Car vs Motorbike, cost and time comparison

I ride to work every day, it’s certainly satisfying passing what I estimate to be close to a thousand stationary cars every day using a combination of bus lanes, transit lanes and filtering. It’s all the more satisfying when you’re moving through cars and seeing the traffic stopped on the paid toll roads like the M2.

I often think about the amount of money spent on tolls, plus the fuel, not to mention environmental costs of dragging a tonne and a half of un-needed metal, plastic and rubber into the city every day when they’re most often only occupied by a single person.

So recently when I needed to take the car to pick up some push bikes, I thought I would track my movements via GPS and compare it to the bike.

On the bike, I skip all the toll roads apart from the Harbour Bridge, which I pay for with the eRider at $90 per quarter, not bad value since it’s unlimited usage averaging out to about $1.38 per work day.


Breakdown of cost

Transport Car Bike
L/100 13.0 3.8
L/1 0.13 0.038
Distance 41.9 41.8
Litres of fuel 5.4 1.6
$ per L 1.15 1.15
Fuel Cost $5.45 $1.62
M2 $6.81 $0.00
Lane Cove Tunnel $3.19 $0.00
Bridge $4.00 $1.38
Total Tolls $14.00 $1.38
Total Cost $19.45 $3.00
Difference +$16.45
Annually $4,276.32

That’s an annual saving of $4,276.32 and that’s only in one direction. My initial workings, since there’s no bridge toll on the way home means the bike cost is $1.62 and the car is $15.45 which works out to a difference of plus $13.83 for the car, $3,596.32 annually.

Obviously, this will differ for each person but that means the total savings for riding a bike to and from work each year in Sydney is for me $7,872.64.

Now for the environmental impact, total fuel saving is 1994 litres annually and using a ratio of 2.31 kgs per litre (source / backup source) that equates to 4.6 tonne of carbon offset per annum.


The car is a 4 cylinder turbo Subaru, the motorbike is a Yamaha MT-07.

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