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Millions of Commuters Could Save Pounds

29th June 2009

5.5 million car commuters* could save themselves money by switching to two wheels, according to the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI), on publication of a new survey carried out for National Motorcycle Week 2009.

The survey demonstrates that riding a motorcycle is one of the most cost-effective ways to travel, which could help millions of commuters slash their weekly budgets, particularly relevant in the current economic climate. Employers would also benefit as employees would waste less time stuck in traffic and are less likely to be late for week

One quarter of bikers (24%) in the survey** who rode their bike to work said they chose to commute on two wheels because it was cheaper. Only 2 per cent of motorists said that their car was the cheapest means of getting to work .

The main motivations for choosing four wheels were practicality (47%) and convenience (35%). However, practicality was also the biggest motivation for commuting by motorcycle, with 28 per cent of riders saying this was the reason they rode to work. Cheaper and easier parking, as well as not being trapped by limited public transport timetables are some of the factors that make powered-two wheelers more practical. So along with its cost saving benefits it really is the modern alternative choice for commuters.

Measures to improve the practicality and convenience of riding to work can include having a space made available to change from riding gear to working clothes – this is often also welcomed by pedal cyclists and runners too.

Almost 4 million people hold licences, which allow them to ride a bike, scooter or moped. With just 1.5 million of these actively riding, around 3 million people could opt to commute on a bike and save money, as well as enjoy the freedom and convenience of a practical powered two-wheeler. The MCI is urging these lapsed riders to see National Motorcycle Week as the perfect opportunity to make the switch.

The survey, carried out for the MCI by YouGov, also found that:-

  • The most typical cost of commuting was between £11 and £20 per week, with 27 per cent of commuters agreeing this their total spend in an average week.
  • Four per cent of commuters spent over £50 in an average week.
  • Sixty per cent of motorcycle commuters spent £10 or less a week on their commute.
  • Sixty one per cent of car commuters spent over £10.Eight percent spent over £40 per week.
  • One-fifth of train commuters (20 per cent) spent over £50 a week getting to and from work.
  • No motorcyclist spent more than £50 in a week.

The MCI is calling on transport planners and employers to recognise the benefits of motorcycling as a cost-effective and practical means of transport, and to do more to support motorcycle commuting as a congestion-busting measure alongside the higher-profile options of car-sharing and public transport.

Sheila Rainger, MCIA spokesperson said, “ This research lifts the lid on one of biking’s best-kept secrets – two wheeled commuters aren’t just saving time, they are saving money too. The role of the motorcycle as a commuter workhorse is often forgotten by our policy-makers, despite the fact that 65% of two-wheel journeys are made for work or education.

“We hope that this National Motorcycle Week, some of the UK’s million lapsed riders will realise that getting back onto their bikes isn’t just fun, it also makes sound financial sense.

“Even people without a licence would soon see a return on their investment, as their initial financial outlay on lessons, test and kit will soon be recouped in cost savings, congestion avoidance and faster journey times.”


* Calculated on the basis of 18 million car commuters, as stated in “The UK commute: Healthy or hazardous? An analysis of current commuting trends.” RAC Foundation 2007.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,136 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th – 11th June 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).