Cycling: 22 times cheaper than driving
Pro-cycling association Gracq has calculated the real cost of cycling, including all additional but essential safety features. Thus, cycling costs the average household 300 euros per year while a car would cost up to 22 times more (6.600 euros).
The modal share of cycling the Belgian transport has been increasing over the last few years. Of course, with its well-maintained network of cycling paths, Flanders leads the pack. But, more and more Brussels citizens chose to go to work on two wheels. Pro-cycling association Gracq has calculated the real cost of such means of transport. For the average household, it will cost 300 euros per year. A car would require 6.600 euros per year or 22 times more.
Of course, cycling wouldn’t be possible without a bicycle. New bike prices can start as low as 150 euros for low-end machines. Specialists recommend a product ranging from 500 to 1.000 euros, with only the quality of the chain and mudguards making the difference.
Electrically assisted bicycles are in a whole different ballpark. Of course, their new technology bumps the prices up. On average, an e-bike costs between 1.500 and 3.000 euros. “It depends on the type of motor, battery, technology or the quality of the components,” explains a Bike Avenue shop’s salesman.
While wearing a helmet isn’t technically required by the traffic code, all road safety associations, and even the police would like every cyclist to wear one. Prices can range from 15 to 200 euros. “Even with a cheap helmet, you stay protected,” adds the KM 10 bicycle shop manager.
When driving at night, lighting is essential. Any kind of light is available from 9 to 20 euros in all bike shops. Gracq also advises cyclists to equip their bikes with a lock but not the cheapest one. “A lock that is too thin isn’t as strong,” notes the association. Prices range from 50 to 150 euros.
In addition to the abovementioned essential features, cyclists can opt for all kinds of additional accessories, such as tire repair kits, pumps, bells, and bags. Prices range widely depending on the accessory.
For maintenance, specialists estimate that the average cost of bicycle maintenance hovers around 100 euros per year, according to the use.
When a bicycle costs more than 1.000 euros, experts advise cyclists to opt for theft insurance. It can cost as little as 70 euros. For employees who decide to go to work on a bike, the ‘bicycle allowance’ can cover their running costs.
The employee thus receives 0,24 euros per kilometer. Plus, that amount is tax exempt. Employers also can make some bicycles available to their employees.