Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  22 Jul 2011

INSURANCE: Considering a Motorbike? Know the Hidden Costs.


Recent Gauteng Business News

With fuel prices and toll fees on the rise, and traffic congestion eating hours out of every day, more and more people are considering motorcycles as a more convenient and cost-effective transport option. But, says direct insurer MiWay, consumers should consider all the costs before making their decision.

“There are a number of hidden costs you need to know about when you are choosing a bike,” says MiWay’s Terry Terblanche, who heads up the company’s specialist bike insurance division.

For starters, says Terblanche, bikes need to be serviced more often than cars – and most are not sold with a maintenance plan. “This means the cost of maintaining a bike is proportionately higher than that of maintaining a car,” he says. “You need to factor that into your budget.”

Bike tyres also don’t last as long as car tyres, says Terblanche. “On a superbike, for example, the rear tyre will typically last 3 000 - 6 000 km and the front tyre 6 000 - 10 000 km, depending on your drive style.”

Then there are costly non-standard accessories such as slip-on exhausts and steering dampers, which Terblanche says are very popular in the South African market. “These can be included in your finance plan, but be aware they will affect your repayments.”

What’s not included in most finance plans is riding gear such as helmets and leathers, which are essential for safe riding. “If you want good-quality riding gear – and it’s strongly recommended – you need to budget for that expense as well,” says Terblanche.

Then there is the cost of insuring all this. “Bike premiums can be cheaper than car premiums, obviously depending on your insurance history and risk profile, but you will typically pay a higher excess if you claim,” says Terblanche. “When you are planning your purchase, make sure you will be able to afford your monthly insurance premiums as well as the repayments on your bike.”

Finally, you should consider the costs of enjoying your bike to the full, for example by participating in breakfast runs, rallies and track days.

“A bike can definitely be more affordable than a car, but you need to buy the right one for your budget and lifestyle,” says Terblanche. “If you make the right choice, you should be able to enjoy years of pleasure from your bike.”

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