British commuters are increasingly turning to two-wheels in a bid to beat escalating transport costs. More than 32,000 new scooters were registered last year, an increase of 10% and one-in-three new powered two wheelers sold in the UK was a scooter.
Whether travelling by bus, car or train, British commuters are facing massively increased costs. Inflation may be running at 5.2% (RPI) but rail fares will rise by an average of 5.9% this year while bus tickets could cost up to 20% more in many regions. The price of a litre of petrol rocketed by 12%, from £5.40/gallon in November 2010 to £6/gallon last November, while diesel users were hit even harder as prices at the pumps increasing by 14% to hit £6.40/gallon.
Richard Davies of Peugeot Scooters reports that sales rose by 46% in 2011; “Over the past couple of years Peugeot have introduced several new 50cc and 125cc scooters aimed specifically at customers looking for affordable everyday transport and as a direct result our sales in general are up and in Greater London we saw a 62% increase”.
“Without a doubt the overriding factor driving customers into the showrooms is the price of petrol and diesel. An average small capacity scooter is twice as economical as a car for fuel, so you can instantly halve your motoring costs.”
It's not only fuel costs that can be saved by switching to scooters. Road tax for motorcycles under 150cc is just £16 per year, compared to £165 for a car in band G, parking is almost universally free and time saved by liberating commuters stuck in traffic jams or waiting for public transport.
* UK new scooter registrations 2011 = 32,326, 11.7% up on 2010 (28,941). Source mcia.co.uk