When buying a new scooter, or even a used one that’s still under warranty, it’s crucial you understand the basics of how warranties work, but also be aware of all the common traps, pitfalls, and gotchas. Naturally, the specifics will differ across scooter models and brands, the retailers, and where you buy, but there are many common patterns that are easy to notice and useful to know.
I’ve done extensive research on this topic, both when buying and when reviewing electric scooters, and this guide presents everything I’ve learned in the simplest way possible.
Electric scooter warranty quick reference
Electric scooter warranties often have different periods depending on the scooter part. Typically, critical electronic components like the motor or the controller have at least 6 months, and often 1 or even 2 years. The battery and the charger usually have between 6 and 12 months. Wear-and-tear parts have smaller periods, often between 14 and 30 days.
All of the major electric scooter brands and retailers provide warranties for their scooters. This includes popular brands like Xiaomi, Segway Ninebot, Kugoo, GoTrax, Swagtron, Razor, and Glion Dolly, but also premium brands like EMove, Dualtron, Apollo, Kaabo, Zero, Turbowheel, Speedway, Inokim, Mercane, etc.
The warranty is often provided by the retailer instead of the manufacturer’s brand. So for example, if you bought a Kaabo scooter through Voromotors, the warranty is provided by Voromotors and not by Kaabo. However, if you bought a scooter through a major online store like Amazon, for example, the warranty will typically be fulfilled by the manufacturer.
Most scooters have return periods, and you can return your scooter if it was damaged on delivery, or you’re simply not satisfied with your purchase. The return periods will usually be between 7 and 30 days for most brands, although some can have just 3 days.
In most cases, you can get a replacement if your scooter was damaged on delivery, or there has been a mistake with your order (like getting the wrong color, a different feature than what you ordered, etc). If the damaged part can be delivered separately, you will get the replacement free of charge.
Modifying your scooter in a meaningful way will likely void its warranty. This includes disrupting the scooter’s integrity, tweaking the internals, installing custom firmware, and in some cases even opening the deck. It’s probably one of the most general electric scooter disadvantages, as many models can easily support custom firmware for better performance, but the risk of losing the warranty doesn’t always make that an obvious choice.
Obviously, these are the general guidelines on scooter warranties. If you want to find out some specifics for the scooter you are looking to buy, the country or region you will buy it in, or the retailer you will buy it from, read this guide and then make sure to check the specific warranty policy for your scooter of choice and the reseller that sells it.
How to claim your warranty?
Claiming your warranty starts before you even buy the scooter. Make sure you’re buying from a reputable retailer (the most transparent brands are in the table below).
After buying, carefully unbox your scooter and assemble it exactly as the manual instructs.
Do not throw away the packaging, you may need it in case you want to return or replace the scooter. It’s probably best if you don’t throw away anything from the package until you’ve decided you will not return the scooter, and until the return period expires. After the return period expires, you can throw away the packaging as you will not need it for the standard warranty.
The package should include some sort of a warranty card, which you must not throw away. If the package doesn’t include anything resembling a warranty card, contact your retailer. Also, another probably obvious step, but don’t throw away the receipt either.
Typically, claiming your warranty will involve the following steps:
- you will find the designated channel for customer support or warranty claims that the brand has specified (email, contact form, chat, phone, social media)
- you will inform the brand of the defect
- you will probably need to describe the defect in some detail, and include photos or videos showcasing the problem
- you will then wait to receive guidance from the brand, and possibly replacement parts needed to fix the problem
- optionally, you may need to send the scooter back to the reseller or service where it can be repaired or replaced, and shipping costs for this are sometimes free but other times covered by the customer, the latter being often the case for returns of properly functioning scooters
What to do if the brand doesn’t accept your warranty claim?
As a scooter blogger, I’m often the medium between the brand and the consumer, and I know that warranty claims are often a battleground of two opposing sides, with the truth most often being somewhere in the middle.
While brands are primarily motivated by profit, it’s always in their long-term best interest to serve each and every customer to the best of their abilities, and the best brands almost always deliver on their promises. However, there are some less cooperative brands that will try to avoid the responsibilities on their end of the bargain, and you should know how to handle those types of situations properly.
If your scooter has a manufacturing defect and is under warranty, but your warranty provider is trying to avoid taking care of the problem, I recommend being persistent in a calm but firm way, and clearly explaining your circumstances several times if needed, until you get what you’ve paid for. I’d say about 99% of the time, that will be enough. Make sure you are correct and that you do have a valid warranty claim, otherwise you’re probably not going to get anywhere.
Some of the less trustworthy brands have a few token obstacles in their processes that should deter the more conflict-averse consumers, but if you stand your ground you will ultimately get your money’s worth. You may run into several requirements that seem to be redundant and purposefully designed to frustrate you and force you to quit. Be aware that these are often just some placeholder tactics that you can easily overcome by being persistent in a polite but assertive way. If that doesn’t work, I suggest taking a look at the section with the consumer protection laws further below.
What does an electric scooter warranty cover?
Typically, warranties cover malfunction of the following components:
- LCD screen, dashboard, and controls
- suspension (most of the time)
The only type of damage covered by the warranty is manufacturing defects. If the fault in the component is caused by improper use, the warranty will probably not cover it.
Let’s look at two simple examples to clarify this.
Let’s say you’ve had your scooter for three months, and it’s still under warranty. You’ve used it many times so far, without any problems, and you’ve taken reasonable care of it. You’ve never ridden through the rain, and you’ve been pretty careful not to ride off of curbs or through big potholes. But one morning, the scooter will simply not power on, no matter what you try. In this scenario, your warranty is valid, and you will get either a new component, or in some instances even a new scooter.
Now, let’s say you’ve had your scooter for three months, it’s still under warranty, but you’ve already tried to rewind the motor, you’ve tried to overvolt the battery, and you’ve tried 4 different firmware hacks, 2 of which resulted in some weird error codes on the screen and you had to reset the firmware. Also, you’ve ridden through the rain about 12 times, you’re going full kamikaze through the biggest potholes you can find, and you’ve thrown in a few bangs with a hammer on the deck and stem just to test the scooter’s reliability. In that case, your warranty will clearly be void.
Of course, these are probably the two most extreme examples. Most scenarios will fall somewhere in between.
The warranty providers will not always have a clear way of knowing the exact reason for the damage. Technically, this does open up room for some abuse by consumers and then lying about it, but you may be surprised by how often the warranty providers can determine the exact cause of the damage and decide the damage is not covered by warranty.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is a chance you face some opposition from the warranty providers and get some resistance from them even if you’ve done nothing wrong and the scooter has simply malfunctioned, especially from some of the ill-reputed brands.
What is not covered by an electric scooter warranty?
In the majority of cases, the following is not covered by the warranty:
- flat tires
- missing screws, nuts, or bolts
- physical damage to the deck, handlebar, or chassis
- wear-and-tear parts (fenders, rubber or plastic covers)
- surface or paint damage
- seat, basket, other accessories
When is an electric scooter warranty void?
Most electric scooter brands clearly state what constitutes improper use of their scooters, and if that can be determined by them as the cause for the defect, the warranty may be voided.
Improper use is described in the user manual, as it can be specific to the scooter model or version. The most common instances of improper use are:
- water damage
- incorrect riding
One of the most common reasons for malfunction of the electronics in a scooter is water damage. Specifically, the battery is the most vulnerable component, as the motor is not that sensitive to water. Another major threat to scooters from water damage is also rust, as many scooters can easily corrode if not dried after riding, especially lower-quality ones.
Water damage is never covered by the warranty, even in waterproof scooters, or scooters with a high IP rating. As a scooterist myself, I’m usually on the side of the consumer, but for this particular issue I side with the manufacturers and I usually recommend avoiding riding in the rain as much as possible (personally, I do ride my Xiaomi M365 Pro through the rain when I have no choice, but not otherwise). Electric scooters are still electronic devices after all, and we can’t possibly expect them to work flawlessly in the rain, especially given the fact that we only pay a few hundred dollars for them. We don’t expect our iPhones or laptops to continue to work if we leave them in the rain, don’t we?
Modifying your scooter in a significant way will probably void your warranty. Modifications that void the warranty include:
- rewinding the motor
- overvolting/upgrading the battery
- installing different wheels
- tinkering with the sprockets in chain-drive scooters
- installing accessories that the scooter doesn’t natively support, like drilling holes in the deck for adding a custom seat frame
- in most cases, opening the scooter’s deck, screen, or other internals
- in some cases, altering the brakes in a way they are not meant to be adjusted
- in most cases, installing custom firmware or hacks
The one to watch out for the most is the brakes. There are a few scooter models that will void your warranty completely if you mess with the brakes. Luckily, there are very few models like that, but still, make sure to read your scooter’s manual and make sure you can play around with the brakes without voiding the warranty.
Modifications that will probably not void your warranty may include:
- decorative changes, like adding stickers
- installing additional accessories on the scooter that don’t interfere with the scooter’s integrity, like adding a phone mount or additional lights
- in most cases, adding sealant or Loctite to the screws
- adjusting the brakes in the way they are meant to be adjusted (for scooters whose warranties allow that)
- adjusting the suspension
Electric scooter weight limits exist for a reason. They are not a hard and fast rule on the exact amount of weight that the scooter can support and it will fall apart if you overload it by an ounce, but they are still a useful guideline on how the scooter is intended to work and how it should be used best. If a scooter keeps pulling more load than it was designed to do, it will eventually break down.
Now, this is not such a common reason for a void warranty, mostly because manufacturers don’t have a clear way of establishing that overload was the cause for the defect. It still falls under improper use, and the weight limit should be respected. Often, two people riding is the biggest cause of defects of this sort.
If the weight limit of the scooter you want to buy doesn’t support your weight, you will probably want to see some scooters for heavy adults.
Most user manuals clearly state how to ride the electric scooter. Even if they don’t, the rules are often pretty straightforward and common-sense:
- slow down when going over uneven terrain
- don’t accelerate when riding downhill
- always ride with both feet on the deck
- always ride with both hands on the handlebar
- turn carefully
- always ride alone
- do not ride off of curbs or into them
- don’t do stunts with your scooter
Well, you might be surprised by how often scooterists disregard these guidelines and end up damaging their scooters irreversibly. I don’t want to be a killjoy here, and if you are determined to perform a triple backflip from a ramp with your scooter on fire and while juggling chainsaws, go ahead, it’s a free world, but know that if you damage your scooter doing that, you will likely void your warranty.
Battery and charger warranties
In general, the battery and the charger will have different warranty periods than the rest of the parts, typically much smaller. A common scenario is a scooter with one year of warranty on the critical components, and 6 months on the battery and charger.
The reason behind this is the decreasing battery lifespan, something that occurs in all electronic devices today. While there are some steps you can take to increase the battery lifespan, the batteries wearing out is just a fact of life for scooters. Typically, after 2 to 3 years, or 300 to 500 full charge cycles (whichever of those comes first), your battery will be worn out to a point where you will probably need to get a new one.
Manufacturers are well aware of this, and simply play it safe by usually giving just 6 months of warranty on the battery. Still, some brands do provide the same warranty for the battery as for the rest of the scooter, which is always much welcome.
Return periods and return policies
Pretty much all of the reputable brands and stores have some return policies for their scooters. Almost all of them are either 14 or 30 days, but some brands offer 7 days to return the product, and a few offer just 3 days.
If the scooter is dead-on-arrival, or suffers a major malfunction in the return period, there should be at least one of the following three options available, if not all three:
- if it’s a single component that’s faulty, you can get a new component for free (most likely)
- you can get a full refund for your scooter
- you can get a replacement for your scooter
The same might apply if you get a wrong scooter model, or a wrong feature than what you ordered (for example, you’ve ordered the 48-Volt version, and you’ve received the 36-Volt version).
In most instances, if you return the scooter or ask for a replacement, the additional shipping costs will probably be on your end, especially if you’re returning the scooter because you don’t like it and not because of a defect. Very few brands offer free return shipping, and some may even charge a restocking fee of around 10% of the price.
Warranty policies of the most trusted brands
Several brands and retailers simply shine through with their transparency and dedication to customer satisfaction, and they will often have the clearest and most fair warranty policies in the scooter industry. The following table presents the best brands and the basics of their general warranty and return policies.
|Brand/retailer||Warranty period||Return period|
|Apollo||12 or 24 months, depending on model||30 days or 10 km|
|Dualtron (USAMinimotors)||6 months (you can extend up to 12 months)||7 days|
|EMove (Voromotors)||12 months (you can extend up to 48 months)||3 days or 10 miles|
|FluidFreeRide||6 or 12 months, depending on model||15 or 30 days|
|Glion Dolly||12 months or 1000 miles (whichever comes first)||30 days|
|GoTrax||90 days||30 days|
|Hiboy||12 months or depending on reseller||30 days|
|Inokim (FFR)||12 months||15 days|
|Inokim (PureElectric)||12 months||30 days|
|Kaabo (Voromotors)||12 months (you can extend up to 48 months)||3 days or 10 miles|
|Kaabo (FFR)||6 months||15 days|
|Kugoo (GeekBuying)||12 months (6 on battery)||7 or 14 days|
|Mercane Widewheel (FFR)||6 months||15 days|
|Ninebot (Segway store)||12 months (6 on battery), may depend on model||30 days|
|Ninebot (PureElectric)||24 months||30 days|
|Razor (Amazon)||90 days||30 days|
|Razor (PureElectric)||90 days||30 days|
|Speedway (USAMinimotors)||6 months||7 days|
|Swagtron||90 days||30 days|
|Turbowheel (EWheels)||12 months||14 days|
|Voyager||12 months||30 days|
|Xiaomi (GeekBuying)||12 months||7 or 14 days|
|Xiaomi (BangGood)||6 months||7 or 30 days|
|Xiaomi (PureElectric)||24 months||30 days|
|Zero (RevRides)||6 months||5 or 10 days|
It is still recommended to check the specific warranty policies for the exact model you want to buy, as these are mostly the general policies for each of the brands, and the specifics may differ.
Warranty and consumer protection laws
Depending on the country where you buy the scooter, there will often be governing bodies and laws in place that protect you as a consumer regarding your purchase. Chances are, you will never need to know about any of those laws. But in case you want to be prepared, or if you’re in the middle of a ferocious battle with a stubborn customer support team that will not accept your valid warranty claim, you may find the consumer protection laws or agencies of your country helpful. Make sure you fully understand the warranty first, that it covers the specific problem, and that your scooter is still within the warranty period, before proceeding with further research and action.
In the US, several governing bodies and organizations may be useful to you if you’re having problems enforcing a valid warranty claim. You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, or contact the Better Business Bureau.
In the European Union, laws that protect customers and may enforce warranties to be respected will differ depending on the country.
Warranty cost and extended warranties
As we already covered, the vast majority of the good scooter brands include at least some sort of free warranty period for all of their scooters. However, in some cases, the warranty period may be relatively short, especially for budget models (most GoTrax and Razor scooters have just 90 days of warranty, for example).
That’s why many new owners choose to get an extended warranty for their scooters, when that’s an option. Sometimes, extended warranties are provided by third-party services such as Extend.
Warranties on used and refurbished scooters
Some retailers sell refurbished scooters, and often they have some excellent deals on them. Naturally, since the scooters have been returned by their previous owners and are already used to some degree, the question of warranty can be a bit more complicated.
In general, refurbished scooters are tested again and go through additional quality control before they’re sold back to consumers. The most reputable brands should offer the same warranty conditions as they offer on the new scooters. Extending the warranty may cost a bit more at times, especially if the warranty comes from third-party warranty merchants.
When it comes to used electric scooters, you should inherit the warranty with the scooter most of the time, as warranties are usually not tied up to one owner. It’s always wise to hunt for used electric scooters that are just a few months old, where the owner has simply changed their mind after some time, as you have the best chances of finding a functional and well-maintained scooter, but also the warranty period will still be long enough.