For the majority of us, just hopping in the car and driving to wherever we need to be is second nature and we don’t even think about it. Not using a car is unthinkable to many. But, with the huge rise in the price of petrol and diesel over recent months plus the cost of car insurance also increasing, it’s now costing more and more to run a vehicle. So it’s worthwhile considering alternative forms of transport to save you some cash. Using a bicycle is one way that you could save a considerable amount of money and also benefit from a regular work out.
Probably the greatest amount of petrol is used commuting to work and back. Sitting in traffic, alternatively pressing the accelerator and the brake uses a tremendous amount of petrol. So why not cycle to work instead? This isn’t going to be an option for everyone, if you have a 50 mile commute each day then you probably won’t want to try this unless you are a professional cyclist in your spare time! But if it’s only a few miles then it’s certainly worth considering. Plus, your journey will take half the time as you won’t be stuck in lines of traffic each day.
Car tax is another expense for a driver, costing around £200 per annum in the UK. So it may be worthwhile considering whether you can manage without your vehicle completely. Of course, using a pushbike in the winter isn’t much fun. But in the warmer months it’s a great way to get around. So you may want to think about taking your car off the road completely during the summer. This will mean that you do not have to pay car tax for the months that your vehicle is off the road. To do this you must apply for a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) from the DVLA. Whilst your vehicle is covered by a SORN you must not keep it on a public road, it has to be on a driveway or in a garage.
Using your bicycle to get around is also a great way to exercise. If you are cycling a few miles two or three times a week then you are getting a good work out and could cancel that expensive gym membership that is costing you £40 a month. Although a lot of health clubs require you to sign up for a minimum subscription, a lot of them will allow you to put your membership ‘on hold’ for a period of time. It’s worth exploring that option.
Cycling can also save you money at the supermarket, believe it or not. If you decide to use pedal power to do your shopping there is a limited amount of groceries that you are going to be able to fit in your panniers or in your backpack so you will be more selective about what you buy! Use panniers and a backpack as these are the safest ways to carry items on a bike. Hooking carrier bags over the handlebars can unbalance the bike and also interfere with the wheels and you could end up in a heap on the road.
Cycling is a cheap and healthy way to get around. So before you jump in the car for that next trip, it’s worthwhile considering whether you really need to put peddle to the metal or if you would rather put pedal power to work for you. It can save you money, time and also get you outside in the fresh air. Don’t forget to invest in a good cycling helmet though – safety first!
How to apply for a SORN