How much can an electric bike save you vs owning a car?

Christmas is an expensive time of year with presents and food to buy during a cost-of-living crisis. Notwithstanding, inflation and geo-political events pushing up energy, food, and fuel prices to the highest they have ever been. Everybody is looking at ways at saving money and an electric bike might just be the answer you need. Let’s take a look at how much an electric bike can save you vs owning a car.

Upfront Costs

The cost of buying a new car has overtaken wages at a rate that is unsustainable for most and the irony is EV’s now average around £50K. Since 2012 the average price of a car has risen sharply from 137% of the average salary to 159% in 2022. That is an increase of 40%. Used car prices are lower but they are rising too and spiked during the pandemic. Compare this to the average outlay of an electric bike, according to the Bicycle Association, at £1850, it is obvious where the savings can be made.

We say consider your next car or your second car an electric bike.

The average cost to buy an electric car in the UK is around £50,000, with EV prices ranging from £22,225 up to £157,160, or even more…

Ebike Finance is a great way to spread the cost of buying a new e-bike and accessories. We can offer finance for online purchases, remotely via email or in-store on any order over £250 excluding a minimum deposit of 10%. Learn more about finance HERE

You can also purchase a new bike using a Cycle To Work scheme. The Cycle to Work Scheme is a government incentive that lets you make significant savings on buying a new electric bike and accessories by paying through tax-free salary sacrifice. The bike is hired from your employer and at the end of the hire period ownership can be transferred.

Employees can use the scheme annually to buy more bikes or spread the cost of future parts, accessories and upgrades. Learn more about Cycle To Work schemes HERE

Fuel Costs

Fuel costs are still a significant outlay for drivers despite prices coming down from their all-time high in July 2022. The average 60 litre car is going to cost you around £90 to fill up at the pumps at current (£1.50 per litre) prices. In 2021, 72% of car journeys were under five miles. Don’t lose sight of this fact. It is true that most car journeys are short, they are inefficient on expensive fuel and the majority of them could be replaced by an electric bike. For regular drivers and commuters perhaps enough to pay for the bike and save money!

In 2021, 72% of car journeys were under five miles...

National Travel Survey 2022

The Math

Let us say a car can average 35 miles to the gallon. So, 1000 miles would take 28.57 gallons or 129.7 litres. At £1.50 per litre, 1000 miles in this car would cost £194.57 in fuel.

For an ebike, let us assume an average range of, say, 50 miles on a full battery which costs 30p to charge. 1000 miles will require 20 charges at 30p, so the total fuel cost for an electric bike will be £6. A massive saving every time you cycle instead of drive. The savings could pay for a new electric bike. Effectively a FREE bike!

A regular 10 mile commute to work on an electric bike could save you over £800 per year + improve fitness + beat the traffic + improve air quality.

We say you don’t have to replace your car but consider the need of a second one and question every short journey you make. Do you actually need to drive if the journey is under 5 miles?

Stationary traffic burns money, wastes time and is bad for us all.

Maintenance Costs

The average cost of a car service depends on its size, make and model but for a small car you are looking at around £150, £50 more for a medium sized car and nearly £400 for a large one and that does not include replacement parts.

Don’t forget too that cars need an MOT. An essential annual vehicle check to assess roadworthiness and safety standards. A MOT usually costs around £55 but that’s just the test, if any work is needed then the annual cost can be much higher. A MOT is due on the third anniversary of the vehicles registration.

Mechanical replacement parts for bikes are far cheaper and service costs average between £35 and £150. It is also true a lot of cyclists can service and maintain their own bikes unlike drivers due to the greater mechanical complexity of cars. Another saving on labour.

Close up man repairing a bike
Bikes are simpler and much cheaper to repair | Image by Freepik

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)

VED is a tax on polluting vehicles. It is not a Road Tax, that was abolished in 1937. It is a charge based on the amount of CO2 cars emit. Electric Vehicles and bikes are exempt but if you drive an old gas-guzzler expect to pay a lot. The average family car costs around £150 a year.
FUN FACT: Roads are paid for by everyone out of general taxation not the mythical road tax or VED


So you can see how much money you can save vs a car if you choose an electric bike instead. Yes, on the face of it, electric bikes can appear expensive at first but the savings can effectively make them cost neutral and you have tools like Finance and Cycle to Work to help you afford one too. You just need to have faith, make the switch and not look back.

We also know that electric bikes aren’t the warm and comfy climate-controlled environments you get in modern cars. What we say is this, life is full of compromises and if you want to achieve something you will need to sacrifice something too, that’s just the reality of life. You don’t have to ditch the car and you don’t have to cycle to work in the pouring rain either. It’s about striking a balance that works for you but whatever you do to change your habits and cycle rather than drive, be sure it will save you money, you will beat the traffic, you will get fitter and you will improve air quality along the way. Don’t lose sight of that achievement.

**Header Image by Freepik

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