In 2014 sales of motorcycles hit a ten-year high, and 48,000 of the new bikes on the road were scooters or motorcycles. There are many benefits to these small vehicles: they look good, they’re great fun to ride, and they provide an excellent method for getting quickly through urban build-up.
And there’s also another advantage to riding a moped in preference to a car: the cost. For those getting on the road for the first time—likely to be younger people—getting to and from work, school, college or friends’ houses can be an expensive business. Here are several ways that two wheels are better than four when it comes to saving you money:
Cost of machine
A brand new Vespa Primavera 50—as nice a scooter as you’re going to find—costs around £3,200 on the road. Throw in another £200 or so for accessories such as helmets, locks and other essentials, and you’ll be ready for some city action for less than three and a half grand. Visit a Piaggio dealer in London and you’ll probably be able to pick up a Typhoon for around £2,000.
Compare these figures to a new car, which would clock in at nearly double the cost; the cheapest in 2016/17 according to Autoexpress is the Dacia Sendero (£5,995), which may be more practical but is just nowhere near as cool.
The greenest scooter will go far further on a tank of petrol than even the most eco-friendly of cars—while reduced CO2 emissions mean that the cost to the environment is also reduced.
This is likely to be just the start; Vespa, for one, has already announced that it is investing heavily in electric scooters, with the launch of the Elettrica at the Milan Motorcycle show. It will probably be launched later in the year, and is much-anticipated.
The difference in costs between insurance for a car for a 16 or 17 year-old, and insurance for a scooter, is huge. A young driver of a car can now expect to pay £781 on average, which represents an increase of 16% compared to last year, and this is only due to increase in upcoming years.
Meanwhile, a young driver riding a 50cc moped may expect to pay around £220 a year for basic third-party cover. Of course, fully comprehensive cover will be more expensive, but clearly comes with an added level of protection.
The vast majority of scooter and moped engines are under 500cc, which means that you’ll make a single 12-month payment of £18, which will probably not break the bank. Even a 600CC monster only costs £85. Unless you buy an electric car, or a brand new one, your tax bill will probably be higher.
Hopefully it won’t happen, but should you have the odd nick or scratch, the costs of repair would normally be considerably less expensive than the equivalent cost for a car.