How Much Does It Cost To Ride A Motorcycle?
Summer is on the horizon and the sun is shining, there’s no better time to look into getting a motorcycle licence and enjoying the feeling of freedom that only a motorcycle can bring.
If you’re reading this and contemplating getting yourself set up on a motorbike, I’ll stick my neck on the line and say you’re making the right decision. Completing a CBT Test or full motorcycle licence is the quickest and easiest way of getting on the road and means you can enjoy your summer in the best way possible.... on two wheels!
Before you take the plunge into motorcycle life, it's worth researching exactly how much it costs to get out on the road. We've outlined below a few of the major elements you will need to think about when getting a motorbike or scooter.
Below we will go through the main costs of getting set up on the road, but remember, the prices can of course vary based on your own riding ambitions!
Getting A Motorcycle Licence
The first step is to check what motorcycle you can ride, we’ve written a beginner's guide if you’d like to check.
In order to get the basic qualification for riding a scooter or moped you will have to pass the compulsory basic training known as a CBT test. (Unless you passed your driving licence before 1st Feb 2001, in which case you can ride a moped (max 50cc) without L plates) This can be done in one day and should cost somewhere in the region of £120-£190. As we have mentioned in our CBT article, it’s always worth checking if there are any additional charges such as bike hire or weekend surcharges to look out for.
This is your shortcut to getting on the road! You can get qualified to ride a moped or scooter in typically just one day. It really is that simple.
However, there are further qualifications you will need if you would like to take a passenger. But if you want to get out there and ride solo, this is a far cheaper option than driving a car and far more fun than getting the train in London that's for sure.
You don’t have to pass your full licence before you can drive alone, just remember your L plates! So enjoy the open roads and the fresh air.
Buying Your Motorcycle: Around £2,000
Researching the cost of the motorcycle itself is definitely one of the first things you should consider before going through with your motorcycle licence.
Now, this is obviously very dependent on what bike you can or want to ride. If it’s your first motorbike we would highly recommend you consider buying second hand to save on costs. There are some lovely motorbikes you can get for this price and we’ve written a whole article dedicated to our favourite options for beginners who have just got their motorcycle or CBT licence. You’ll be surprised how beautiful some of them are!
Unless you’re driving around fancying yourself as the next Valentino Rossi, the fuel efficiency on a bike will far exceed that of a car. For example, a full tank on a Vespa is likely to come in at around £14 and if you wanted to push your luck you can get around 125 miles out of this! Or put another way, you can get 125 miles of travel for the same price as one day of commuting on the London Underground!
Motorbike Insurance: Around £500 Per Year
First-time rider insurance on a bike is undeniably a serious cost to take into account. Other than the motorbike/scooter itself, this will likely be your biggest expense.
For some reason it seems comparison websites hold the monopoly on annoying TV adverts however on this occasion, I will have to recommend using them. The best specialist for motorcycle and scooter insurance is The Bike Insurer.
If you want to soften the blow it is well worth considering the following:
Breaking down the insurance into monthly payments. This will mean you don’t have to give your bank account a heart attack and you can still go out for work drinks on Fridays.
One of the major factors for motorcycle insurance costs is theft. Off-street parking will reduce the price of insurance significantly.
Having an address outside of central London will also make a huge difference to your insurance quote.
Buying The Motorcycle Gear: Around £300
Getting protective gear is absolutely essential and could save your life. If you want to be savvy then you should be able to get most of this gear on the cheap. This should make the total costs around £300-£400 depending on what you like. However, a lot of people want to get their licence and ride a motorcycle because they’re in love with the style and culture and not necessarily the practicality. If you’re one of these people, then good choice, grow out that beard and put on those shades. But be careful with your card! You can spend thousands on motorcycle gear quite easily... Trust me…
One tip when looking in-store is to try on some gear, see what you like and what suits you then have a look online. Often you can get the exact same items for a much better price! Check out our article on the best motorcycle denim that you can buy!
Other Motorcycle Costs:
Don’t forget fuel! This is the case with any vehicle of course but should be relatively cheap for a scooter or moped as they have very good miles per gallon. If you fancy a road trip across Europe, definitely budget this in!
A yearly motorcycle MOT service will set you back around £30-£50 and is a legal requirement once the vehicle is 3 years old. If you’re unsure about the MOT service and how it works, have a check on the gov.uk website.
You will need to pay Road Tax but fear not, it’s only around £20 a year.
All in all, you should be able to get on the road and cruise for around £2000 - £3000 depending on what you want to go for. Remember, this isn’t money burnt away; the main cost will be your motorbike/scooter which should hold its value very well as long as you look after it! This means you can always sell it at a later date.
To add to this, costs should come down significantly over time as you’ll only have to pay the running and upkeep costs which will likely be around £500. The others items such as the bike and the gear are already payed for. Your insurance will also decrease over time as your experience grows.
The final thing to consider when looking into the costs of a motorcycle licence is the price of your sanity! If you hate your commute and want a convenient and reliable way to get around whilst undoubtedly looking suave, invest in a bike! You can’t put a price on your happiness, but I bet for £2000 a motorbike will put a smile on your face and brighten your day, every day.