Is a Scooter Right for You? What to Know Before You Buy

A motored scooter can be a fun and fuel-efficient way to get around town. The small, compact size can be good for highly populated areas, college campuses and areas with limited parking. But before you buy one you may be wondering is it right for you and what should you consider prior to making the purchase? Our guide answers many of the scooter buying questions you have. Let’s get started!

Scooter vs. Motorcycle: What’s the Difference?

The main differences between scooters and motorcycles are frame configuration, wheel size, and the size of motor.  Scooters typically have smaller wheels, a step-through frame, motors that range between 50cc to 650cc, and often include automatic transmissions. Scooters are also typically lighter weight than a motorcycle and won’t reach as high of speed.

Motorcycles are also two-wheeled vehicles but are designed for higher speeds, feature straddle frames, and come with better acceleration and high-speed handling features. In general, motorcycles have 250cc or larger engines and have 16-inch or bigger wheels. Another difference is most motorcycles have a manual transmission.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Owning a Scooter?

Scooter Pros

Maneuverability: Scooters are light-weight and easy to handle which makes them popular in densely populated, high-traffic areas where there may also be traffic congestion and limited parking.

Fuel-efficiency: If you’re looking for a way to cut back on your fuel budget, a scooter may be the way to go. While the average miles per gallon (mpg) of a scooter will vary based on the model, you could see over 100 mpg.

Cost: Whether the scooter you choose is new or pre-owned, it can be much more affordable than purchasing a car. The cost of a motored scooter are generally much lower than motorcycles, depending on the model. The cost to repair a scooter is also generally less than fixing a car.

Scooter Cons

Inclement weather: With no protection from the elements, inclement weather like rain, snow, ice or cold temperatures can put a damper on riding a scooter.

Limited storage: Unlike a car with a backseat or a trunk, a scooter doesn’t have much storage space to haul things around. If you regularly need to transport more than what you can put in a backpack, a scooter may not be your best option.

One passenger:  Some scooter models can accommodate another passenger, but you’ll be limited to one passenger at a time.

Safety: A scooter doesn’t offer the same protection a car provides should you be involved in an accident. 

Comfort: For short commutes, a scooter is generally comfortable but it’s maybe not the most ideal way to travel longer distances.

Do I Need a Motorcycle License to Ride a Scooter?

Motorcycle license requirements vary by state.  Please review the laws in your state to ensure you comply with all state and federal laws regarding operation of motorcycles and scooters.

What Additional Things Do I Need to Buy?

Safety equipment like a helmet, protective clothing, etc. can be expensive but necessary items to help keep you safe on the road. To carry more than just a backpack, a carrying rack or basket can add extra space to haul items.

Do I Need Special Insurance for a Scooter?

At Farm Bureau Financial Services, scooters and mopeds are included within our motorcycle coverage program. Talk with an agent to be sure you’re covered when you embark on your next adventure.