If you have ever wondered what the big deal is about riding a scooter, you really need to feel it for yourself. The sunshine on your skin. The blue skies stretching out on the horizon. It is an incredible experience to ride a scooter which is how this blog even started. I love sharing the scooter love! I digress.
I am also practical at heart. Let’s take the thrill out of the conversation and think along these lines to see that there are many practical benefits to using a scooter for commuting and running errands that will speak to your practical side, too. Some of the reasons have some minor overlap, but let’s dive into each of the perks of riding a motor scooter over other forms of transportation.
The 10 benefits of motor scooter riding:
- Can Carry More
- Simple to Operate
- Compact Size
- Reduces Traffic Congestion
- Environmentally Friendly
- Gas Savings
- Maintenance Savings
- Insurance Savings
Scooters are Faster Than Your Legs or Bike Tires
Ok, so you can go faster in a car, but hopping on a scooter is a quicker alternative to riding a bike or walking to your destination. On average, you will travel 12 miles per hour (mph) on a bicycle, but even on a moped, you’ll be traveling about 25 mph. Add some more speed to your ride if you have a larger motor, but either way, you will most likely get to your destination faster on a moped or motor scooter.
Scooters Can Carry More Than You Can
While you can certainly tote a lot more in a minivan, you will be able to carry more cargo on a scooter than you can on a bicycle or walking. Scooters have a box under the seat for items, and racks can be installed on the rear and front for additional options to stack pizza boxes or your groceries. I also have a hook for a bag to fit between my feet on my step-through scooter. I’ve used it once, and it wasn’t as precarious as I expected it to be. I carry full loads of groceries for my family in the seat box with a rear rack and a large Prima bag.
Scooters are Simple to Operate
There is simply less to worry about when you are driving a scooter around. You use your hands to manipulate the throttle and brake, and then you just have to focus on the traffic. Once you are over the hurdle of taking on riding a scooter, it is really easy to hop on and scoot!
Scooters are Compact
Scooters are small which makes navigating city streets easier. Parking tight? No problem. Scooters are small. I have seen scooters parked on the curb like bikes and in yellow line areas in parking lots whether they belong there are not. They just fit wherever you can find a spot for them. Your scooter will fit where cars can not when driving or parking. Now that is a perk!
Scooters Reduce Traffic Congestion
This ties in with the size of a scooter, but they take less room on the road. More scooters fit in an area than cars can, so theoretically, more scooters will equate to less room needed on a highway. Yeah, in theory. There are also locations where you can late split when it is safe to do so.
Scooters are Nimble
This ties in with how compact a scooter is, but having 2 wheels on a scooter makes them more nimble than their 4 wheel counterparts. Maneuvering around town is much easier (and fun) on 2 wheels! Quick and agile!
Scooters are More Environmentally Friendly
Motor scooters that use gas are not entirely green, but they are much greener than traditional vehicles. My small SUV averages 24 miles per gallon (mpg) yet my 125cc scooter averages 92 mpg. If I am not toting around a kid or larger cargo, the scooter consumes much less gas than my SUV which makes it a much more environmentally friendly option. Check out the scooter mpg graph snapshot to give you an idea of how engine size impacts the mpg. The average car in the United States is 25 mpg in comparison.
I think most people quickly jump to the money savings of riding a scooter, but I doubt they realize all the ways you can save money with a scooter. This is where a practical heart will sing! There are so many pieces of this to unpack as the savings go well beyond just gas consumption savings like the maintenance, insurance, parking, and the actual cost of a scooter.
We’ve touched on this, but the scooters in my house average 91 and 80 mpg. Our small SUV averages 24 mpg and the small v6 truck 21 mpg. Anytime we can take the scooters, we are saving much more in gas consumption. Scooters with smaller engines are touted as having 100+ mpg, and the larger end scooters have lower mpg in the 50-60 mpg range.
Let’s look at the math on the gas I’ve saved personally here with limited use. I live in a suburban area that I would not call scooter friendly, I have kids, and I purchased my scooter in mid-July 2019. It took me time to get feel comfortable driving to work on it, but I drove 23% of my 13,500 miles in 2019 on the scooter. This shift saved me 83 gallons of gas than I would have used if I had driven my small SUV for all of the miles. That’s the simple math version, but to get more comfortable on the scooter, some of those miles were just to practice. Also, if the husband and I are going somewhere on the scooter, he takes his, as well. It isn’t often, but that’s the grayscale version of the reality for full transparency. Regardless, our current gas prices are around $1.60 a gallon, so that’s a $132 savings last year for just me.
There is just a lot less to what makes up a scooter. They need oil changes and brake pad replacements like your car, but scooters need less oil and have just 2 small wheels. An oil change at home costs $55 for my car (synthetic) versus $10-15 for my scooter.
Tires are the same way. I just spent $165 per tire without installation, disposal fees, or tax on our truck. A scooter tire replacement is $30.
Scooters cost less to insure than vehicles. Insurance is priced based on how much damage can occur when you have a claim whether that is an accident with property damage or a stolen scooter. The values are less of the scooter overall, so the payout is likely less. In addition, they tend to be light and not likely to do nearly the damage to other property that a car would inflict. This translates to a much lower cost to insure. We live in a high-cost automobile insurance area, but let’s look at the difference in the price of 2 vehicles versus 2 scooters. The scooters cost $2,194 less than the truck and SUV annually. When the kids are grown, I hope to get rid of a car to realize these savings!
Parking can be a touchy topic, but if you are parking in a city you can find motorcycle spaces are cheaper than standard vehicle spaces.
Cost of a Scooter
It goes without saying that if you purchased the most expensive scooter, you would still save a pretty penny over purchasing a vehicle. My SUV was over $30,000 whereas my scooter was a little over $3,000. Scooters are quite a bit more economical to purchase, so this is a big saving particularly if you can buy the scooter and skip out on a car altogether.