WHAT IS CHEAPER – TO RIDE YOUR OWN MOTORBIKE TO IRELAND FROM GERMANY, OR TO BOOK A FLIGHT AND RENT A MOTORBIKE IN IRELAND?

Last updated on February 6, 2024

Most would probably spontaneously answer that riding your own motorbike is of course cheaper – but not so fast with the young horses – take a closer look!

easycruiser.tours motorcycle rental station in Ireland
easycruiser.tours motorcycle rental station in Ireland (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


Intro

The short answer of my calculation example is:

For travel periods of up to 7 days in Ireland, it is cheaper to book a flight from Germany to Dublin and rent a motorbike in Ireland. For longer holidays, the cost of travelling to and from Ireland on your own motorbike is cheaper. However, it takes 1-2 days longer to travel by motorbike than by air. For the departure you also need 1-2 days longer. In total, you need 9-11 days for 7 days in Ireland.

“You’re only saying that because you run a motorbike rental company in Ireland” – I don’t want to talk you into anything, but we can calculate the matter right away.

Why from Germany? Well, my family and I are from Germany and have our second home in Ireland. The original blog post was written in German, this is the translation into English.

But if you are from any of the countries on the European continent, you can still apply the same calculation method to your travel case, just adjust your individual values. So keep reading!

And yes, we run our motorbike rental business in Ireland during the summer months (www.easycruiser.tours) and also offer nice guest rooms (www.the-view-accommodation.ie).

So let’s first look at the individual travel cost items and then calculate different cases.

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Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours

The individual cost categories

The calculation scenario:

Since there are any number of possible combinations, I choose examples here. If you choose a motorbike of a completely different category or live somewhere else, you can calculate your case analogously with your data.

I have the choice of travelling to Ireland with my own BMW F750GS (or another medium-sized touring enduro) from a place in Germany, or flying to Ireland and renting a BMW F750GS locally. In the first case I have 7 days in Ireland, alternatively 5 and 10 days.

Motorbiker at the Wild Atlantic Way
Motorbiker at the Wild Atlantic Way (photo by Josephine Gertberg)

Categories

  1. the cost of getting to the airport
  2. the cost of the flight
  3. the cost of the transfer from the destination airport to the rental station
  4. the costs of the motorbike rental
  5. the cost of petrol for your own journey
  6. the cost of tyres for your own journey
  7. the motorway toll costs for your own journey
  8. the ferry costs of the own journey
  9. the accommodation costs of your own journey
  10. the time difference between the two travel models

Motorcycle at Lough Tay
Motorcycle at Lough Tay

So, let`s have a look at the individual cost categories then:

1) The cost of getting to the airport

I choose Fulda as my starting point because it is pretty much in the middle of Germany. The nearest airport from there is Frankfurt Main, a good hour’s drive away from Fulda. A train ticket costs about 33€ one way, so 66€ there and back.

2) The cost of the flight

There are several flights a day from Frankfurt Main operated by different airlines. If we choose a cheap flight and book a few months in advance, which is highly recommended in the summer months, it is no problem to book a flight ticket for 100€ one way, or 200€ return, including luggage.

Stena Line ferry at the harbour of Rosslare
Stena Line ferry at the harbour of Rosslare (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


3) The cost of the transfer from the destination airport to the rental station

If we take our own rental station as an example (www.easycruiser.tours), then a return bus ticket from Dublin Airport to Gorey costs 29€.

4) The cost of the motorbike rental

For 7 days rental, the rental rate for the F750GS is 130€/day, so 130€/day * 7 days = 910€ for 7 days.

For 10 days the rental rate for the F750GS is 130€/day, so 130€/day * 10 days = 1300€ for 10 days.

If you rent the bike for 5 days, the rental rate is 145€/day * 5 days = 725€ for 5 days.

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Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours


5) The petrol costs of your own journey

From Fulda to Cherbourg Octeville in the northwest of France it is about 1200km driving distance. We don’t drive via Paris, because the traffic there is extremely unpleasant, but quite comfortably via Amiens.

On top of that we have to drive about 100km on the Irish side. I choose the ferry connection from Cherbourg because, according to many years of experience, this is the best connection to Ireland. Since Brexit at the latest, the journey via England is no longer fun and not cheaper either.

Petrol prices fluctuate, of course, and are likely to rise in the future. I’m using the current price of €1.63/ltr for this calculation. On the motorway with luggage and moderate driving I assume 5.8 ltr/100km.

Petrol costs = 1300km * 1,95€/ltr * 5,8 ltr / 100km = 147€ for one way.

For the outward and return journey it is then 294€ petrol costs for the journey.

Motorbike at the southern coast
Motorbike at the southern coast (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


6) The tyre costs of your own travel

A set of tyres on a medium sized touring enduro will last about 9000km. some tyres more, some less, but this is certainly a good starting point. A set of tyres for a medium-sized touring enduro, from one of the better manufacturers, costs about 380€ mounted.

The round trip distance is 1300km*2= 2600km.

The tyre costs of your own journey are then 380€ / 9000km * 2600km = 110€.

Other costs, like chain wear, depreciation etc… we leave out of consideration, but that would make the calculation even more expensive.

7) The motorway toll costs of the own journey

The motorways in France cost tolls, which have to be paid at payment stations along the way. Tolls from Saarbrücken to Cherbourg are around €40 each way for a motorbike, so €80 for both ways, there and back.

Motorbike at Courtown Harbour
Motorbike at Courtown Harbour


8) The ferry costs of your own journey

From Cherbourg, you can take Irish Ferries to Dublin, or Stenaline to Rosslare. As the journey is overnight, you will need to book a cabin for the night on the ferry. There are also cheaper recliners, but that’s for the really tough….

A ferry trip with cabin for one person with a motorbike costs about 280€ in summer, so both ways about 560€.

9) The overnight costs of your own journey

1100km to the ferry in one day? Not with me! Apart from that, ferries also like to leave in the afternoon and I don’t want to leave home at 4 a.m. (holiday!!!) So I need an overnight stay on the way there, and an overnight stay on the way back. In the summer, I’m definitely looking at an extra 100€/night * 2 = 200€ in accommodation costs.

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Ad for our own business The View Accommodation


10) The time difference between the two arrival models

Travelling by plane can be done in one day, travelling on your own wheels with overnight stays takes 2-2.5 days, depending on ferry times. The same again on the way back. So it’s safe to say that the journey on your own wheels costs an extra 2-3 days of holiday in total, which you just spend on the motorway! How much are an extra 2-3 days worth to you?

Mountain heather in bloom
Mountain heather in bloom (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


Calculation tables

In the following, we will calculate the costs for holiday trips of different lengths:

Table 1: Costs of travelling with your own motorbike vs. flying and renting a motorbike for a 5-day holiday.

Category:Travel by own motorcycle:Fly and rent motorcycle in Ireland:
1.) Car ride to Airport and return  66€
2.) Flights both ways200€
3.) Transfer to rental station and return29€
4.) Motorcycle rental 5 days 725€
5.) Petrol costs total 294€
6.) Tyre costs total 110€
7.) Motorway Toll both ways 80€
8.) Overnight stays arrival and return 200€
9.) Ferry both ways 560€
10.) Zeitunterschied 2-4 days longer for arrival and return
Sum of costs in €: 1244€ 1020€

For a 5-day holiday in Ireland, the variant with flight and local motorbike rental is slightly cheaper.

Table 2: Costs of travelling with your own motorbike vs. flying and renting a motorbike for a 7-day holiday.

Category:Travel by own motorcycle: Fly and rent motorcycle in Ireland:
1.) Car ride to Airport and return 66€
2.) Flights both ways 200€
3.) Transfer to rental station and return 29€
4.) Motorcycle rental 7 days 910€
5.) Petrol costs total 294€
6.) Tyre costs total 110€
7.) Motorway Toll both ways 80€
8.) Overnight stay on arrival and return 200€
9.) Ferry both ways 560€
10.) Time difference 2-4  days longer for arrival and return
Sum of costs in €: 1244€ 1205€

For a 7-day holiday in Ireland, the costs of getting there and back are roughly comparable for both options.

Table 3: Costs of travelling with your own motorbike vs. flying and renting a motorbike for a 10-day holiday.

Category: Travel by own motorcycle:Fly and rent a motorcycle in Ireland:
1.) Car ride to Airport and return66€
2.) Flights both ways200€
3.) Transfer to rental station and return29€
4.) Motorcycle rental 10 days1300€
5.) Petrol costs total294€
6.) Tyre costs total 110€
7.) Motorway toll both ways 80€
8.) Overnight stay on arrival and return 200€
9.) Ferry both ways560€
10.) Time difference2-4 days longer for arrival and return
Sum of costs in €: 1244€ 1595€

For a 10-day holiday in Ireland, the cost of travelling with your own motorbike is cheaper than flying and renting a motorbike.

Results and conclusion

For short holidays of up to 7 days, it is cheaper to book a flight to Ireland and rent a motorbike locally. The costs are roughly comparable for 7 days, but the time required is noticeably less for the flight+rental option, i.e. fewer lost holiday days or free time.

For longer holidays, travelling with your own motorbike is more economical in terms of costs. If you have plenty of holiday time available and want to keep an eye on costs, I recommend travelling for 2-3 weeks, i.e. spending a full 2 weeks in Ireland – and doing so with your own motorbike.

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Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours

However, among our clients there are also many busy people with very little free time and a lot of stress at work. For them, the consideration is rather: “How much time can I take off at all and how much of this time do I want to spend on the motorway?” Time is often the limiting factor here, not the holiday budget. And then it can also make sense to spend 300€ more to make the most of the little holiday time.

Ultimately, everyone decides for themselves how they want to travel, and that’s fine. Maybe you don’t agree with my calculation because it’s completely different for your case – that’s no problem at all.

The above tables are only intended to give you an idea of how to critically calculate the different options for your own case and thus support your decision as best as possible with facts.

However you want to travel, Ireland is definitely worth a motorbike trip!

Have fun planning!

More interesting articles for you

HOW MUCH DOES A MOTORBIKE HOLIDAY COST IN IRELAND?


IRELAND MOTORBIKE TOUR – 15 SPECIAL ACCOMMODATION IDEAS FOR YOUR TRIP


THE BEST MOTORBIKE FOR THE IRELAND TOUR – OR OTHER TRAVELS


56 TIPS FOR PLANNING AN UNFORGETTABLE MOTORBIKE TRIP TO IRELAND!

Photo credits cover photo: Evening on the ferry in Dublin Bay, photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg (www.easycruiser.tourswww.the-view-accommodation.iewww.irland-insider.dewww.ireland-insider.com)

Uli Written by:

Hello and welcome to my blog. Originating from Germany, my family and I now live in Ireland (at least part time). We have travelled this amazing isle many times and know many parts of it very well. In this blog, I would like to share valuabe tips and information for your next trip to Ireland with you. Enjoy the content, yours, Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg