SAN ANTONIO – Though gas prices have recently dipped, AAA reports prices are still 43% higher than they were this time last year, which is why people are continuing to come up with different options to save money.
Some commuters are resorting to different modes of transportation.
“We do have customers coming in. You greet them at the front door, and the first thing they say is, ‘I need to buy something that I can save fuel on,’” said Dave Sears, owner of Alamo Cycle Plex.
Sears said most of those customers looking to save on fuel have never bought a motorcycle or scooter before.
“Any motorcycle can have better fuel economy than a car. So it’s a lot less weight, you know, and, you know, smaller engine size. So you’re looking at 30, 40, 50 miles to the gallon,” Sears said.
Sears said it’s not just motorcycles piquing customers’ interest. Many people want a quick and easy way to get to work and back.
“They just want something to commute to work,” he said, pointing to a scooter. “This is a scooter, and you just jump on, and it maybe does 35 miles an hour, and you know, you get to work,” he said.
Though the scooters have been trendy, some customers are opting for even smaller options.
“Not only are people buying smaller size motorcycles, electric bicycles, but we have a product we call the one wheel, which is sort of a motorized skateboard with one big wheel in the middle. They’re really fun,” Sears said.
He said motorcycle sales were dropping in 2017 and 2018. Then the pandemic hit, and people who wanted to spend time outside decided to make a change. Those sales have continued rising through the gas price hit.
However, Sears said the economy is also hitting dealers through supply chain issues and delivery gas price hikes, so customers may see a couple of extra fees tacked onto their purchase at checkout.
“Now we’re paying extra shipping charges to get the bikes here, and then, of course, unfortunately, that gets passed on to the consumer in the way of a fee,” he said.
Still, Sears said people would be saving more on gas in the long run if they buy the smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles.