Electric Scooter Buying Guide – 18 Questions To Ask Yourself!

Updated on December 30, 2020
Electric Scooter Buying Guide

Electric scooters are more than just a tech fad. E-scooter riders are looking at them as a real form of transportation. We can’t blame those who don’t like the convince and portability electric scooters provide.

Whizzing through traffic on electric scooters can bring about much contempt. After all, if you were to look at any person stuck in traffic it doesn’t seem to be too enjoyable.

With that being said there are a lot of those folks reading this wondering how they can be that electric scooter rider? We created an electric scooter buying guide with 18 tips to help you break free gridlock traffic.

Electric Scooter Buying Guide

We’re constantly being bombarded with visions of shiny new e-scooters. Buying an electric scooter is an easy process but there are some questions to consider. This electric scooter buying guide comprises 18 things you should know before you buy an e-scooter.

1. Have You Ever Ridden A Scooter Before? May Help To Test On A Rental.

If you’re completely new to the whole electric rideable/micro-mobility world, then this may be a great opportunity for you to actually test out how this will work on a rental electric scooter instead. 

This will give you a great idea of exactly how things will work and whether you actually can see yourself taking this seriously and purchasing this investment for yourself.

2. Are You Clumsy? Or Not Very Well Balanced?

Electric Scooters are not the hardest electric rideable on the earth to ride, nothing like the Electric Unicycle for sure!

However, it is important to know if you have challenges already with balance and being clumsy. 

It does take some time to get comfortable riding on these vehicles especially if your environment is very much filled with people and other larger vehicles and you are planning to ride through the chaos. 

3. Should I Go Big Brand or No-Name Manufacturer?

Electric Scooters are definitely getting popular enough now that many manufacturers are going around making these scooters from as cheap to under $200 to as expensive as $2000. 

Figuring out what you should get depends all on how you plan on using this rideable.

If it’s for something as important as your daily commute to work and school, then it may be more valuable to spend the extra money to make sure that this ride doesn’t fall flat on you in the middle of your journey.

4. Should I Go New Or Used? Which One Is Better?

We more than often recommend going for a new Electric Scooter since the battery on these things can very much be different from one another if you decide to go for a used one that has lowered it’s battery strength immensely. 

Aside from just mentioning the battery on the used electric scooter, construction and structural issues could be abundant with previous riders’ habits in how they handled and care for their vehicle. 

We’ve seen tons of examples of people nearly breaking their handles, only for someone else to finish the job of the previous owner.

Don’t recommend getting yourself into this sticky situation unless you know the person who is selling it well.


5. Make Sure To Get A Helmet! Don’t Forget It…

A helmet is often times the most important thing from protecting you from a major collision with the ground and sustaining near life ending injuries. 

We’ve seen this also end up really badly for riders on rental scooters taking joy rides with their friends and jumping off certain curbs without any awareness of what would be on the other side of that jump.

This can put you in the hospital easily and out of commission from work if you aren’t careful.

Please make sure to get a helmet when you buy one of these rideables and if you are renting, just understand that you should be as careful as possible. 

6. Legal? Know If It’s Legal In Your Area!

Electric scooters legality is constantly changing and this is important for you to know what is going in and around your town, city, and state.

We have an article where we discuss a bit further about the legality of Electric scooters in the United States. 

Check it out herehttps://www.sturdywheel.com/electric-scooter-driver-license-necessary/

Don’t let yourself get caught by a strict police officer looking to give you a citation and constantly catching a $100 ticket just for riding around with an electric scooter in the wrong location. Be aware!

7. E-Scooter Riders Etiquette – Don’t Be An Electric Scooter Jerk

It’s very important that you ride appropriately in the streets and sidewalks when on an electric scooter.

Many people have not gone through the necessary etiquette for sharing the road with other vehicles and pedestrians.

This will cause a lot of negative attention to the electric scooter riders in your area and to the community at large.

There are road rules according to your state that you must abide by and that doesn’t change very much while on an electric scooter.

Following these and being respectful of everyone around you will make your experience on an electric scooter much smoother from a long term perspective.

Do you have a need for speed

8. Do You Have A Need For Speed?

We get many people asking us if electric scooters will give them what they are looking for in speed and fun while getting to where they have to get to go. 

We have to say that it’s very possible for you to get the kind of need for speed you may be looking for out of electric scooters for sure.

On average, most Electric scooters are set up to reach a max speed of ~18.6mph and some even hitting just under 25mph.

We will not say that you will get the same kind of speed like Electric bikes or Electric Skateboards.

These vehicles can really have even more boost due to the form and design of the electric scooters. The fact that you can use more of your body to add on additional speed. 

9. Charging Can Take A While Dependent On Which One You Get…

On average, charging these Electrics scooters from zero to hero will take you anywhere from 4 to 7 hours!

This means that you have to definitely put in the effort to charge these when you aren’t in need of it for a few hours. 

Might mean staying at home for a few extra hours longer than anticipated just to get your vehicle charged.

It’s almost impossible to charge this away from home unless it’s in a stationary position for a longer period of time.

If this isn’t a big deal to you — then great! But beware of the longer charging times. Seriously!

10. Environmental Safe? 

Most Electric Scooters are made with the Electricity as the main power source and no extra needs for gasoline or any other non-renewable energy sources. 

Battery is made with lithium and should be free of harmful chemicals in the process of making these Electric scooters. 

If you do decide to purchase a scooter from a no-name manufacturer then you may have different builds in your scooter purchase. Check with them diligently on how environmentally safe their product is before purchase!

11. What Does Maintenance Look Like?

Often times in many of the insurance plans for these Electric scooters there is a lack of a maintenance plan for managing the vehicles unless if you get more experience with premium models. 

It can be quite a challenge to make changes to the tires and other materials on the scooter unless if you have previous experience on this before.

Do I Need A License To Drive A Electric Scooter

12. Do I Need A License To Drive A Electric Scooter? 

In most states, the consensus is that there is not a need for having a license to operate an electric scooter; however, the recommendation still stands for the riders to know road rules and not be a minor with age 16/18 at minimum to operate these electric scooters. 

We have more information in this article here — https://www.sturdywheel.com/electric-scooter-driver-license-necessary/ 

13. Is Extended Warranty and Insurance Necessary?

Almost in every situation, we recommend the extended warranty plans for the electric scooters as long as they are representative of the entire scooter and not just small parts of the rideable. 

Many manufacturers can easily “forget” to include things like battery in the extended warranty plan which is a big no no for us.

Don’t forget to check for key things like this that would pretty much make the extended warranty policy useless without. 

We even have an article on this topic as well – check it out here: https://www.sturdywheel.com/electric-scooters-extended-warranty-worth-it/

14. Cost Effective – Purchasing vs. Rental?

When it comes to evaluating whether or not you should buy an electric scooter or if you should rent one. This decision can seem very simple from an initial glance – just go ahead and rent! It’s so much easier. 

However, when you start to do some further evaluations about your current situation and how you plan to use an electric scooter – the ROI could be there if you will be a power user of an electric scooter or even using it for your daily commute to work. 

Often times companies offer incentives for your commute to work and that could be represented in the purchase of an electric scooter.

Even using these scooters for over a year will be a chance to get your money back and then some!

We definitely think you should consider the purchase as an investment. Look out for any article soon on this!

15. How Heavy Is “Heavy”?

An electric scooter can range anywhere from the light 20lbs to heavier 50+ lbs scooters! Scooters like the Xiaomi Mi 365 weighs 24.6lbs – with the ease in the portability of this very popular scooter.

It is extremely easy to take anywhere you go and walk with it if you aren’t in the mood to ride. 

While larger scooters that even get to 50lbs would be much more of a challenge to lift anywhere you go. Works better to only ride and when you aren’t riding, store it somewhere that won’t be moving much. 

These heavier rides, however, can feel much more grounded than the lighter alternatives.

When speeding at higher speeds, you may avoid the hits and falls you get from just having a lighter e-scooter.

where can you bring  electric scooter

16. Where Are You Going? Is It Okay To Bring One?

  • Trains: We have seen people take their electric scooters on trains and put them under their seats or the bike storage section. We recommend checking the train rules and notifying the train officials where is the best place to store it from any issues. 
  • Buses: This can be a bit trickier than the average train since certain buses and routes can be significantly busier than others and if you’re dealing with a driver with a chip on their shoulder, they may not accept your ride onboard. Always make sure to ask them before you get on and be nice about it!
  • Light Rails: Often times wouldn’t be too much of a problem in this situation since you can hold onto the e-scooter while you are riding the light rail. Make sure to sit/stand in an area where your scooter won’t be accidentally damaged by the pedestrians nearby. 
  • Cars & Ride Service: Almost always a challenge to hold onto your e-scooter while in a car or ride service like Uber or Lyft. We’d say to ask the driver if you can place your scooter in the back of their vehicle – free from any potential obstacles in the vehicle while driving. The most scooter can fit in the trunk without any issues. 
  • Motorcycles: We haven’t seen this work out at all. Can’t say that it is very practiced to ride a scooter on the back of a motorcycle. If you’ve done this – we’d be very interested to see how you did this! 

17. Security and Locks – How Should You Do This?

It is a terrible feeling to lose your Electric scooter after you’ve spent a sizeable amount of time to research and money to purchase your perfect e-scooter. This is why we want to say that Electric scooters will require more than one lock. 

We think it is safe to go with 2 or more locks due to the complicated nature of securing the electric scooter.

Now if you want to avoid leaving your scooter outside – most office spaces and workplaces do have enough space to place your scooter in a safe location.

If you don’t know where that may be in your workplace, we recommend asking a manager how you could protect your electric scooter and easy accessibility.

18. Will It Be Easy to Carry Things with A Scooter?

This is probably the biggest problem people have with scooters – dependent on what kind of person they are. Unless you have a great ability to ride with no handlebars (we don’t recommend this at all) ~ It’s going to be a tough time to hold things in your hands while riding an electric scooter. 

When it comes to having backpacks and luggage, this can be a challenge as well if you are riding lighter scooters like Xiaomi Mi 365 or other rides under 40 pounds. 

If you plan to ride an electric scooter for commuting with coffee and breakfast in hand or weekly grocery trips.

We may say that you’d want to look at potentially an electric bike due to the importance of having both of your hands empty for proper braking and accelerating.

Bottom Line

Many will come across this post and zoom through the questions that best fits there situation. Following this electric scooter buying guide gives you a framework but not a silver bullet.

It’s a great place to start in your journey to buying your next e-scooter.