As I have stated earlier, bike commuting has a lot of great benefits, and probably the most financially rewarding is the elimination of a second car. Take Mr Car Commuter. He has a wife and two kids. They both have a car and he lives 8 miles from work. Mr Car Commuter is doing something for his health too- he belongs to a gym, and goes there three times a week. He does the elliptical for an hour each workout.
Mr Car Commuter has been reading some awesome blogs, such as this one, and gets motivated to take up bike commuting to work. However, he is unsure and wants to know how much he can save?
So let us assume in the first case that Mr Car Commuter’s drive is mostly city driving and it takes him 17 minutes a day each way to get to work – without traffic jams. His only exercise is when he goes to the gym. Mr Car Commuter does the elliptical trainer at his gym and burns 770 calories an hour. Additionally, he gets to enjoy the morning and afternoon traffic with all his fellow car commuters. The right to enjoy this hell, costs him about $6500 a year in car costs, maintenance, gas, oil, gym membership and insurance.
Now, after Mr Car commuter decides to hang up the car keys and become Mr Bike Commuter. His commute time is now 34 minutes each way, and he burns about 950 Calories a day. He no longer needs to go to the gym because of the calories he is burning. His route to work is no longer stressful and he gets to avoid the traffic jams. Moving to a bike does cost him a bit- I estimate around $300 a year. So net, the new Mr Bike Commuter gets to pocket $6200 a year, every year.
The excel file below shows the comparison:
|Monthly costs||Low cost Car Commuting||High cost Car commuting||Biking Costs|
|Monthly total costs||$532.14||$561.50||$24.86|
|Annual total costs||$6,385.68||$6,738.00||$298.33|
As you see above I took the average gas prices from June of 2014 for the US and took the highest and lowest to make a comparison. I picked $6500 as an average annual number. What is also important is just the right to own the car costs you some $4500 a year. Also, I assumed that you would borrow the money to buy the bike, which is not right I know, but allows me to easily compare the two scenarios. The savings are real, I know from personal experience.
|Car Commuting||Bike Commuting|
|avg time 1 way||17||min||34||min|
|time spent at gym per day||36||min||–||min|
|total time traveling and working out||70||min||69||min|
|Calories burned per day||
What is also important is our Mr Car Commuter wants to take care of his health and is working out 3 days a week. What he was not aware of is the time spent at the gym 3x a week adds up as well, and if he moves over to a bike then it takes about the same amount of time as driving and in the gym, and he can burn about twice as many calories per day over the car/gym option.
In Summary, moving over to bike commuting means you can eliminate the need for the second car and start pocketing around $6000 a year. Additionally, you get good consistent exercise every day.
That is a good chunk of money.
Let me know what you thought. If you want the excel file, just email me and I will send to you.
Thanks and happy riding 🙂