Road trip- Bike vs Car: Which is better? - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Road trip- Bike vs Car: Which is better?

Most of my road trips were in cars. Recently I did a few trips on bikes, thanks to bike rentals that are now available and because of my recently bought new bike. Both bikes and cars have their advantages and disadvantages, when being used for a road trip. In this post of mine, I am trying to compare the two. 

Travel Time
Usually take less time
Usually slower, except in city conditions where bikes can negotiate traffic easily
Top Speed
Relatively less
Toll booth
Always paid, causes delay in case of long queues, factor about 2-3 Rs per km for toll expenses
Usually free, except few places like NICE Road etc, I could catch up with all cars that overtook me at the next toll both where they waited in queue while I could zip ahead in the bike
More space
Less space. Painful if there’re lots of stuff to carry
Relatively Safer. During minor accidents car’s body takes the hit, in case of medium accidents seat belt and airbags can save lives.

Cars are more stable in case of sudden obstacles like a pothole, stones etc
Safety is poor despite wearing helmet, jackets etc. Ride might be thrown off the bike in case of impact, skid etc.

Bike airbags are available, but not common
Fuel Economy
High, bikes can usually go twice or thrice the distance than a car for same amount of money
No of passengers
4-5 comfortably
Max 2, not possible if both have a bag each
Luggage Safety
Bags and other stuff can be kept in car and locked
Since everything is exposed, leaving stuff behind could be risky. Either one has to carry it along or find a cloakroom or plan other means to ensure safey of luggage
AC, Heating, foldable seats on which one can sleep, more comfortable driving position
Not as comfortable as a car, frequent stops are required to relax and refresh
Maneuverability & Access
Narrow roads are not accessible by car. Parking, turning etc will be difficult.
Bikes are more fun to cut a corner at high speed, negotiate small roads/congested roads. Bike can go wherever a car can go, not true other way round
Cost of ownership
Relatively high
Relatively Cheaper to own and maintain
Flat tyres
Relatively easy to manage because of spare wheel
Manageable for bikes with tubeless tyres, puncture kit and a foot pump, but not everyone carries all of these.
Difficult for radials (tube tyres)
Protection from weather
High. Car’s body offers basic defense against adverse nature
Poor. Rider has to suffer chilling wind, rain, hot sun and other elements
Formation, Group rides and photography
Traveling in multiple cars is not that fun as each car will be on its own. You can’t make much formations.
Riding in a group of bikes is more fun, as one can form a formation, single/double file lines etc. It is more fun in group travel than cars
Public appreciation
This depends on how expensive/exotic the car or bike looks like. Riding a 6 lakh Harley can get you more attention than a 9 lakh Ertiga
 Night Drive              
 Fairly comfortable
 Not comfortable, not safe
​17       ​Community Support    ​Not many. Car owners often go on trip alone, do not go in large groups of cars. There're few groups but mostly online, not as active as bike groups​There're many​ active biker communities-by city (Ex: Bangalorebikers), by Bike maker (Ex MadBulls). Very easy to interact with other bikers and plan road tripsBike

As you see, cars have more advantages- 6 for bikes vs 10 for cars. What are your thoughts?

2021 Update: After managing with bike for close to two decades, I have got a car for myself and family use now. Having faced a bike accident last year kind of strengthened my resolve to get a car. I am burning more money but the value proposition of space, comfort and safety doesn't make me regret. Still have the bike for occasional rides.


  1. Your comparison is amazing.
    Thanks for sharing such a valuable information.

    Ghatikallu Best place to visit

  2. nice post,maintenance wise bike is cheaper than car

  3. nice post,maintenance wise bike is cheaper than car

  4. I got a comment by email from an Anonymous user, but that seems to be missing here... copy pasting from email

    Hi, a couple of points to note:

    1) Safety: It is easier to take pre-emptive measures in a bike to avoid hitting that truck coming in the wrong direction. Cars need more room to avoid contact.

    OTOTH cars can prove safer in the event of a collision ONLY if you are wearing seatbelts. Much safer if you have airbags. Else it can be much more dangerous than a bike, where upon crashing you usually slide a lot before coming to rest, whereas in a car, you will fly and hit the seat/dashboard/windshield in front of you.

    That said, if one watches the Global NCAP's crash test videos of Indian cars like the Swift, Figo, etc, it quickly becomes clear that the safety most of our popular cars offer is merely an illusion since they have such a weak frame that it doesn't absorb much impact.

    Hence, riding a bike can actually be safer, provided you know what you are doing.

    2) Luggage safety: unless the car has bullet proof glass, stuff kept in the car is easy to steal. Safest place to keep valuables is the (metal enclosed) boot, which hatches/SUVs/MUVs lack. Head units themselves attract a lot of thieves, who might take a look around the car for other objects once they break in.

    In my experience shopkeepers are usually very friendly to bikers and offer to keep an eye on the bike & the luggage while we roam around.

    3) Overall attitude of other people: I feel ppl are generally more friendlier when I'm on my bike than when I am in a car. Perhaps they find it easier to connect to someone who in their opinion is too poor to buy a car. Even if the bike actually costs more than a hatchback!

    4) Protection from weather: Sitting inside a car with AC set at 22 deg, you can't feel the difference between being in the scorching Thar desert and freezing cold desert of Kashmir. Getting drenched in the rain while riding a bike is simply awesome, don't you think? :D

  5. any review on Mobilio , if yes kindly send me ti my email id.

    Thanks !

  6. Hello, I think bike is the most preferable thing foe road trip any moment. Moreover,maintenance wise bike is cheaper than car. Its very smooth for driving in any way or road side. So I prefer it best. Thanks for the nice post.

  7. @Mahesh Divya

    Sorry, haven't reviewed mobilio. Didn't have a chance. It has flopped in the market. Consider other cars

    @Frank- Thanks for sharing your preference.

  8. Hello, I think bike is the most preferable thing for road trip. Moreover,maintenance wise bike is cheaper than car. Thanks for the post looking forward to it.

  9. I did many long trips on cars...was planning something on bikes. Thanx for enlightening me. (Re reminding me in fact). My opinion believes the bikers are aware of the dangers and hwnce more safe than a comfy car that lets you doze off. Connecting with nature and the environment is more on a bike than on a car. But you did wake me up to what I should be prepared for . !! Excellent work.

  10. Hello, I think bike is the most preferable thing foe road trip any moment. Moreover,maintenance wise bike is cheaper than car. Its very smooth for driving in any way or road side. So I prefer it best.
    Thanks for the nice post.

  11. Hi guys,everyone compares only the advantage and disadvantages in car and bike. What we really should see is the factors of rider who rides it. Not every rider is same on roads.age is not only the factor that tell us what type of ride we select but also factors like wealth of the rider (if maintenance, fuel and toll is not a big thing for him), single rider or family guy, healthy person or with some body issues so much like this when you are 30+. Like somebody previously said the shop keeper will take care off our bike untill we back without taking care of his busy business or call customers for his shop, in those busy tourist places. Not all in busy market places they dare to break the car windows, this is indian not Africa. But a single knife is enough for any kid to sit on your bike and cut bage to take it. If your wealthy enough to afford a car ride than you go for without anyone's advice.if you want to go in budget never think of car just go by your bike. The more safety the more worry free for both you and your family. You cant buy a spare hand if you loose. Last thing if you want to avoid a accident from a wrong side driving truck like shrinidhi hande just go slow or stop the car until he passes you truck drvers are not fool to hit you if they dont like your car, they do care about their vehicles and your life. 99% accidents happen because of our careless driving and uncontrollable way we drive

  12. you have to forget about the scenic views and nature we see while riding on a bike than in a car, some people also get travel sick in a car and start vomiting. In the end it is about what you love. If you love going on bike you must go on bike otherwise car is comfortable. At least it is easy to go on bikes in northern areas.

  13. If you can financially afford car then go for car. Safety should be main concern. Car is like your another home in that you can carry stuffs as much as you want. Wherever you need bike then you can get on rental easily for short/off-road rides.lastly choice is personal.If you want more adventure and thrill then bike is winner.

  14. save money for old age , ride 150/160 cc bike ,you get milege with power , bike is god for poor man

  15. This is just a comparison. Main thing to consider is what you love. I always travel in car and rhat is comfy. But not i like to do bike riding with more than 250cc bikes. Bike ride is fun with all safety gears. You feel like a king with public reaction.


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