Hands up all those who think that this article is going to be about motorbikes and being approved for a loan so you can buy yourself a new motorcycle or so you can get the school leaver in your family a form of transport that’s relatively cheap to run so he or she can get to that first job next year. Well, we can certainly help you with this process and some of our posts earlier this year have covered issued to do with motorbikes and how to choose them.
But that’s not the only sort of bike you might need a loan for. These days, if you want a really good one, you might even need to take out a loan to buy a pushbike. Yes, a pushbike. While you can still find bikes of the sort that most readers knew when they were kids (and at the same sort of prices that won’t break the bank or require a loan), a really good bike can cost more than a second-hand car.
Bikes have come a long, long way in the last twenty-odd years, and they’ve been developing much faster than cars have. Twenty years ago, a really good bike had 12 gears and a car had five. Now, a really good new car has eight gears but a top-range bike can have 24 or more. Bikes have got lighter, too, with the best ones being made of pure carbon fibre. Add in suspension and you have something lighter, faster and capable of tackling rougher terrain than the old BMXes we used to muck about with. No wonder these bikes cost well into the thousands and why you may need to take out a loan to buy one for yourself this Christmas.
Why are bikes getting so good? These top-notch bikes aren’t just the domain of professional mountain bikers, stunt cyclists and Olympic racers. These bikes are being used for commuting; hence the demand for better, more efficient machines. There’s also a bit of a prestige thing going on if you do decide to ditch the car and cycle to work for whatever reason, and you’re the manager, it looks a bit better if you have a very, very good bike parked in the workplace parking space rather than the rusty old clunker you’ve had since high school. Lighter bikes are also more compatible with other forms of public transport, as it’s easier to get a carbon fibre bike onto a bus or train than a big steel or even aluminium one.
The one big advantage that a bike has over a car is that it will eventually pay itself off in savings you don’t need petrol to fuel a bike (and you’ll probably save on gym memberships). This means that if you do take out a loan to buy a good bike, you will be able to put the money you would have spent on petrol into the weekly repayments. This brings out another advantage of taking out a loan to buy a good bike rather than saving up and getting one in six months time: having to make those weekly or fortnightly repayments helps you stay motivated to keep using the bike for your commute so you don’t have to pay for petrol as well as the weekly repayments.
When you buy your bike, don’t forget the other bits you’re going to need. You will need a good helmet and possibly some high-viz gear for daytime.You’ll definitely need lights for night-time and you will also need a very heavy-duty security lock. There are tons of other accessories to consider to make your bike commute better, from gloves to rainshield for backpacks, so you might like to allow for purchasing these if you are considering a loan for a bike.
OK, we probably aren’t going to see people doing a salary package involving a top-of-the-line pushbike in the near future. But if you’re considering your transport options for the year ahead and a cycle commute (with or without public transport for part of it) is feasible for you, then why not think about getting one of the great new bikes that are out there these days and taking out a loan for one of these instead of buying a second-hand car? But car, bike or motorbike (or boat, or ride-on lawn mower, etc.), remember to talk to us about the sort of loan you need so you can find the best deal possible.