Buying an electric scooter can seem daunting at first. With so many models and features to consider, how do you know which e-scooter is right for you? Follow this guide to find the perfect electric scooter that fits your budget, lifestyle and transportation needs.
Determine Your Budget – How much can you spend on an electric scooter? Set a price range.
Electric scooters range widely in price, from under $200 to over $2000. Consider how much you’re willing to spend upfront. More expensive scooters typically have better range, speed and build quality. But you can find solid, starter models for under $500. Set a budget to narrow your search.
Also factor in ongoing costs like maintenance, repairs and insurance. And if you’ll use the scooter for commuting, calculate potential gas savings. Setting a clear budget at the start helps you find an e-scooter within your means.
Consider Used Electric Scooters to Save
If buying new is out of your price range, consider a used e-scooter. Search local classifieds, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and scooter forums for secondhand deals. Buying used saves money with just a bit more risk. Inspect any used scooter thoroughly before purchasing.
Finance Your Electric Scooter for Low Monthly Payments
Some electric scooter companies offer financing plans to split your purchase into low monthly payments. This makes higher priced scooters more affordable. Just be sure to factor in interest charges and read the fine print carefully.
With a clear budget set, you can narrow your electric scooter search to models that fit both your needs and your wallet. Test ride scooters in person whenever possible, and don’t feel pressured to overspend.
The electric scooter market offers options at nearly every price point. Focus on value and your intended uses to pick the e-scooter that gives you the most for your money.
Consider Range – Will you need a long or short range eScooter? Factor in your commute.
One of the most important factors when selecting an electric scooter is its maximum range on a single charge. Range can vary dramatically between e-scooter models, from as little as 10 miles to over 40 miles per charge.
How far do you plan to ride your e-scooter on a regular basis? If you’ll primarily use it for quick trips and errands under 5 miles, a shorter range scooter may suffice. But for longer commutes, delivery routes or recreational rides, aim for an e-scooter with a range over 20 miles.
Also consider your terrain. Riding up hills and on uneven surfaces drains batteries faster. So account for elevation changes and less than ideal pavement that you may encounter.
Some key factors impacting electric scooter range include:
- Battery capacity – Larger batteries offer extended range.
- Motor power – Less strain on the motor conserves battery life.
- Rider weight – Heavier loads reduce range.
- Tire size – Small wheels require more energy to move.
- Speed and acceleration – Faster riding drains batteries quicker.
Test ride scooters you’re considering when possible to better understand their real world range. Also read range estimates from experienced owners online.
While max range varies widely, most quality electric scooters today can cover 10-15 miles on a charge. Focus on your expected daily mileage needs when comparing range estimates.
An e-scooter with insufficient range can leave you stranded away from an outlet. But excess range you won’t utilize just adds cost. Select a scooter range purposefully matched to your commute and needs.
Speed – Think about your maximum desired speed. Faster scooters cost more.
Electric scooters can reach top speeds ranging from under 10 mph to over 30 mph. Consider how fast you need or want to ride.
Slower e-scooters under 20 mph are best suited for short neighborhood trips and recreational use. Faster models over 25 mph work better for lengthy commutes or keeping up with traffic.
However, many regions legally restrict electric scooter speeds on public roads and paths. Research your local laws to know the allowed limits in your area.
Typically, faster electric scooters come with a higher price tag. Key factors impacting e-scooter speed include:
- Motor wattage – More powerful motors accelerate quicker.
- Battery voltage – Higher voltage packs give more speed.
- Controller – The controller regulates power delivery.
- Gearing – Gear ratios impact torque and speed.
Consider your intended uses when evaluating speed. Slower mobility scooters are fine for laidback riding. Faster electric mopeds better suit long commutes or highway riding where legal. Supporting greater speeds requires more robust construction too.
Test driving scooters is the best way to gauge real world speed and acceleration. Be realistic about the speeds you actually need day to day when shopping.
While lighting fast e-scooters are exciting, restraint and safety should take priority especially as a beginner rider. Focus on control and practical speed over power alone.
Weight Capacity – Make sure the eScooter can handle your weight plus cargo.
Electric scooters are designed to support a certain maximum weight capacity. Make sure to select an e-scooter rated for your weight, plus any cargo you plan to carry.
Weight capacities for electric scooters typically range from about 220 to 350 pounds. Heavier duty models can handle 500 pounds or more. Standard scooters are best suited for single riders up to 250 pounds.
Check the stated weight limit in each scooter’s specs. Exceeding the recommended capacity risks damage and impacts performance and range.
Factors that determine an e-scooter’s weight capacity include:
- Frame and deck materials – Aircraft grade aluminum or steel handle more weight.
- Suspension system – Shock absorbers and springs support heavier loads.
- Motor power – More watts provide more torque to move extra weight.
- Tire diameter – Larger tires better accommodate heavier riders.
Make sure to account for any cargo or accessories adding to the weight. Delivery riders should focus on cargo e-scooters designed to haul heavier payloads.
Carefully adhering to weight capacities protects your safety and preserves your e-scooter. Test rides can help assess an electric scooter’s handling under load.
While lightweights get more versatility, taking the time to find a sturdy electric scooter suited for your weight makes a big difference daily.
Features – Decide which extras you require like suspension, lights, Bluetooth.
Today’s electric scooters come loaded with high-tech features and extras. Determine which ones match your needs and preferences when comparing models.
Common e-scooter features to look for include:
- Suspension – Shocks absorb bumps and improve ride quality.
- Brake lights – Enhance visibility and safety for braking.
- LED headlight – Illuminates your path for night riding.
- Bluetooth speakers – Stream music from your smartphone.
- Cargo rack – Haul bags or goods while riding.
- Kickstand – Convenient stand for parking.
- App connectivity – Unlock or customize through mobile app.
Consider your most important uses for the scooter when evaluating features. Commuters may prioritize lights and suspension, while recreational riders want Bluetooth speakers. Shoot for practical features over flashy extras you may not use.
Also factor in costs. Entry-level e-scooters emphasize affordability with minimal features. Higher priced models pack loads of tech upgrades.
Test riding scooters in person lets you experience features firsthand. Focus on the extras that enhance how and where you want to ride for the best value.
With the wide range available, it’s tempting to overdo features. But restraint yields the best electric scooter to safely suit your daily needs.
Portability – If you’ll carry the scooter, pick one that folds easily.
If you need to regularly carry your electric scooter, portability is a key consideration. Look for a folding e-scooter design built for easy transport.
Folding mechanisms vary greatly. Better portability requires:
- A quick folding system you can operate with one hand
- A tight fold bringing the dimensions as compact as possible
- Integrated carrying handle(s) for picking up
- Lighter weight, ideally under 30 pounds
Check how small and easy the scooter folds before buying. Unfolding and refolding repeatedly will test the design.
Wheels can impact portability too. Smaller wheels fold more compactly. But larger wheels typically deliver a smoother ride.
Consider the tradeoffs between compact folding and riding comfort for your needs.
Also factor in where and how far you’ll need to carry the folded scooter. Commuters may prioritize a super tight fold to store under a desk. While recreational riders need a fold compact enough for tossing in a car trunk.
Test folding and lifting different electric scooters in person. A model you can smoothly fold, carry and store makes daily use much easier.
Focus on functional portability over flashy features if you’ll regularly transport an e-scooter. Carrying and storing a scooter that’s honestly portable spares hassles.
Local Laws – Check regulations for where you can legally ride an eScooter.
Before buying an electric scooter, research your local laws governing where e-scooters can legally operate. Regulations vary significantly by state, city and country.
Key legal considerations for electric scooters include:
- Speed limits – Often 15-20 mph maximum on public paths.
- Minimum rider age – Typically 14-16 years old.
- Helmet requirements – Some areas mandate protective headgear.
- Permitted locations – Roads, bike lanes, trails or sidewalks.
- License and registration – Required in some regions.
Specifically check both state and city laws for where you plan to ride. Cities like New York and San Francisco heavily restrict e-scooters despite looser state laws.
Consider any restrictions against riding electric scooters on public transit or in pedestrian zones. Also research scooter parking rules.
If regulations are unclear, contact your local department of transportation. Violating e-scooter laws could lead to fines, confiscation or impounding.
Select an electric scooter model that adheres to your region’s specific speed, power and type restrictions. Learning local laws helps avoid illegal riding and accidents.
Responsible electric scooter owners comply with all regulations impacting them. Check your particular city, county and state codes before hitting the road.
Online Retailers – Compare prices and models on sites like Amazon and eBay.
Shopping online opens up a wide world of electric scooter buying options. Massive marketplaces like Amazon and eBay offer an expansive selection and convenient home delivery.
Benefits of buying an e-scooter online include:
- Huge variety of brands and models
- Easy price comparisons on one site
- User reviews provide helpful insight
- Potentially discounted pricing
- Fast no-contact delivery to your door
Research top rated brands first to narrow choices. Carefully read product descriptions and specs before ordering. Wattage, speed, weight capacity and range metrics help determine suitability.
Beware of exceedingly cheap models that cut corners on quality and safety. Select reputable sellers and check return policies just in case.
Online scooter retailers also frequently offer coupon codes and sales. Sign up for email alerts to snag the best deals.
For maximum savings, consider purchasing a used e-scooter through eBay classifieds if willing to forgo a warranty.
The selection online eliminates geographic restrictions to find the perfect e-scooter. Just be sure to buy from authorized sellers and choose options delivering to your area.
Dealerships – Visit scooter dealers to test drive and learn about options.
For the best hands-on electric scooter shopping experience, visit local dealerships. Test driving scooters yourself offers insights online browsing can miss.
Benefits of buying an e-scooter at a dealership include:
- Try before you buy with test drives
- Experienced sales staff provide guidance
- Ensure proper fit and comfort
- Evaluate build quality and features in person
- Opportunity to ask technical questions
Research dealers’ inventory online first to shape your search. Focus test drives on your short list of top contenders based on needs.
Ask dealers about applicable rebates, incentives or financing options to potentially save money. And don’t be afraid to negotiate pricing.
Consider dealers offering scooter service and repairs for future maintenance needs. Build rapport with staff for ongoing support.
Dealers also offer guidance tailoring an e-scooter to your skills, usage and locale. Their expertise steers buyers towards practical choices.
Skip gimmicks and let extended test drives guide you. Dealers help match riders to electric scooters for safe, enjoyable daily use.
Rental Companies – Rent an eScooter first to trial models and brands.
Before committing to buying an electric scooter, consider renting one first. Many companies offer e-scooter rentals ideal for testing different models.
Renting an electric scooter can help you:
- Evaluate top speeds and acceleration
- Experience the riding comfort and handling
- Assess available features like lights and suspension
- Gauge battery range in real-world use
- Get a feel for folding and portability
Look for rentals that let you take e-scooters out for extended periods, not just short rides. This provides a better sense of daily use.
Ask rental staff questions to learn about the scooters’ specs and quirks. Their insights can guide you towards better options.
Consider renting from multiple companies to compare different scooter models and brands side-by-side.
Taking your time test driving electric scooters before buying helps identify the best match for your needs and preferences.
Renting an e-scooter lets you learn hands-on if a model suits your commute, riding style and lifestyle before fully committing.
Used Marketplaces – Find discounted secondhand electric scooters locally.
Buying a used electric scooter can save you substantial money upfront. Check local classifieds and peer-to-peer sales forums to find discounted secondhand e-scooters.
Where to find used electric scooters for sale:
- Craigslist – Browse by owner listings in your area.
- Facebook Marketplace – Search locally or by model.
- eBay Classifieds – Filter scooter listings by location.
- OfferUp – Use mobile app to find nearby sellers.
- Letgo – Finds local used scooter sales via app.
When buying used, carefully inspect the electric scooter in person before purchasing. Check for any damage and test functionality.
Ask sellers details about age, condition, maintenance history and miles ridden. This helps gauge how much life the scooter has left.
Look for used e-scooters still under warranty if possible. And don’t pay more than around 60% of the original price.
Buying used does come with some risk. But you can score an affordable, quality electric scooter through local sellers.
Do your due diligence assessing any used e-scooter for sale. But the savings over new make it worth hunting for secondhand deals.
Crowdfunding Campaigns – Back eScooter startups on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer opportunities to back electric scooter startups before models hit the mainstream market.
Benefits of supporting e-scooter crowdfunding campaigns include:
- Gain early access to new innovations
- Unique chance to influence product development
- Typically discounted pricing for early backers
- Help bring new scooter tech to market
Research the scooter design, features and founding team before backing a campaign. Look for regular campaign updates responding to backer feedback.
Understand production timelines may shift. Building a new electric scooter from the ground up involves challenges.
Consider supporting crowdfunded e-scooters as a second, fun ride rather than a daily commuter. Reliability can’t be guaranteed on unproven models.
While risks exist working with new companies, crowdfunding allows riders to be part of the evolution pushing electric scooters forward.
If excited by trailblazing transport, electric scooter crowdfunding campaigns let you drive innovation and potentially ride the next big thing.
Classified Listings – Browse used electric scooters for sale on Craigslist or Facebook.
Local classified ads sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace offer affordable used electric scooters for sale in your area. Browsing classifieds is a popular way to score e-scooter deals.
Tips for finding used electric scooters in classifieds:
- Search using keywords like “electric scooter” or brand names
- Filter by location, price and condition to narrow options
- Move fast on good deals – the best sell quickly
- Sort by newly listed to see latest selling prices
- Expand your search radius to find more scooters
When contacting sellers, ask detailed questions about the e-scooter’s age, condition, mileage, maintenance history and original specs.
Thoroughly inspect any used electric scooter in person before making a purchase. Test all functions and watch for wear and tear.
Bring a knowledgeable scooter friend when possible to help identify any issues or necessary repairs.
With some searching and screening, classifieds offer lightly used electric scooters for hundreds below retail. But do your homework to avoid major headaches down the road.
Auctions – Bid on eScooters cheaply through sites like eBay.
Online auction sites like eBay provide opportunities to score discounted electric scooters. With smart bidding strategies, you can potentially buy an e-scooter on the cheap.
Tips for bidding on electric scooters:
- Search for lesser-known brands to avoid bidding wars
- Sort by newly listed and ending soonest
- Place bids in the last minutes of an auction
- Set your maximum bid and don’t exceed it
- Factor in taxes and shipping costs
Carefully review seller ratings, product condition details, and service and return policies before bidding.
Avoid models needing extensive repairs. But minor issues like flat tires or dead batteries can yield major deals.
Ask sellers clarifying questions about any e-scooter deficiencies prior to the auction end.
Winning auctions requires patience and strategy. But landing a functional electric scooter at a fraction of retail is possible.
Online auctions let thrifty buyers capitalize on fluctuating e-scooter values. Just be ready to pounce when the right deal rolls around.