TL:DR - An electric scooter is a fast, eco-friendly and fun way to travel. Maybe you are after a scooter for a casual, low effort commute to the office. Maybe it's going to give you a weekend full of activities and adventure. Whatever the reason is you are looking for an electric powered scooter, we are going to help you make an informed decision with our electric scooter buying guide.
Our 2021 E-Scooter Buyer's Guide
When choosing your new way to travel you will want to consider the weight, battery life, price point and more. In our comprehensive e scooter buyers guide we help you make your decision easier.
Read on or skip ahead using the quick links to learn which considerations you should make when choosing your new way to travel as well as the best e-scooter for a commuter, muck around, all terrain and for a child.
#1 The type of rider you will be
Firstly, you need to think about what kind of e-scooter rider you want to be. Do you see yourself flying through the trails, doing jumps and getting caked in mud? Are you looking for a casual scoot to work in your office clothes just a mile away? Or, do you plan on scooting with the family, mainly across flat surfaces but out for the entire day?
If you want to get the most out of your e-scooter then you will want it to suit your needs and be a comfortable ride.
- Off roaders - We suggest an e-scooter with big wheels (8 inch minimum) and air filled, fat treaded tyres
- Casual commuters - If you are going for a very short ride you might be ok with a small wheeled scooter with no thrills, just a good way to get from A to B
- Weekend riders - When you plan on going longer than 1 mile on your e-scooter you want a comfortable ride. Choose air filled tyres or suspension, you won’t necessarily need both
The weight of the e-scooter is something to consider. If you plan on commuting with the e-scooter then you will need to factor in how heavy it is to carry if part of your commute involves stairs or public transport.
The weight can also impact the ride. If your e-scooter is very heavy you may notice that it is harder to get up hills. If you plan on riding mainly across flat land, this may not be such a factor.
The weight of the e-scooter is one thing, but then there is also the weight that the board can take. Some lightweight scooters can handle up to 100-120 kg, however, some can take up to 250 kg. You should always factor in any additional baggage you may be carrying when calculating the max load of an e-scooter.
#3 Charge time
How long the transport takes to fully charge is something to look at when comparing products after reading the electric scooter buyers guide. If battery longevity and life is an important factor for you, then look for an option with a higher price point which will have a quality battery which is less likely to diminish with each charge.
Being able to fold up the scooter and sling it over your shoulder could be a real plus over an e-bike. By their nature, e-scooters are compact, however, when you can fold them in half this makes them an even more attractive option for commuters. Not only are foldable e-scooters portable, they are also easier to store at home or in the office.
How fast your scooter can go will boil down to a few factors such as:
- The power of the motor
- The surface (faster on a flat than a hill)
- The weight of the rider
- How much air is in the tyres
You could expect to go around 15 mph, which is 11 mph faster than the average walking pace. If there are hills involved, your tyres are incorrectly inflated, if you are a heavier rider or carrying baggage, this speed could be slower.
The stopping distance of a typical e-scooter using an electronic break traveling around 15 mph is around 30-40 feet, or the length of 3 cars. You might not want to be reaching those top speeds when you are in the city or on a busy cycle path where they are legal to ride.
#6 Motor power
After reading the electric scooter buying guide you will no doubt go and hunt for your ideal e-scooter. You will soon notice that each scooter has a number which relates to the motor power.
The motor power varies between different makes and models. An e-scooter with a higher motor watt rating will mean that the motor will be able to carry more weight, climb steep hills and accelerate faster.
If you are riding flat roads in the city and are a lightweight rider then a lower wattage e-scooter will no doubt do the trick. Planning on hitting the trails and hills? You might be better suited to an e-scooter with a lower powered motor to drive you up the hills with ease.
#7 Safety features
If safety features are an important part of your buying decision. You will want to consider choices with the the following safety features:
1 - Lights - This will help make you more visible to other vehicles and people when you are out in the dusk and dark
2 - Brakes - There are a couple of different kinds of brakes on an e-scooter. You will find electric brakes, disk and drum brakes and foot brakes. You should get your brakes serviced to check that they are in good working order
3 - Bell - Having a bell on your e-scooter will allow you to alert others that you are coming by
4 - Alarm - Consider an e-scooter with an alarm to help prevent it from being stolen
You will quickly realise that scooters vary in price. When making your selection you should consider the type of rider you are going to be (see #1) and what exactly you want from your scooter. Beware of going too cheap with the e-scooter as this might mean low quality parts which might lead to a shorter life span of the battery and product itself.
That being said, if you don’t have a massive budget, you can still pick up a decent scooter for a fair price and it can last - if you treat it well.
Which option is for me?
For the next part of our electric scooter buying guide, we are going to cover a few options to suit different riders.
What is a good choice for a commuter?
A great choice for a commuter would be something that is easy to fold and lightweight. A good option would be the M365 Pro by Xiaomi. This makes it into the electric scooter buying guide as it is lightweight at just 14kg and can fold incredibly quickly.
The design is not only easy to carry, but it is also convenient should you need to transport the e-scooter in a car or public transport as part of your commute.
Don’t let the lightweight of this one fool you into thinking that it is flimsy. This is an incredibly sturdy and powerful commuter scooter that can withstand 100 kg, travel up to 25 km/h and last around 45 km before a charge.
Generally, for a commuter you would be looking for the following:
- Easy to fold
- Comfortable to carry
What is a good e-scooter for a muck around?
If you are looking for a stunt scooter for merely playing around on, then you might look at something like the Razor E Prime Air. This is a sleek and affordable option with a simple plug in battery and a reliable brushless motor. It is very easy to use, travels up to 15 mph and could be suitable for tricks too if that’s your thing!
If you want to read our guide to the best electric scooters hit the button below:
What is good for a real all-terrain rider?
If you are someone who is reading the electric scooter buying guide looking for something to ride off-road and on all terrains then this one's for you. You might want something with pneumatic tyres, meaning they are air filled, to give a little cushioning when you are hitting the trails.
You’ll also want to consider a larger wattage which may help you to tackle some off road hills. Take a look at Segway's MAX G30 as an option that may just tick all those boxes.
What to consider when buying for a child?
Kids can enjoy electric scooters just as much as adults. Take a look at the Segway Ninebot KickScooter ZING E8 2021.
This is a model which features a slim body, safe mode for beginners and is brightly coloured to appeal to youths. The kick scooter has a top speed of 14 km/h, or 10 km/h in safe mode. The high elastic rubber tyre will mean that you won’t get caught out with flats and the front shock absorption will make scooting a comfortable experience.
A child with a motorised scooter option will help to keep up with the rest of the family, allowing them to recover a little energy when they get tired. This means adventures can go on for longer and you can go further.
What about the law?
We have gone into more depth on the legal side of things in this guide below:
In the UK the rules as of 2021 state, e-scooters are not to be used on public roads or pavements. They can only currently be used on private land with the owner's consent. This doesn't prevent you riding a scooter in non-powered mode, or the hiring of one from a licensed operator.
Maintenance and repair of a Scooter
As part of the guide to buying electric scooters we are including a few notes on maintaining them and repairing them.
It is important to keep your electric scooter in good condition to help the longevity of your personal transport.
Here are a few ways to maintain your selection:
- Keep the battery out of hot or cold temperatures
- Wipe the body down if it gets wet
- Store the scooter in a cool and dry environment when not in use
- Keep your battery at least 10% charged
- Fully charge your scooter if you plan on storing it away for a few months
- Re oil any parts if it gets very wet
- Keep tyres pumped up correctly
- Ensure the breaks and lights work
How to repair them (or where)
If your e-scooter becomes damaged or stops working there are simple checks you can do at home. However, if fixing it goes beyond what you can do, there are specialists who will be able to help fix it for you. Try our webchat for some help in that regard as we build out the UK's largest personal electric vehicle support network.
One key tip when it comes to the power unit. If your scooter's battery becomes damaged, do not ride it until you or a professional has fixed it.
Simple maintenance fixes
- Check the battery is charged
- Look at the motor and assess for damage
- Inspect the brakes and brake pads for wear
- Check the belt/chain is in tact
If you have any questions about which option to choose after reading our electric scooter buying guide, send us a message where we will be able to help you further.