Motorbike or Car: Insurance Considerations

In the United Kingdom, individuals seeking transportation options often debate between owning a motorbike or a car. Among other things, some of which will be touched upon below, one significant factor that can play an influence in a persons choice is the cost of insurance. With a few diversions along the way, this article aims to look at some of the factors that impact insurance costs for motorbikes and cars in the UK. The key aspects being age, driving experience, vehicle type, coverage level, usage and overall safety.


Age and Driving Experience

One key factor that influences insurance costs in the UK is the driver's age and level of driving experience. Going on the numbers, younger and inexperienced drivers are more prone to accidents, resulting in higher insurance premiums. Whether a motorbike or car is chosen, individuals under the age of 25 with limited driving experience will likely face disproportionately high insurance costs due to their perceived risk. It is important to note that younger drivers often incur higher motorbike insurance premiums as well just like with car insurance. 

But usually, a motorbike should be less to run for a new, young driver if compared to a car. The same is generally true when it comes to insurance also. However, like cars, there are many factors that will play a role in the annual price. Drivers age, no claims bonus, postcode [is there a lot of vehicle crime in the area], parking location, vehicle engine size and driver history are high on the list of things to consider. Motorbikes are also more susceptible to theft and damage, especially when parked in high crime areas with limited security. 

Vehicle Type

Which to choose, a car or a bike. Generally, motorbikes do tend to be less expensive to insure than cars. This is primarily due to the fact that motorbikes are typically classified as less expensive vehicles overall, both in terms of purchase value and for replacement  / repair costs. Cars on the other hand, are whole new level of expensive, and as a result they do tend to have higher insurance premiums attached to them due to the increased costs that come with repairs and replacement.

Fuel Usage

If we take the whole "electric cars are the more clean for the environment" debate out of the equation. Yes, the "fuel" / energy used in EV's is cleaner than petrol and diesel powered vehicles, but EV's are much worse environmentally overall. The car components used in electric vehicles, in particular lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which power practically all of the top of the range EV's, actually cost a lot more to produce.

And the mining processes for the metals / minerals used in EV batteries other than but including lithium, such as cobalt, nickel, manganese, graphite and copper, and not to mention the eventual disposal of the electric vehicle batteries, is extremely damaging and resource intensive. This poses a much bigger problem for the environment than that which comes from the production and disposal of normal vehicles. And the truth is, right now drivers don't get more mileage from a full charge in an EV when compared to average cars that run on fossil fuels.

Back to the car vs bike fuel comparison. Motorbikes use much less fuel and cost less money to fill up than an average car that uses petrol or diesel. So the saving on fuel costs will definitely be noticed quite quickly with a motorbike.

Insurance Coverage Level

The level of coverage required by the policyholder also plays a considerable role in determining insurance premiums for motorbikes and cars in the UK. The best option for most is comprehensive cover [full cover], which includes protection against theft, vandalism, and damage caused by natural disasters. However, this almost always comes at a much higher price regardless of the vehicle. Third party and third party, fire and theft are generally cheaper but don't have the same level of coverage that full cover has. If you have a really nice car or motorbike that you cherish, you would of course choose fully comprehensive cover. But if you drive an old banger that's not worth much and you couldn't care less about it, then either Third party or third party fire and theft may be better options.

Safety Features

Fact: cars are much safer than motorbikes. Another factor that affects insurance costs is the inherent safety features of a vehicle. Cars are typically equipped with a wide range of safety measures and advanced technologies such as airbags, anti-lock braking systems (ABS), and electronic stability control (ESC). These features do reduce the risk of accidents and potential injuries, which should translate into lower insurance premiums over time. However, with motorbikes, the rider is out there, exposed with minimal protection.


Yes, there are crash helmets, protective pads and clothing that are commonly worn, but the sheer lack of any real, solid safety protection in the form of a real barrier from danger [other vehicles, the road, buildings, lamp posts and 100 other things], can and does equate to taking a much higher risk while out there on the road, and a higher probability for severe accidents and injuries. For this reason I, personally, would always choose to drive a car. Motorbikes can be a lot of fun, but the dangers are just too great in today's world.

And remember, the risks can not be understated, and they are only getting worse. With more in-car entertainment than there's ever been [TV's DVD players, Android stereos etc], smartphones, the stress of being on the road, peoples patience being very low, and life moving at a faster pace than ever before [everyone seems to be in a big rush], car, van and truck drivers are now potentially more distracted than ever before. Needless to say, this is not good news for people who drive motorbikes. 


The mileage and usage patterns of a motorbike or car also significantly impact insurance costs in the UK. Is it being driven to work and back, in a busy city at rush hour. Is the vehicle being driven for How many miles are being driven each month or year. The more a vehicle is out on the road being used, the more the potential for accidents increases. Less mileage per year equals less risk for insurers.

It's your call

Ultimately the choice is yours. Motorbikes are cheaper overall to run and insure, but are one of the least safe forms of transportation. Bikes are also not very practical. Just think of when it rains or is really cold. Which person would you rather be, the one on the bike in the leather bodysuit wearing a big helmet, or the one in the car. Warm, comfortable and cosy, while listening to some music. I know which one I would choose every time, regardless of the extra expense.


Popular Posts