A recent report showing ditching a car in favour of a motorcycle could lead to a saving of £4,400 across 12 months.

Not only is motorcycle insurance often cheaper than a car, fuel, road tax and the actual new car price are all higher in a standard car, according to research from MoneySupermarket.com.

This, according to some industry experts, could lead to motorcycles enjoying a surge in popularity in the UK as fuel costs rise.

The average cost of a litre of unleaded petrol is now £1.35-plus and a recent survey has revealed four out of every five motorists are concerned.

As a 3p per litre rise in fuel duty is expected to be introduced in January 2013, a motorcycle could become the mode of transport of choice for some of the nation's small car drivers.

Of course, motorcycles do have their downside. Accidents can be more dangerous than a car because drivers are more exposed on two wheels.

This means motorcycle riders have to be more vigilant and place a greater emphasis on safety than car drivers. In fact, motorcyclists are 50 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in serious crashes than car drivers.

According to government advice, choosing the correct motorcycle helmet could save your life. Motorcycle helmets come with a SHARP rating system that allows owners the chance to check what protection the helmet offers.

The rigorous SHARP testing system gives each helmet a rating out of five stars and this should be investigated further before getting on a bike.

The helmet should also fit comfortably and the visor should not be used at night if it is tinted and has the warning 'For daylight use only'. The visor should also be free of smudges and scratches to ensure full visibility.

However, perhaps the most important piece of advice for bikers is to never buy a second-hand helmet and if it is dropped or knocked, it will need to be replaced.

The government has also advised: 'Fall off your bike and tarmac will shred through your jeans in a second' as it urges riders to wear appropriate equipment.

This includes specialist gloves that can be adjusted around the wrist to prevent wind and rain getting in, sturdy boots to protect your feet and ankles and proper motorcycle jacket and trousers.

An accident wearing non-protective gear could lead to clothes and skin being stripped away in the event of an accident - and this could cause a major injury.

The government has warned motorcyclists to practise 'defensive driving' including anticipating the actions of others, staying alert and positioning the bike in the safest place to avoid potential hazards.

Motorcyclists are also encouraged to use a 'lifesaver' glance over the shoulder before carrying out manoeuvres in order to check where other road users are.

If Motorcyclists in the UK follow the rules and stay safe, it could signal a trend in new vehicle buying that could see the more affordable, city-friendly motorcycle grow in popularity.