Happy New Year! At Bikeconomics.ie we know that it is a colder time of year but in Ireland it is not so cold to make a new year’s resolution to cycle more. Apart from being an excellent form of exercise to help you burn off the excesses of Christmas, as well as helping the environment, cycling to work, college, shopping or indeed for exercise is also good for your pocket in helping you save money.
Cost of running a car
Cars cost money: Save thousands of euro per year compared to running & maintaining a car. Think about how much are you paying in motor tax, car insurance, petrol/diesel, service & loan payments? AA Ireland estimates that the average cost per kilometre of a tax Band A car e.g. Ford Focus costs 15.87 cent per km. A tax Band F car e.g. can cost 28.97 cent per km (source AA Ireland)
Car Insurance is going up in 2017: We are hearing it more & more in the media, car insurance premiums in Ireland have gone up & are due to go up further during 2017 according to an S&P report.
Higher oil prices in 2017: OPEC & other leading oil producing countries have decided to cut production to help boost oil prices on world markets. This will lead to higher petrol & diesel costs in Ireland & elsewhere. Be prepared for higher running costs for your car.
Public Transport Costs
As of the 1st January 2017, new higher fares came into effect on a range of public transport services in Ireland. An annual short hop bus, train & Luas ticket can cost upwards of €2,180 per year. Fare increases were applied as follows:
- Dublin Bus & Luas – Increase of 2.6%
- Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail – Increase of up to 4%
- Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail & Dublin Bus – Increase of 1.9%
Source: See more at Taxsaver.ie
How can cycling help your pocket?
Cycling is a personal choice & it requires a little bit of effort. However you will be surprised as to how much you could save:
- Cut your car fuel costs: If you cycled 10km a day x 5 days a week, you would save several hundred euro per year by not using the car during your commute.
- Cut the car out: Many of us just use our car to commute to/from work. Is it worth spending all that money on a car for 1-2 hours of use per day (see our article looking at motoring costs)?
- Cut your public transport costs: If you are travelling in Dublin using Dublin Bus from an outer suburb into the city centre e.g. from Stillorgan, then an annual bus ticket can cost over €1,300 per year (see our article on this issue). Switch to cycling as your commute & you will save, save, save!
- Running costs for a bicycle are low: A bicycle is a low maintenance form of transport. The cost of an annual service is a fraction of one for a car. Parts replacements for bicycles are also very low compared to a car. There are no motor related taxes, fees or insurance costs required for commuting by bicycle.
- Time is money: Traffic congestion in Ireland is rising in Ireland. According to the TomTom Traffic Index, Dublin ranks 15th in the world for the worst traffic congestion. Motorists in Dublin spend an extra 40% travel time per journey on average, compared to what it would take on traffic-free streets & that can rise to 85% extra in the morning peak! If you cycle, you can beat the traffic during rush hour ensuring you get from A to B in a timely manner.
- Good exercise – fight the fat & the gym bills: Cycling can help keep the fat at bay through regular exercise. Instead of paying good money on a little used gym membership, give cycling a try to fight the fat & get some healthy exercise. All free of charge on the open road!
- Health Costs: Numerous national & international studies have shown that regular exercise such as cycling can be excellent for your long term health both mentally & physically. Apart from being good for your health, this potentially helps keep medical bill costs down if you are able to keep serious illnesses such as diabetes, cancers & other illnesses at bay over your lifetime.
All it takes is a little personal effort & you can save yourself a lot of money in various ways over the years &