The practical choice: Why is owning a car preferable to a motorcycle in Malaysia?

Written by Liew Wen Jie

In Malaysia, owning a personal vehicle has become more of a necessity than a luxury due to the country’s sprawling urban landscape and limited public transportation options in certain areas. While motorcycles undoubtedly have their allure, especially for enthusiasts who enjoy the thrill of feeling the wind on their skin, owning a car offers numerous practical advantages. In this blog post, we will delve deeper into why having a car is preferable to a motorcycle in Malaysia, focusing on factors such as commuting comfort, safety concerns, long-distance travel, family needs, and the economic perspective of second-hand cars.

Motorcycle, traffic, Malaysia

Commuting comfort

Motorbike, rain

Malaysia’s tropical climate is known for its unpredictability. Sudden downpours, extreme heat and sweltering humidity can make motorcycle riding uncomfortable and challenging. By contrast, owning a car provides a sheltered, climate-controlled environment that ensures a comfortable, stress-free commute in all weather conditions. For commuters with long daily commutes or frequent trips, the comfort of a car’s interior is an important advantage.

Safety concerns

Motorcycle crash

Safety is paramount when deciding between a car and a motorcycle in Malaysia. The statistics speak volumes about the risks motorcyclists face on the road. As of August last year, a concerning 70 out of every 100 road deaths involved motorcyclists, inching us closer to a grim record as having the world’s worst death rate for motorcycle users. Tragically, from 2001 to 2021, nearly 90,000 motorcyclists lost their lives on Malaysian roads.

Looking at road fatalities from 2010 to 2019, motorcycles accounted for a significant 59%, while car accidents comprised only 21%. This substantial difference highlights the vulnerability faced by motorcyclists compared to car occupants. Cars have a substantial advantage in terms of safety, given their enclosed structure and protective features that help mitigate injury severity during accidents.

Motorcycles offer less personal protection, making the rider more vulnerable in the event of an accident. They require a higher level of balance and control, making small mistakes more likely to lead to accidents. Motorcycles are more affected by road conditions and weather, and their smaller size and visibility increase the risk of a collision.

The skill and experience of the rider play an important role, as can the aggressive behaviour of other road users. High-speed crashes are more catastrophic for motorcycles, and distractions can have more serious effects due to the constant need for concentration. Additionally, motorcycles can sometimes be “invisible” to other drivers, further increasing the risk. To mitigate these dangers, proper training, safety equipment and adherence to road safety guidelines are essential for motorcyclists.

These safety concerns make Malaysians shy away from owning a motorcycle if they can help it.

Mazda CX-5, top SUV
The Mazda CX-5, one of the top SUVs in Malaysia

For example, the Mazda CX-5 distinguishes itself as a secure vehicle on Malaysian roads due to its comprehensive set of standard safety features. These encompass forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. These safety features collectively contribute to accident prevention and the overall well-being of drivers and passengers on Malaysian roads. Notably, the Mazda CX-5’s commitment to safety is underscored by its 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme), further affirming its robust safety standards and performance.

Alongside these vehicle-based measures, adopting defensive driving practices, adhering to speed limits, refraining from alcohol while driving, utilizing seatbelts, and being mindful of motorcyclists are crucial actions to ensure road safety in Malaysia.

Browse our list of myTukar Certified 2019 Mazda CX-5 2WD H Skyactiv-G 2.5L

Long distance travel

Luggage, boot, trunk

When it comes to embarking on long journeys or road trips across Malaysia’s diverse and scenic landscapes, cars offer unparalleled convenience and comfort. Passengers can relax in spacious interiors with ample legroom and enjoy features such as air conditioning and audio systems. Additionally, cars offer more storage space, allowing travellers to carry luggage and other essentials effortlessly. On the other hand, long rides on a motorcycle can be physically tiring and challenging, limiting the amount of luggage that can be carried and leaving riders exposed to the elements for extended periods.

The 2020 Nissan Serena S-Hybrid Highway Star CVT 2.0L excels as an ideal vehicle for extensive travel in Malaysia, offering a harmonious blend of comfort, space, and fuel efficiency. Passengers enjoy a smooth ride with spacious seating for eight, enhanced by supportive cushions and ample legroom. The hybrid design ensures economical fuel consumption, while practical features such as climate control, sunroof, and navigation contribute to a pleasant journey. With its commitment to comfort, efficiency, and safety through features like blind spot monitoring, the Serena becomes an exceptional choice for long-distance travel, delivering a comprehensive and enjoyable experience on Malaysian roads.

For families or individuals planning to go on long journeys, owning a car is the more practical choice. Cars come with multiple seating options, making it easier to transport children and elderly family members safely. Additionally, car seats can be installed for infants and young children, providing extra protection during travel. A car’s enclosed space also ensures that families can enjoy their journey together without worrying about external factors such as weather conditions or road hazards that can pose risks on a motorcycle.

Browse our inventory of family friendly cars

The price of used cars

One common misconception is that motorcycles are a more economical choice due to their lower upfront costs compared to cars. However, the economic perspective changes when considering the resale value of second-hand vehicles. Second-hand cars, especially those from reputable brands and in good condition, tend to retain their value better than motorcycles. This means that over time, the cost of owning a car can be more reasonable, considering the higher depreciation rate of motorcycles. Additionally, the profession of a thriving second-hand car market in myTukar makes it easier to find well-maintained and reliable vehicles at affordable prices.

In sum, the multifaceted advantages of car ownership, ranging from commuting comfort and safety concerns to long-distance travel and economic viability, establish a strong case for favouring cars over motorcycles in Malaysia’s context. While motorcycles may offer a certain thrill and appeal, the practicality and advantages that cars provide in terms of daily comfort, safety, family needs, and economic considerations make them the preferred choice for navigating Malaysia’s diverse and dynamic landscape.

So, if you are thinking of upgrading from a motorcycle to a car or buying a new car, browse our list of myTukar Certified cars that are as good as new. Every one of our myTukar Certified cars has undergone a thorough 160-point inspection to ensure that all our cars have no major accidents, flood, or fire damage then refurbished to be As Good As New.

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