Guide to running a motorcycle in Hong Kong

嚮香港養電單車要幾錢?

Driving your own vehicle always reigns supreme over walking in terms of convenience. Previously, we discussed several money-saving tips for car owners in Hong Kong. Here, we'll give you an overview of the main expenses for motorcycle owners, as well as several tips on saving money. Yet, monthly expenses could still add up to a tremendous figure. While most people assume that it must be cheaper running a motorcycle than a regular automobile due to its smaller size, we question whether this really is the case? Today at Kwiksure, we'll look at the average cost of running a motorcycle in Hong Kong. 

Breaking down motorcycle expenses one-by-one

A disclaimer: we're talking about the average cost of running a motorcycle in Hong Kong here. Expenses differ depending on your motorbike model, driving habits, car park location, and even the maintenance cost. So, this guide works best as a reference. Based on the figures below, you can then calculate your monthly budget.

Car Park Charges

With their petite size, shouldn't it be cheaper for motorbikes to park than for regular cars? That is correct. Based on the Shau Kei Wan parking lot, the monthly car park charges for a standard car are HKD $2,100; for a motorbike, they're a measly HKD $340. This is a massive 6 times difference! On the other hand, the daily parking rate is HKD $80 for a car, but HKD $26 for a motorcycle. This is another 3 times difference. 

As for parking estate under the Housing Authority (HA), the parking rate for a car at a covered car park is HKD $2,890 per month. Motorcycles, on the other hand, have a monthly parking charge of HKD $560 only. Similarly, parking rates from Link REIT and private housing estate for motorcycles are at least ⅓ to ½ times cheaper. 

Don't wish to park your motorbike here? On-street motorcycle parking spaces are another option. Despite the risk of being issued a fixed penalty parking ticket, a number of drivers will choose to park on the side of the street or in a back alley. Parking your motorcycle outside carries its own risks, however. Generally, back alleys tend to be less sanitary. Moreover, receiving parking tickets over and over again can be even more expensive. Assess your risks carefully.

License fee

All vehicles driving in the streets of Hong Kong are required by law to pay a license fee. You have the option to pay yearly, or every four months. Note that paying every four months will cost you more. With that said, if you're certain you'll be driving your motorbike in the long run, choose to pay a lump sum annually to save up.

Car license fees are calculated based on the type of fuel you use, as well as the cylinder volume. Motorcycles are a lot more straightforward. It'll only set you back HKD $1,314 per year, or HKD $488 every fourth month. 

Road tunnels toll rate

Toll Rates of Road Tunnels and Lantau Link

Motorcycle Fees (in HKD)

Cross Harbour Tunnel

$8

Eastern Harbour Crossing

$13

Western Harbour Crossing

$25

Tate's Cairn Tunnel

$15

Tai Lam Tunnel 

$22

Lantau Link

$10

Aberdeen Tunnel

$5

Lion Rock Tunnel

$8

Shing Mun Tunnels

$5

Tseung Kwan O Tunnel

$3

Sha Tin Heights Tunnel, Eagle's Nest Tunnel, and Tai Wai Tunnel

$8

Fuel expense

At the time of writing this article (October 21st, 2020), every litre of fuel is priced at $14.78. Motorcycles are on the petite side, so fuel use is naturally more economical. Depending on your driving habits and mileage, your fuel expense will fluctuate.

Motorcycle insurance 

Under the requirements of the existing legislation in Hong Kong, all drivers must at least purchase third-party insurance for their vehicles. Breaking this law will net you a hefty penalty fee of $10,000 and 12-month of imprisonment. With that said, the premium rate for third-party insurance is cheaper compared to comprehensive insurance. Nonetheless, its benefits are minimal, only covering third-party liability. Policyholders such as yourself, as well as your passengers, are unfortunately excluded from this protection.

Motorcycle insurance is definitely more affordable than car insurance. Depending on your choice of insurance plan (third-party or comprehensive), deductibles, and NCD, the premium rate is usually priced at around HKD $1,000. 

Judging from the probability of road accidents, motorcycles are more susceptible to them. Once a traffic accident happens, your chance of injury will be a lot higher as well as a motorcyclist. We suggest buying comprehensive insurance for more extensive coverage. 

Vehicle depreciation and repair

Both cars and motorcycles are susceptible to depreciation, particularly if your bike is secondhand. Don't know how to repair your bike? Hiring a mechanic can be incredibly pricey. For instance, motor oil, spark plug, transmission fluid, oil filter, cooling fan, tire, and more - these all need to be replaced every once in a while. As a best practice, drivers should replace their fully synthetic fuel every 5,000 km. Every 10,000 km driven, you should change up the automatic transmission fluid; every 20,000-30,000 km, replace it with a new spark plug. When totalled up, this could be a steep expense. 

Contact Kwiksure to secure your insurance plan

To sum up, despite the comparatively modest cost of running a motorcycle, drivers should still pay attention to potential expenses from your repair and depreciation fees. As a motorcyclist, motorcycle insurance is a must. Due to the existing risks of riding a motorbike, we recommend finding an experienced and reliable car insurance broker such as Kwiksure. Our team of expert insurance advisors are more than happy to help you find your perfect insurance solution that balances your budget and your needs. Contact us today for a free quote!