http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,23636,20107365-462,00.html August 13, 2006 12:00am FAITH Hardman has ditched the car for a motor scooter in a move that will save her $3000 a year in petrol. Faith's weekly fuel bill is less than $10 a week on a Vespa motor scooter that travels 33km on a litre of petrol. She is part of a growing number swapping four wheels for two as petrol soars towards $1.50 a litre. "I took a loan for a car, but decided to buy a motor scooter because of the fuel savings," Faith, an article clerk at a city law office, said. "Running a car was going to be far too expensive. I can run the scooter for a handful of change, park it just about anywhere and it's equipped with an immobiliser. Now when I fill the tank, I just laugh. The scooter is fun to ride and it also cuts travel time in heavy traffic. It takes me 25 minutes to travel from my Hawthorn unit to the city in the morning and usually less at night." Faith, 27, said women made up half her class preparing to get a motorcycle licence. The soaring fuel price is reflected in a growing number of new motorcycle licences and registrations compiled by VicRoads. The number of new motorcycle licences rose from 8590 in 2004 to 14,200 last year, an increase of 65 per cent. VicRoads expects to beat last year's target after issuing 7185 new motorcycle licences in the first six months of this year. Motorcycle and scooter retailers are reporting bumper sales. Brenton Golding, of Scootermarket in Abbotsford, said motor scooters sold for between $1990 and $8800, offered top fuel economy and the big models could reach speeds of up to 140km/h. "Every time petrol hits a new high, we see a marked increase in the number of people walking through the door," Mr Golding said. Neil O'Keefe, of the Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council, said registering a scooter cost between $200 and $400 depending on size and power.