I am a promoter of cycling in general, especially for commuting to work. Convincing people, especially motorists, to cycle to work is a challenge. Most understand the benefits of cycling, even if its only a couple of days per week. Health, well-being, money and the environment are definite pros. Let's be honest here. For those that commute via bike, MONEY saving, compared to a car, is a big plus.

Everyone's situation is different (distance, weather, work changing facilities etc..). Several motorists are fond of the idea of cycling to work, but most stop there never take any steps to put it into action. The thought is fleeting, despite most people owning a bike. Some people are plain lazy, but for others it just isn't feasible.

For those who are lazy, they can usually provide some justification. Time, weather, showering at work, bad roads, no cycle lanes etc...

However there is one argument that I have come across that is compelling.

"I have spent so much on my car. Tax, insurance, petrol, servicing and the car itself. I can't justify riding my bike into work if I'm investing so much money on my car in the first place"

For the motorist that says this, is there any appropriate response that offers a solution to their predicament that encourages this person to cycle (even if it's just one day a week?)

My first approach would be to outline the health benefits, but for some, money talks.

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    BTW it seems to me that many people are actually afraid to cycle, especially in rush hour. Some readily admit it, some will use excuses to avoid revealing that fear.
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 21:27
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    The word "invest" is tripping them up. You invest in gold or art or stocks, which may go up or down. You "gamble" on horses or bitcoin. You "pour money into a hole" on a bad car, but there are very few cars that might return more money than they cost. Ergo, vehicles are a liability, not an investment.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 23:22
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    This is my argument and I feel slightly insulted; If I were to replace car use with cycling to work for one day of the week, then I'd have to spend most of the same money on my car (Petrol being only like 25% of my monthly cost) and I'd have to also spend money on a bicycle and gear for that. At that point, it would be cheaper to sell my car and go with public transit, even accounting for cost of time lost. For me, it is a speed/cost tradeoff, and it's only worth it if I can use the car on 95% of workdays.
    – Pimgd
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 11:16
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    @Criggie "Ergo, vehicles are a liability, not an investment." That's a nice line but it's just not true. Vehicle running costs are a liability (an expense that you have to pay); the vehicle itself is an asset (an item of monetary value, albeit depreciating), and "Ergo, vehicles are an asset, not an investment" doesn't sound nearly as persuasive. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 11:55
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    It sounds more like they can't justify investing in their car if they can bike to work, but they don't want to admit that having a car might not be a good decision, so they flip it around. Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 2:57

19 Answers 19


If people actually find coming by car slightly more comfortable/enjoyable, then the money they spent actually is an investment. Therefore the sunk cost argument is not neccesarily a fallacy. Furthermore, even if it were, you will not likely get people on your side by proclaiming that they follow a fallacy.

Hence, it I would approach the situation as follows:

1. Split the situation into financial and non financial

Ask them what is more important, the experience or the financial side of this story. You may need to practise your wording to ask this in a proper way.

2a. If financials are more important for them

Explain that there are 2 scenario's for tomorrow, driving by car or coming by bike. Coming by bike is cheaper, so point out that financially it is better to come by bike tomorrow! (If they were to quote opportunity costs, like less overtime, then coming by car may be the right thing for them.)

2b. If experience is more important for them

Ask them which experience they enjoy more, if they actually enjoy going by car more, then driving by car may be the best thing for them. If they enjoy going by bike, then point out they should just do it! It is more enjoyable and it saves money!

  • I agree about the psychological side of not telling people they follow a fallacy. However, the sunk cost is still a fallacy. Just because you find a car ride more comfortable, doesn't convert the cost put into the car into a reasonable argument. It just converts the gained convenience of going by car into an argument. If you have to keep a car around anyway, you can consider the car ride cheaper than if you kept the car just for those rides, but that's it. The fact that you overpay for the car is not a factor.
    – mastov
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 11:43

It is a known psychological fallacy (sunk costs fallacy) that already having spent too much resources (time, money…) on something that turned out to be a mistake somehow justifies persisting in doing that instead of switching to something else. Because it is irrational, it is hard to use rational logic to persuade.

Maybe pointing out that the very feeling is irrational, and that feelings should not be placed before logic and hard data when making certain decisions will help somewhat. Point out that new information obtained later on can and should affect people's reconsidering of past decisions, instead of living in the past. Also, maybe asking on a forum dedicated to psychology will give better results.

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    This fallacy is normally used when trying to switch away from something that you have already invested money into, but if the person really does need their car for other purposes, it's not a wasted or sunken cost. They're going to continue to pay a lot for the car, so why not use it whenever they can?
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 21:12
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    Anytime a stranger points out that my feelings are "irrational" usually makes me want to fight them by doing the opposite. People first need to feel validated in their feelings, before they can consider possible changes.
    – Rider_X
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 21:14
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    @JPhi1618 Sunk cost is not the same as wasted: it just means you can't change in the future what you already spent (for better or for worse). The cost of doing something in the future is only that additional cost that it will bear in the future. So choosing to bike or not bike should not be affected by how much you've already spent on your car - it should be affected by how much you'd spend on the bike vs. how much you'd spend on the car in the future.
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 22:18
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    @GrigoryRechistov people in most Western societies interpret being labeled "irrational" as an insult. If you suggest driving my car and not cycling to work is "irrational", the opposite of what you are suggesting would be to continue driving and avoid cycling at all costs.
    – Rider_X
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 22:45
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    @Rider_X thanks! Psychology lessons on Bike Exchange :-) Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 22:47

I would simply steer away of the bike vs car perspective, as people will instantly start obsessing over two metrics: cost and speed. Neither of these capture some of the true benefits of cycling. I would also be careful to steer away from any language that could implying that they have been making a "poor choice" by owning and maintaining a car. Rather, I would simply present cycling as a relatively low cost option or supplement that has a lot of potential benefits.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Consistent and predictable commute times (i.e., traffic jams rarely affect cycling times) means reduced mental stress.
  • Can help energize by adding some some adventure and excitement to what is typically a mundane task of going going to work. Furthermore, engaging in early morning exercise can help to further energize you for the work day.
  • A variety of health benefits that have been confirmed in large scale study of 263,450 people, these include the following estimated risk reductions over the 5 year study period:
    • 41% lower risk of dying overall compared to commuting by car or public transport;
    • 52% lower risk of dying from heart disease;
    • 40% lower risk of dying from cancer;
    • 46% lower risk of developing heart disease; and
    • 45% lower risk of developing cancer at all.
    • NOTE: Above summary statistics were copied from Cycling to work: major new study suggests health benefits are staggering, which presents results from researchers in more common language.

If you sell it as "you have been making a mistake" most will tune out and come up with reasons why their current decisions were good. People first need to feel validated in their current feelings (i.e., their choices) before they will be open to hearing about a new or different approaches.

Extra Notes

  • From the witty comments there appears to be some general confusion over what is being measured when we are talking about a reduction risk. Yes, your lifetime risk of dying is unity, but the study is talking about changes in risk between study groups within the study period (about 5 years). These risks were assessed by comparing hazard rates (i.e., number of cases per year) after adjusting for known health influences such as: sex, age, deprivation, ethnicity, smoking, body mass index, other types of physical activity, time spent sitting down and diet. After the adjustments, the adjusted hazard rates for people dying or contract a disease (e.g., cancer) are compared between between groups of interest (e.g., car/public transportation and cycling) to determine change in risk. This is done by comparing the adjusted hazard rates as a ratio (i.e., hazard ratios).
  • These risk reductions apply to the median 5 year study period (not everyone was observed the same amount of time), and are quite frankly enormous effect sizes.
  • Finally, the big assumption is that these risk reductions can be extrapolated outside the study period (i.e., the same risk reduction every 5 years there after). This type assumption is fairly standard and hard to avoid.
  • This may not apply everywhere, but sometimes auto insurance will cost more for those who commute to work via car, so one could conceivably save money by downgrading insurance and cycling. Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 22:10
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    @GentlePurpleRain On the other hand, by not having that insurance, you're committing to never commuting by car, even on days when you're injured or the weather's terrible or you need to carry some heavy thing. That's a pretty large loss of flexibility. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 0:53
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    @DavidRicherby The way my insurance works is that you can commute up to 4 times a month, even with the "pleasure" insurance. If it's more than that, you need the more-expensive "commuter" insurance. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 15:56
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    I'll be glad to have a 41% chance of not dying. Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 2:58
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    @Brad exactly, my previous chance of dying was 100%, but if I bike it's only 59%! I have a 41% chance of living forever. Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 23:28

My case is a particularly striking example: I would have to pay £8 per day to park. Plus another couple of pounds on fuel. I have a collection of bikes, but one that's perfectly adequate for this journey cost less than a single week's parking (second hand). Another week's parking gets a helmet and basic lights, and after that it's as good as free money.

Every journey not made in the car saves fuel, and short journeys use disproportionate amounts of fuel because a lot of the journey is done with a cold engine. This also isn't good for wear and tear. So the journeys that are realistic to do by bike are actually quite expensive. Now I don't know how much you're paying for fuel, and you may not have to pay parking (or tolls etc.) but the savings add up in many cases. Even if you have your car serviced once a year whatever your mileage, you'll need some consumables less often if you drive less, such as tyres (which aren't cheap). Cars also depreciate, and to some extent the mileage is relevant to how much. It's tricky to estimate a running cost per mile, but in the UK a value for tax purposes of 45p/mile exists that's indicative at least. It's a maximum set to make sure people don't use driving as a tax dodge and many employers pay less (including mine). Similarly while you can legally claim 20p per mile for cycling on business using your own bike, not many employers would do that.

Take it to extremes and you can get cheaper insurance by limiting your mileage. I'm expecting to drive only 3000 miles this year, which makes a difference (I hope to cycle twice that far).

Unfortunately some people manage to complain about the cost of a tank of fuel, without ever considering the cost of a journey. These people are the hardest to convince. Even getting them to consider combining journeys is almost impossible.

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    I resist the argument that it can replace going to the gym (with expensive fees) as this seems to rarely be the case. Most bike commuters seem to do other forms of exercise so are unlikely to drop the gym membership.
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 20:23
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    Also just cycling can lead to functional weaknesses and postural weaknesses as the position is similar to sitting. As such, it is a poor substitute for the variety of movement patterns covered in the gym (and why as cyclists we need to do core strengthening and functional movement training).
    – Rider_X
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 21:10
  • @Rider_X that's certainly certainly true for most of us here (enthusiasts of some kind or another). I suspect that while still a good idea for the OP's target audience, suggesting it to them may be counterproductive.
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 21:25
  • Good points on the variable costs of driving. You could also include mileage-related depreciation of the car's value. You could calculate this and combine it with fuel and consumables into a per-mile figure, or consider what cost-per-mile companies typically reimburse for employees using their own vehicles for business travel. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 11:51
  • @JamesBradbury that's a good point too. I do so little mileage that I forget it affects depreciation, plus my only vehicle is a camper van I converted myself and intend to keep indefinitely. Coming up with a single figure depends so much on the individual vehicle that it's probably meaningless, but there's a value for tax purposes that's indicative at least.
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 13:18

Be the change that you want to see in the world

I can't justify riding my bike into work if I'm investing so much money on my car in the first place

That is a totally bogus argument both for them to make and for you to refute. Frankly, I cannot for the life of me imagine any adult person actually believing that. It sounds more like a tongue-in-cheek joke / banter (because they know you as a diehard bike evangelist). It does not even feel like the "sunk cost fallacy" to me, as the question is not at all whether those people should abandon their cars altogether.

That said, I've been in your shoes - albeit for another topic - as well, and tried, for decades, to bring people into my camp against their will. My suggestion: let it be. You are not charged with saving the world, and aggressively trying to change people will very likely annoy or even repel them from the hobby altogether.

I am like your target audience; while I have bike-commuted for two seasons (25km one-way), and liked it, it did just not turn out as a working thing for me. I won't bore you with reasons, but they are not dissimilar to what you hear from everybody else. I am neither stupid, nor lazy, nor fat, nor undisciplined, but there are sometimes priorities that mean that other people do not value that which you seek as high as you do.

That said, what motivates me most, often, is seeing healthy, muscular/lean cyclists in flashy sport clothes taking their cyclocross or road machine along - I certainly can see me doing that again, and probably will at some point of time. But most certainly not because someone gave me some argument of why I should do so. There are few things more off-turning for me than someone with a "better than thou" attitude, telling me how bad I am for not doing what you think is right. You're setting up yourself and the people around you for a lot of frustration.

To motivate them, simply be an example. Be healthy, happy, freshly-aired from a long ride every day, and just let them see how it can go. If someone comes to you with a question, then answer it. Don't stress it. Be very accepting of others, let them feel that you are not judging them. That has a much higher chance of any kind of result.

  • "be the change that you want to see in the world"
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 2:10

That only makes sense if using the car makes up for the cost invested into the car. Say, driving by car saves you so much time that you can work paid overtime that you otherwise couldn't, and you need that overtime pay to pay off the costs the car has incurred even if you would not drive it.

Anything else is rubbish. It's like having bought rat poison and since it turns out that you don't have rats but forgot you ate some of your food yourself, you now need to eat the rat poison in order not to waste it.

You cannot justify bad decisions by making up reasons after the fact. Bad decisions may have direct consequences, but there is no reason to invent consequences by yourself to make yourself feel better.


One halfway compromise is to suggest they drive 95% of the way to work, park in a all-day free carpark, then ride the last 5%. They're less likely to be sweaty after a short ride, and its a good start.

Getting the bike in/out of the car can be a challenge, so I have a couple folding bikes that I lend out. Or they can use a towball/trunk/boot mounted carrier. Roofrack carriers are not cheap.

It doesn't have to be every day either - one ride once a week is a start. And once you're started its easier to contemplate extending, parking the car a bit further away. Till one day they realise the car may as well stay at home.

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    My friend did like that when he lived in an overpopulated hell considered as a capital of a certain big country. The ratio bike/car distance was closer to 50/50 however and the total distance was closer to 40 km. The parking was a bit cheaper, I suppose. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 10:23
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    95% maybe isn't the best figure: if you're going to save substantially on parking costs, you probably need to cycle the last couple of kilometers at least. If that's 5%, it's a long commute. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 11:37

If these people value their cars so much and are concerned about the money spent on it, cycling to work at least some times makes even more sense! By cycling, one prolongs the lifespan of the car with less wear and tear. So they should spend less on servicing over the same period of time, less on petrol and less on city commute taxes if applicable. They could even replace an expensive gym membership with a 2 or 3 times a week cycle to work and back. It is very logical to me.

Having both a car and a bicycle is very appropriate in many parts of the world. I wouldn't try and convince anyone that one is better than the other. I myself cycle to work most days but there are times for various reasons that the car is just better suited and convenient. I own, appreciate and enjoy both and benefit from both. I think if you try that angle you might sway some of these hardcore motorists.

Good luck!

  • Welcome to the site! The point you make about gym membership is somewhat debatable. Many people don't have gym memberships anyway but, even if you do, cycling only really covers aerobic work on your legs, which isn't necessarily everything you're doing at the gym. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 11:35
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    I agree 100% with you David, cycling is definitely not a complete workout. From the perspective of trying to "sell" someone the idea of cycling to work, I think it is still a valid point to consider especially if the person one is trying to convince is already complaining about money spent on the car. If he or she has a gym membership, cycling could be a way to save money, especially if all they do is run on the treadmill or do a spinning class occasionally anyway. It's a possibility.
    – Neville
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 9:30

I would suggest it helps with the "investment" when it comes to selling the used car, as using the car less will keep the mileage down, and you spend that bit less on petrol. And just because you have something, it doesn't mean you have to use it every single time - after all, just because you have money in your pocket, you don't HAVE to spend it. People are so used to popping straight into a car to simply go for a newspaper or any other little thing they don't consider that the car is a convenience, you can learn to use it more judiciously. Perhaps cycling to work is too much to start with, or at all. Start by going to the shop for some odd extras, or to visit someone nearby, post a letter, that sort of thing.


Petrol is not a sunk cost. Every mile you travel in a car costs money on petrol. Even if the rest of it is money you've already spent, you're still saving money on petrol.

And it saves money on a gym membership too. :)


Here's a story that I think wins people over:

I usually just bike in a few days a week, and those are my best days. When I drive, I get stuck in traffic and I end up coming into work feeling dull. When I bike into work, I get my heart going and I feel all warmed up and ready to tackle the day. Biking home is the best part because I get home with more energy too. It is a nice release at the end of the day. Plus, I save a few bucks on gas, and I lose some weight.

I think that story sells that we bike because it feels good, and that is more powerful then trying to bribe or guilt people with an argument based on profitability or environmental concerns.

It also lets people know that they don't need to change their identity and become a bicyclist, they can just be a person who occasionally bikes.

"Give it a shot" may work better than "change your lifestyle".

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    Minor thing - a "biker" rides a motorbike, someone on a bicycle is a cyclist. Of course that makes no sense, but that's English for you.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 1:40
  • @Criggie I'm not sure that's necessarily the case in the US, though it definitely is in the UK. Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 21:40
  • To add more confusion, in South Africa (where we speal British English) we often refer to bicycles as "bikes" but a biker is always someone on a motorcycle. A "bike" though can also be a motorbike so it depends on who you're speaking to. Gets confusing when your in a group of people who do both...lol!
    – Neville
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 9:41
  • @Neville Sounds like it's the same as the UK. (Similar confusion in a recent GCN video where they asked pros how many bikes they own and Adam Hansen included his motorbikes.) Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 13:02

This is the "sunk cost fallacy". What makes a future decision NOW has nothing to do with what you already spent if there is no way to get that money back.

Suppose I don't own a car, but I own a bicycle. It costs me $0 for gas to ride my bike, and I probably can "park" it for free to. So the cost to ride a bike to work is $0.

Now I buy a car for, say, $20,000. If I drive the car to work I have to pay for gas and parking, let's say $10.

So now I could ride the bike to work for $0, or drive the car for $10. If cost is the issue, I'm better off to ride the bike.

Now I buy a fancier car for $50,000. Gas and parking still cost $10. Now which is cheaper, riding the bike or driving the car? It's still the bike, at $0.

Suppose my car breaks down and requires major repairs. These repairs cost $5,000, Now which is cheaper, riding the bike or driving the car? It's still the bike, at $0.

Suppose that, because I ride my bike to work, I never use my car at all, and it just sits in the garage getting rusty. Now which is cheaper, riding the bike or driving the car? It's still the bike, at $0.

It doesn't matter how much I spend on the car. Additional spending on the car will never make it cheaper than riding the bike. Unless something changes so that it costs more to ride the bike -- maybe I have to pay to chain it up somewhere or the city creates a toll that only applies to bicycles -- the bike is always going to be cheaper.

PS I've never ridden a bike to work. My bike was stolen several years ago and I've never bothered to buy a new one, so these days I don't ride a bike at all. But the "I've invested too much in my car" argument is not the reason.


It kind of makes sense for one person. But if that person is living in a household with others, you might shift this topic. How many cars do they have right now? Two? Maybe one would be enough if at least one would switch to cycling to work. That one car would run more Ks, but you will save 50% on all fixed costs. And instead of two old cars, you might even be able to afford to run one modern car.

And who is actually keeping track of the costs of a car? A car is more expensive than you would estimate.


There's no reason you have to either drive or cycle. If it's too far to cycle all the way or a risky road or motorway is involved, a person could drive part of the way, park somewhere suitable and continue the journey by bicycle. We're often too ready instantly to find a reason why not to do something, rather than work out a way how to achieve something.

  • I'm not sure that would sell it, certainly not to me. Having a 2-stage journey to work and the added hassle of loading the bike in the car would turn me off from the idea completely. Mornings are already complicated enough I think for most people especially with kids and/or pets to manage.
    – Neville
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 9:36

As some of the comments pointed out, saying something like "it's not economically viable to bike" is sometimes a cover for "I'm scared to bike" or some other concern.

Lots of ppl are scared to bike for various reasons. Scared of being hit by car, or the more self-conscious fear of trying out a new physical activity in a public sphere, or just unsure about how to plan a new route by bike (I know someone at my work who bought a nice bike but then procrastinated for months on riding to work because she didn't know how to get through our downtown core and onto the main bike path to work), etc.

Also, many ppl may feel they don't know if they're going to like cycling and may not want to make the big investment to figure it out. I.e. what if they spend $500 on a bike, try it a few times only to discover they hate it, and are then out the cost of a bike?

If you encounter someone in any of these situations, and know/trust them well enough, consider loaning them a spare bike if you have one for a few days to try it out. Also, offer to ride with them if you can rework your route to do so. You can show them how to plan a route (bike layers on Google maps, etc.), how to ride safely in traffic, use hand signals, etc, making them feel more comfortable riding. And they get to test out biking without an immediate financial commitment.


One option is to suggest them to sell their car so when don't have those expenses in the future and only use their bike. However selling the car might not be an option for them since the car is very convenient when you need to travel longer distances or when it is raining or too cold. If selling is not an option then they have a good point, because even though using the bike will save some money it is certainly not as much money as if they didn't have a car to begin with. That is because the car has a significative fixed cost. Meaning if you use it or not they have to pay the fixed part just because the own a car. Other points to consider when going to work by bike:

  • It may take more time meaning less time sleeping or doing something else
  • One might need a bath when they arrive at work, meaning even less time sleeping or doing something else
  • Your changes of dying in a bike accident are higher. According to this source:

a cyclist travelling a mile in Great Britain is 15 times more likely to have a fatal accident than a car driver going the same distance

. It is not hard to see that car x bike will result in car "winning" most of the times. Same about bike vs truck or bike vs bus.

  • The feeling of being tired might not be pleasant for a lot of people. And assuming the energy to move from on point to another comes from the person using the bike and not from another combustive mean the person using the bike has to expend a lot of energy and that can be tiring.
  • Or, to summarize it, "Don't cycle to work. It really sucks." How does that encourage people to cycle to work? Of course, cycling isn't appropriate for everybody but your answer just doesn't seem to address the question. Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 1:10
  • The energy one is fallacious. You need 30 minutes of elevated heart rate a day to be a healthy human being. Try a lunchtime or mid-afternoon fast walk at work, and see how much more awake it makes you afterwards.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 1:23
  • " I don't have statistics to back up this claim " <-- Plenty of statics on the web about this. In terms of distance travelled, bikes are safer than cars. eg bbc.com/news/magazine-29878233
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 1:32
  • @Criggie, I think you read it wrong: "Starting with distance travelled, a cyclist travelling a mile in Great Britain is 15 times more likely to have a fatal accident than a car driver going the same distance."
    – Mandrill
    Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 4:36
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    And you're ignoring evidence that cycling to work actually increases your life expectancy because the increased chance of dying on the bike is tiny compared to the health benefits of being fitter and getting more exercise. (See, e.g., Daily Telegraph, Huffington Post, etc.) Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 12:10

I think you could consider using the same argument but for the bike, not the car. Instead of "tax, insurance, petrol, ...", it becomes "bike, accessories, maintenance, ..." This assumes someone spends more than a pittance in the first place, but in my experience (living in a city where people typically start commuting by bike for the first time after moving here) this is quite typical anyway: people start off with a basic bike and helmet and lights, then they realise they need better lights, oh and a better jacket, oh and now it's winter so I need cold-weather clothing, oh and maybe a nicer bike isn't such a bad idea... etc etc.

Of course, it's fairly unlikely that someone will invest more in absolute terms in their bike than in their car. But I'd argue all is not lost, thanks to (weird? illogical?) human psychology. What matters is not the absolute cost, but the cost relative to expectations. Say I have a $5k car and a $1k bike+accessories. Relative to other cars, the car is fairly cheap; relative to other bikes, the bike is fairly expensive. So, in a sense, I have invested more in my bike than my car.

The other way in which I feel invested in my bike is that it takes more maintenance on my part than a car. If I have a problem with my car, I take it to the garage and forget about it. If I have a problem with my bike or it simply needs routine maintenance, I'll put in the time and effort myself. Hence, again, you can reframe the original argument: "I have invested more blood, sweat and tears into my bike than into my car."

Personally, in my case, I also spent a lot more time choosing my bike than my car. And finally, I invested a lot of time in building up my fitness for bike-commuting, and I don't want to lose that. These are yet other ways in which I feel more invested in my bike than my car.


Driving because of how much money they spend on their car doesn't make sense because they would save money by not driving.

As for the point, cycling is great but it involves exercise so it doesn't make sense for me to commute by bicycle. I like to shower right after exercising, and I don't know where I would be able to shower comfortably if I commuted by bicycle.

My recommendations:

  1. Commute by scooter/motorcycle

  2. Ride a bicycle for fun/exercise

  3. Drive a car when you have a date with a girl


The argument you are facing is false, obviously.

The expenses may be divided in two parts, investments and running costs.

Let's call investments all the money you have to pay to have a car i shape and legal. In case of a car there are money you have to pay to buy it, the insurance costs, annual oil change, etc. In case of the bike there are money to buy it, tyres, helmet, lights etc.

Let's call the running costs all the money you have to inevitalby pay to get somewhere. In case of a car it is petrol, tyre wear, brake wear, etc. In case of a bike it is tyre wear, brake wear and your body fat (or a brakfast, you ate in the morning).

The reason for daily commuting is based on a significant difference between running costs, which are not investments at all. Actually, not using a car results in no brake wear, no fuel consumption and limmited tyre wear and oil degradation.

In my particullar case I spend 7k/yr on the insurance (mandatory insurance + windscreen insurance + animal collision), 1k/yr on motor oil and 5k/month on the fuel. Ignoring additional costs on brakes, wipers, screenwash, filters, etc. It's easy to see that the "investments" (I had allready paid in January) are a small money compared to the fuel costs (I have to pay every single month). Last year I drove 30k km - to work, weekend visits, holidays, etc.

There might be a case one bought a car for one purpose: drive it to work and back.Here, switching from driving to riding may be considered as a waste of investments - money spent on insurance and owning are no more used. Suggest another use of the car - weekend trips etc. Therefore the "invested money" are reasonably used and the argument of wasted investment is proved false.

One can temporarily or definitely exclude the car from the database and doesn't need to pay the insurance (and mustn't use the car).

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