How much does an electric family cargo bike cost?
If you're thinking about buying an electric cargo bike to carry your kids, you're probably wondering how much it is going to cost.
In this article, we'll take a look at the general costs of buying a family cargo bike, but also at additional costs such as accessories, insurance and maintenance.
Are electric cargo bikes expensive?
An electric cargo bike is an amazing piece of engineering that needs to be able to withstand some battering. It also requires a strong frame as well as some other special features to give you a comfortable and safe riding experience while carrying cargo or kids.
Prices for new electric cargo bikes start from £2,300 and can go up to £8,000.
A budget electric longtail bike like the Mycle cargo bike starts from just £2,299. A high-budget electric longtail cargo bike like the Tern GSD starts from £5,100 for the basic model and can go up to £8,000 for a higher-spec model.
Saving money by using a bike instead of a (second) car
You might think the initial cost to purchase a cargo bike is steep, but a cargo bike can be very good value because it will be much cheaper to run than a car.
Think about all the things you wouldn’t have to pay for;
- fuel costs
Differences between a £2k and £8k electric cargo bike
Like with most other bikes, you get what you pay for in terms of components and overall quality of the build for a cargo e-bike to carry kids. The motor and battery will most likely be the most expensive component on the e-cargo bike.
On a cheaper cargo bike, the parts will be lower specification or own brand. This might affect the availability of spare parts and how easy it is to get your bike serviced.
The warranty period might also be shorter on a cheaper cargo bike.
Having said that, a cheaper cargo bike is a good option if your budget is tight. It will soon save you money compared to bus fares or running a car.
Cost of accessories for taking kids on a cargo bike
If you’re going to be cycling with young children, you will probably need some accessories to go with your electric cargo bike. Take this into account for your budget when you are considering what kind of cargo bike to buy.
If you want to add lots of bells and whistles to your bike, the costs could add up to over £500.
If you’re only going to add a couple of cushions, it’s obviously not going to cost nearly as much.
Own-brand accessories of more expensive cargo bikes are usually more expensive than those of budget cargo bikes. For example, Decathlon cargo bike accessories are cheaper than those of Riese & Müller.
Locking your cargo e-bike
Locks are obviously very important to make sure your cargo bike doesn’t get stolen and these range from £50 to over £100. Look at Sold Secure ratings; these will give you an idea of how good the lock is.
Cargo bike insurance
Another cost to keep in mind is that of insurance in case your cargo bike gets stolen or damaged.
Sometimes it is possible to add your electric cargo bike to your home insurance for little or no cost. Check the maximum value of the bike and if it covers e-bikes, and if/how they're covered away from the home.
If you need to get a specific policy, e-bike insurance will depend on the cost of your bike and where you live.
Quotes can start from £100 per year for an electric cargo bike worth £2,000 in a low-risk neighbourhood.
For an electric cargo bike worth £5,000 insurance starts from about £200 per year.
Accessories can also sometimes be covered by bike insurance - remember to ask if you need to add them on as a specified item or if they're covered as standard.
Cost of running an electric cargo bike
Once you’ve bought your new electric cargo bike, you might wonder how much you will need to spend on maintenance and running costs.
How often do I need to get my cargo bike serviced?
To keep your e-bike running smoothly, we recommend getting it serviced at your local bike shop at least once a year. A full service will start from between £70 to £150, and you may have extra costs depending on how much work the bike needs and any new parts.
Make sure you find a bike shop that is a certified mechanic for the type of motor you’ve got on our electric cargo bike, because software updates will be required every so often.
Charging the battery of the e-bike
Charging an e-bike battery costs about the same as boiling a kettle twice. How often you need to charge the battery depends on your use of the e-bike, such as the mileage, the level of e-assist you're using and how much weight you're carrying.
The age of the battery and other factors such as the temperature also play a role in this. E-bike batteries don't like the cold!
For most people, charging your e-bike’s battery will be needed between one and three times a week, or even less than that.
Can I get help with paying for a cargo bike?
There are options available to help with financing your cargo bike purchase.
In Scotland, you can borrow up to £6,000 interest-free towards the cost of a family cargo bike through the Energy Saving Trust. The loan is repayable over four years.
Using a cycle to work scheme to purchase an e-cargo bike
Check with your employer first to see if they offer a cycle to work scheme.
A cycle to work scheme is a salary sacrifice scheme that allows you to pay for your new bike through your gross salary, so that you (and your employer) save on national insurance and income tax.
You pay for your bike over 12 or 24 months and the limit varies per scheme and employer.
These schemes usually have an upper limit and they may not cover the total cost of the bike you’d like to purchase. Even if you are looking at an e-cargo bike above the limit, you might benefit from using the cycle to work scheme until the limit and paying the extra costs directly yourself.
Some bike shops and online retailers offer 0% interest rate financing too.
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Other articles you might be interested in:
- 2 vs 3 wheeled cargo bikes; which is best for carrying kids?
- New family cargo bike launched by VELLO
- Decathlon's longtail e-cargo bike now available in UK
- Mycle launch new accessories for cargo bikes
- Can you solar power an electric cargo bike?
- Review of the Bike43 longtail cargo bike
- E-bike motor and battery options