Car vs Motorcycle: Differences to Know

It can be fun choosing a new pair of wheels to add to the driveway! You may be wondering: should I choose a car or a motorcycle? Before making such an important decision, it is critical to understand the differences between the two before making any commitments or purchases.


Many people choose motorcycles because, according to It Still Runs, they tend to be more fuel-efficient and cheaper upfront. While these are good reasons for considering the purchase of a motorcycle instead of a car, it is important to recognize that motorcycle insurance is usually more expensive than car insurance. If you maintain a good driving record, the cost of motorcycle insurance generally decreases; however, if you have an accident history, you may have to pay much more than expected for insurance per month.


Every state carries its own laws, regulations, and requirements concerning motorcycles and cars. Depending on where you live, motorcycle insurance may not be mandatory, while car insurance usually is. Furthermore, depending on the state, you may not be obligated to wear a helmet while riding your motorcycle. Before purchasing a bike, make sure you research your state’s requirements concerning insurance, safety, and liability.

Depending on whether you drive a motorcycle or a car, you need a different license for each. Unfortunately, you can’t use your regular driver’s license to legally ride a motorcycle. If you so choose to get a motorcycle rather than a car, you will need to get a motorcycle permit, separate from your regular driver’s license.


Most people who prefer cars over motorcycles do so because of safety reasons. There is no doubt, given motorcyclist’s vulnerability on the road, that riders risk serious injury or even death. While fatal car accidents do occur, the probability of getting in a serious accident is quite a bit higher for motorcycles than automobiles. This is because motorcycles are smaller and harder to see, making them more likely to be hit by distracted or ignorant drivers. They lack the structural protection that a car has.

However, keep in mind that there are ways to safely ride a motorcycle. According to Bruscato Law, the most important safety practices for motorcycles are:

  • wearing a helmet
  • using eye protection
  • following lighting regulations
  • using both hands
  • passing on the left
  • following handlebar height limit
  • Not splitting lanes
  • following passenger age limits

Remember that you are harder for cars to see, so stay out of blind spots and drive defensively.

Consider Your Needs

While many people love feeling the wind on their face and the power they feel while riding a motorcycle, motorcycles aren’t always the most practical form of transportation. Depending on your lifestyle, it may be better to get a car, even if motorcycles are more exciting, fuel efficient, or cheaper.

Before making your purchase, be honest about your transportation needs. Do you frequently have to haul luggage around? Do you often taxi coworkers or children to various places? Do you live in an area that frequently gets icy, rainy, or experiences extreme temperatures? If so, a motorcycle may not be the best option for you.

The Environment

There is no doubt that motorcycles are more fuel efficient than cars. Furthermore, they emit less greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, that result in unfriendly air pollutants. However, most people don’t realize that motorcycles, like cars, do still produce and release other harmful toxins into the air, such as carbon monoxide. This said, don’t be fooled that one mode of transportation is significantly ‘greener’ than the other.


One negative aspect about owning a car is that they tend to need constant maintenance. Cars are expensive to clean and require hours of vacuuming and scrubbing. Conversely, Revzilla claims that motorcycles tend to be much easier to maintain. Not only are they easier to store and protect, but cleaning a motorcycle is a breeze compared to cleaning a car. Furthermore, most motorcycle owners don’t have to take their bike into the repair shop as often as car owners, which can be a big money saver.

Don’t get too intimidated by motorcycles. They actually have several advantages over cars. As long as you do your research, weigh the costs and benefits, and consider your personal transportation needs, there is no doubt that you will make the right decision when it comes to your new ride.

Related: Why Are European Cars Seen As Such a Luxury Item?

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