever. And my brother-in-law definitely doesn’t recommend it.

If you happen to live in an area where the weather is awesome 365 days a year, I hate you. Haha, just kidding. But, good weather is obviously a benefit if you plan to use a motorcycle to commute to work and get around town.

Final Thoughts

Now you’re armed with a better understanding as to whether you should opt for a motorcycle over a car to save a buck.

As mentioned above, there are various factors to consider when choosing between the two. Would you prefer to save more money and space by going for a motorcycle? Or, would you prefer the extra safety that comes with a vehicle? The choice is ours.

What are your thoughts on opting for a motorcycle over a car to save money on transportation? Have you done it, or would you consider it?


2 comments… add one
  • Steveark Dec 7, 2017, 3:27 pm

    One friend, a multi-millionaire in his 40’s killed by a mule deer , a co-worker in a coma for months when a suicidal white tail deer smacked him, a wealthy business partner killed by a blue haired lady pulling out of a mall parking lot. That’s more people than I know who were killed in car wrecks but all my friends drive cars and very few have motorcycles. Also all three were not at fault in any way. I’m sorry but life is too precious to roll the dice in a world full of texting and snap chatting distracted drivers. I’m sticking with shoulder harnesses and air bags.

    • Mad Money Monster Dec 7, 2017, 5:17 pm

      Yeah, I tend to err on the side of caution, as well. I definitely prefer the cabin of a car – but I know plenty of people who enjoy the freedom of a motorcycle to give it up. It’s all about options.

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