One of the biggest expenses that most people tend to complain about is the fluctuation of fuel prices. There is a perception that petrol prices have a larger impact on us than they do. Yes, it costs money to keep the car running. Yes, transportation of food and resources cost more.
According to the government Money Smart resource, the average adult single spends $20 on fuel and utilities yet $24 a week on alcohol.
Having said that, you can really carve up the weekly expenses by getting rid of the car and riding a scooter. I was a scooter commuter for around 3 years. I began my riding career on a cruiser, then a GSXR 750 (not for the faint hearted!) before progressing to a scooter. It began with a trip to Japan and Europe. Scooters are everywhere. Fast, zippy, cheap and easy to park and repair.
When I came back I became enamored by them. I bought an SYM 150VS with only 200 k’s on the clock for $2200. I found it safe, fun and… humbling. No bikers would give me the head nod anymore but I was always laughing when it came to the pump. $6 a fill up with an average of around $3 per 100 kilometres. It was an easy service too. Around $4 in oil and a 15 minute job. I had to change the tyre once which was a whopping $60. Dead cheap!
It wasn’t long before I sold the sports bike and the car, saved a truckload of cash and began my scooter commutes. It was something I looked forward to each day and a boring commute was suddenly made exciting.
The downside is that you must have safety gear! This is an added cost of around $200 or more. Riders are also up to 35 times more likely to have an accident. It also is not much fun riding along on a minus 2 degree morning or when there is torrential rain. I also need to state that I live in a semi rural town where my commute was along dual carriageway roads. If I were to have an accident, it would have been most likely my fault.
Thankfully, over the 3 years I rode, I did not have a single near miss. I’ve had friends who were not so lucky however. Ride conservatively is my advice and weigh up the risks.
Another great aspect of purchasing a scooter is that there is next to no depreciation if you buy well. I’ve only ever lost 10% at the most after owning them for years.