How to Choose Between Buying a Car or Motorcycle in San Antonio

Pros and cons to help you decide which one makes more sense.

This content is brought to you by Air Force Federal Credit Union, a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned entirely by its members and operated for the benefit of all who belong. From the time of its inception, the credit union has taken great pride in serving the financial needs of our military and their families. 

If you are tired of dealing with the constant stop-and-go traffic along Interstate 35 that links San Antonio with Austin, you are not alone. It is such a common problem that the two cities have been planning on easing congestion with the Lone Star Rail District.

Unfortunately, if the project is funded, it would not even be finished until 2018. This means San Antonio locals are stuck with a lousy commute for about two more years. It can be tempting to switch to a motorcycle for your daily commute, but is that the best choice for your lifestyle and budget? Here are the pros and cons you should consider when choosing between a motorcycle or car loan in San Antonio.

Choose a Motorcycle for a Faster and Cheaper Commute

It’s no secret that a motorcycle is able to grant many a faster commute in areas that allow lane splitting. Commuting by motorcycle also means you have easier access around traffic jams and accidents, as well as specialized parking spots in some areas.

Generally, a new motorcycle is less expensive than a new vehicle. The average cost of a new motorcycle is $14,487, according to AxleGeeks.com, where are the average new car price is $33,560, according to USA Today. You will also spend less at the gas station, since motorcycles on average get nearly double the mpg cars do, unless you get a hybrid.

Choose a Car for Cheaper Loans and More Space

While motorcycles might cost less at the dealership and the gas station, motorcycle loans can be costly. Many motorcyclists will turn to personal loans to finance their new ride to avoid the costs of a down payment. Personal loans are based on your credit usage and your ability to repay debt. Therefore, if you have less than excellent credit, you could be stuck with a rate of 6% APR or more for a motorcycle loan, according to the current auto loan average.

Car loans, on the other hand, average about 3% APR among popular banks. You might be paying less for your motorcycle at the dealership, but you could be paying more interest during the life of your loan. Choosing a car over a motorcycle could get you a cheaper loan rate, and allow you to take trips with the family since cars allow for more passengers. You just have to decide which vehicle makes the most sense for you.

Read: 30 Biggest Dos and Don’ts When Buying a Car

Car Loan vs. Motorcycle Loan

Before making the commitment to one vehicle, calculate the costs and decide what will fit best with your lifestyle.

“Do your homework,” said Danny Sanchez, vice president of marketing at Air Force FCU. “Do not make impulsive decisions when purchasing a car or motorcycle. Determine what you need, not necessarily what you want in a vehicle.”

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle for your commute, but also want something for long trips or for the family, then a motorcycle is not the best choice. However, if you are looking for an occasional vehicle for commuting and recreational driving, then a motorcycle could fit into your budget with the right loan.

While motorcycle loans come with a higher APR, if you secure a low rate with a credit union and know how much you can afford before you go to the dealership, then your motorcycle purchase will be manageable within your budget. For example, Air Force FCU offers very competitive motorcycle loan rates starting at 5% APR for 36 months. Alternatively, Air Force FCU also offers car loans starting as low as 1.74% APR. Either vehicle choice can work in your budget with the right loan if you secure a preapproval for a great auto loan rate from your San Antonio credit union.