Saving on Transportation: Having a Motorcycle or Riding an Ojek?

Jakarta's traffic could discourage anyone from going to places, even within the central area. By considering time and distance, motorcycles have become a good alternative for those who live or work in Jakarta.

Lately we have seen the rise of transportation "on demand", such as Go-Jek or GrabBike that allows smartphone users to order a motorcycle taxi through their mobile applications.

If you think having a motorcycle can save a lot of time and money, try to compare the cost if you are using a motorcycle taxi.

Buying a motorcycle

Every day, Rizky, 30, uses his Yamaha V-ixion to go to his office at Lapangan Banteng, Central Jakarta. Although it is only 2.1 kilometers away from his house, the congested traffic increases his travel time to 20 minutes. After work, he usually goes to a gym located in Central Jakarta.

According to Rizky, he spends around Rp700,000 for his transportation every month, including Rp 200,000 for fuel and Rp120,000 for regular maintenance every two months.

In a year, he needs to set aside Rp 219,000 for the vehicle registration (STNK) and emergency fund of around Rp 300,000 for spare parts. Also, he pays Rp55,000 every month to wash his motorcycle and two helmets.

“The biggest cost is my parking, because I go to the gym twice a day at a mall," says Rizky, while counting his parking expense that amounts to Rp360,000 a month.

It is not the same for Andri, 30. As an employee of a private company in Tangerang, he only uses his motorcycle when he is working and running a few errands around Tangerang. Since his office is only five minutes away from his house, he thinks owning a motorcycle is the best choice for him.

In a month, he can spend around Rp120,000 for fuel and Rp24,000 for cleaning his motorcycle. He saves a lot on parking, because his office provides free parking in the building. The maintenance fee for his motorcycle could amount to Rp300,000 per quarter. He also sets aside Rp120,000 for his vehicle tax, Rp450,000 for the extension of license plate every five years, and emergency fund amounts to Rp200,000 a month for spare parts.

In total, Andri spends around Rp460,000 a month for his transportation.

Using service from Go-Jek or GrabBike

Novita, 25, prefers riding a motorcycle taxi – known as ojek in Indonesia – to owning her own motorcycle. According to her, her company demands her to stay mobile, and she would get sick if she has to ride her own motorcycle every night.

“The service provided by Go-Jek or GrabBike is cheaper than the regular ojek. For example, ojek drivers in the central business district would charge up to Rp48,000, while Go-Jek charges Rp25,000," she explains.

Go-Jek and GrabBike can reduce their fee to Rp15,000 during a promotional period, while their normal tariff is Rp25,000 for the first 6 kilometers of a trip and Rp4,000 for every kilometer after that.

Novita adds that she does not have to think about finding a parking space and paying extra for the parking fee. "I work around the central business district, so parking can be very expensive even if it is only for a couple of hours," she says.

Andri also utilizes ojek service every weekend or when he wants to commute to Jakarta. "I took the train, and then continued with ojek," he says. According to him, riding Go-Jek is cheaper than riding his own motorcycle.

The transportation fee when using an ojek amounts to at least Rp1.1 million a month.

When do you need to buy a motorcycle?

With all considerations above, there are some points that indicate your need to own a motorcycle:

  • If your house is difficult to reach or far away from the access to public transportation, which would be inconvenient when you need to go home late from work
  • If the distance between your home and office is not too far and reachable within less than an hour, even during peak hours
  • If you need the motorcycle to make frequent rides, e.g. for dropping and picking up your child to and from school, buying groceries at the market, etc.
  • If your total debt and installments are not exceeding 30% of your income

When is it better for you to ride an ojek?

  • If the distance between your home and office is more than 25 kilometers, or takes more than one and a half hours to reach during peak hours
  • If you already have debt and installments that exceed 30% of your income. An installment will put more burden on your finance
  • If you do not understand the traffic conditions or common routes in Jakarta
  • If you obtained a driver's license less than 2 years ago.

Read also: How Much Does Car Maintenance Cost? (with infographic)

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