We already know that electric scooters are both extremely fun and extremely useful, and chances are, if you’re reading this guide, you’re either thinking of buying your first electric scooter, or you already own a budget electric scooter and you’re thinking of upgrading. In either case, you’re probably considering several options that are not exactly cheap, and you’re probably thinking of whether you should pull the trigger on one of them and just buy a higher-ticket scooter that will also be of a much higher quality level.
Personally, I’m in the exact same spot right now, and I’m thinking of whether I should stay with my Xiaomi M365 Pro (which has been great so far, by the way), or should I go ahead and get one of those amazing models that cost $1500 or more. I’ve thought about this quite a lot, and I’ve talked to a lot of other scooterists, both current and would-be, and as it turns out, this is a common dilemma in the scooter world.
Should you buy a more expensive scooter, and what are some of the perfect use cases when making that decision is ideal?
Let’s explore all the angles and options.
Consider your financial situation first
Since we’ll be talking about expensive products, it makes sense to start with the finances first.
I’ll cut to the chase here – unless you can truly afford an expensive scooter, you shouldn’t buy one.
I’ve talked to several scooter owners that have bought scooters that they couldn’t really afford. Interestingly, in many cases, they don’t seem to regret their decisions in the least, and some of them have mentioned even getting financing for buying the scooter, but they have often mentioned financial problems in other areas, which prompts me to give you this tip.
Of course, the more expensive a scooter is, the higher its quality level will be, the longer it will last, and the fewer headaches you will have with defects and breakdowns. Not only will you get a better experience overall, but you will likely not have to buy another scooter ever, and you will actually end up saving some money.
But in my opinion, I still don’t think that’s a good strategy for people that are not in a good financial position at the moment. I’m a scooter blogger, and not a financial one, but I believe it’s my responsibility as your guide to the electric scooter world to give you the best advice I possibly can, and in the case of the purchase of the scooter itself, buying a more budget-friendly model is much better.
I’m kind of a value-shopper myself (or, a cheapskate, if you will). My Xiaomi M365 Pro cost around $500. At the time, I only had a bit more money than that, but I desperately wanted a scooter, so I went with a strong, trusted, reliable model, that still didn’t break my bank. Over the course of the next year, I will probably buy a much more expensive scooter (probably the EMove Cruiser, or maybe even the Kaabo Wolf Warrior), but that’s only because I’m in a better place financially.
Your first scooter (probably) shouldn’t be an expensive one
Some people fall in love with electric scooters the first time they see them.
They simply know they will buy the scooter, ride it a lot, and get a ton of fun and value out of it.
For those types of people, it actually makes sense to actually start with an expensive scooter. Why buy a budget scooter first, have a mediocre experience for the first few months, and then go for the upgrade, when you can immediately buy the perfect scooter on the first try?
However, only about 30% of people fall into that category.
The rest of the first-time scooterists are either not looking for a higher-quality scooter at all, or are simply not still sure they will still be into scooters a few months down the road. That’s why it makes perfect sense for them to test the waters with a budget scooter or a medium-priced one, and then go for the upgrade if they decide owning a good scooter would be worth the higher price.
So, only consider buying a more expensive scooter if you’re pretty sure you will use it often.
Would a budget scooter solve your problems and satisfy your needs?
Many people don’t need an expensive scooter at all.
Sure, they are much more fun, and in a way, they might be a great investment for some.
But a lot of casual riders, and even some commuters, can simply buy one of the scooters under $500 and never even think about an upgrade. Expensive scooters are often too powerful as well, or come with features that regular riders and commuters don’t really need. No sense in overpaying for something you will never need or use.
An expensive scooter can replace several modes of transport, but not your car
I’m observing an increasingly popular argument online for electric scooters being capable of replacing your car.
That’s only true if you use your car for short trips by yourself and not having too many items you need to bring.
If you ever need to travel with someone else, or transport some items, then obviously a scooter can’t replace your car.
Now, a scooter can definitely replace several modes of public transport. In many scenarios, it can completely eliminate the need for taking a bus or a metro. That was the case for me personally when I first got my scooter and had a terrible commute, one that was relatively short but had to go through congested streets in the busiest times of the day. That’s one of the main reasons why I got my scooter in the first place.
A scooter is also great for covering last-mile distances. Since most scooters fit into buses and trains very easily, taking the scooter with you and covering the last few miles on it from the station to your final destination is a no-brainer.
But make no mistake – a commute longer than 12 mi / 20 km can already be too long to cover with a scooter. Also, if your commute takes you on a highway, a scooter is not a good idea, and it will not replace your car.
Expensive scooters are not perfect
While the price of an electric scooter is almost always directly related to its level of quality, you should be aware that even the most expensive electric scooters can have faults, issues, downsides, and some may even break down as a cheap electric scooter would.
Of course, the chances for defects and problems are much, much lower with expensive scooters. But as with every product that’s mass-produced, there’s always the small chance of a scooter arriving at your home with a defect, or even completely broken.
Usually, expensive scooters are sold by the best scooter brands and merchants, and they offer generous terms and warranty and return policies that match the scooter’s price, so if your scooter arrives broken, you will either get a replacement, a free part, a free repair, or a full refund.
Also, besides defects, all scooters have some problems and downsides, and while expensive scooters have them much less often, they can still have them.
So, be aware that even if you spend more than $1000 on your brand new electric scooter, there is still a chance of something going wrong. A very tiny chance, but it’s still there.
When to buy an expensive electric scooter?
If you can afford a more expensive scooter, and you’re looking to buy your last electric scooter and not really worry too much about it after the purchase, then you should probably consider a more pricey model.
Also, if you’re looking at a scooter as more than just a fun gadget, and you actually need it for your daily commute or chores or have some other use for it, then you should also think about buying a more expensive scooter. You will be making a long-term investment that will pay itself off over several years maybe, but since the scooter will last much longer and not need as many repairs, you will end up saving money in the long run.
Related to the above, quality is often directly proportional to price, so more expensive scooters will probably suffer fewer defects, flat tires will be less common, and maintenance will be easier in general.
If you’re looking for a powerful scooter, or a fast scooter, or a very long range scooter, or an off-road scooter, or a great climbing scooter, then you will almost certainly want to spend more money so that you get a scooter that’s truly good at those tasks. Also, if you need a safe scooter, or a waterproof scooter (truly waterproof), then an expensive scooter makes more sense.