Get 100+ MPG with scooters

By glblguy

scooters

Each Monday here on Gather Little by Little I write about topics and techniques for saving money. This article is part of that ongoing series called Money Saving Monday Tips.

I know, I know not another article on gas prices, MPGs, or hypermiling right? Well, bear with me as this is an idea that will not only reduce your gas costs but might even be fun!

Pretty much everyone is feeling the cost of rising gas prices and you certainly don’t need me to remind you. The pain is felt each time you fill up that SUV, car, or even hybrid. Gas prices are at an all time high here in America, and we’re all feeling the pain. That pain is causing many people to look for more economical options. Options include selling those gas guzzling SUVs, down sizing to smaller cars, or purchasing hybrids.

Here in America, cars, trucks and SUVs are the standard for getting from one point to another. While alternative forms of transportation are available, they just aren’t prominent here in the states. Just taking a quick glance out my front window, every driveway I see has a car, truck or SUV. On the contrary though, other countries have used other forms of transportation for years. These countries not only have high sophisticated public transportation but other forms as well. It now seems we Americans are beginning to discover the forms of transportation used by these other countries.

What am I talking about? What other forms of transportation am I referencing? Bikes, motorcycles, mopeds and scooters. I for one am seeing far more motorcycles on the road these days. Along with the  motorcycles, I’m also seeing scooters.

Scooters

The most popular of these alternative forms of transportation recently are scooters. Since I’ve been seeing far more on the road, I thought I’d do a little research on these motorcycle like vehicles.

What I quickly found out is that scooters are a great transportation option, especially if you live in a city or work close to where you live. Scooters are affordable, don’t require insurance, don’t require a driver’s license and they can get 100+ miles per gallon.

Retailers of scooters are seeing a dramatic increase in scooter sales over the past few months. The higher gas prices get, the more scooters retailers are selling. Scooter prices range from $600.00 – $5, 000.00 depending on the size of the engine and scooter features. There are a number of models that get more than 100 MPG in the $600-$700 range.

With all of that gas mileage, paying for gas at the pump is very different. On average, scooters get 80-100 mpgs out of their 2 gallon gas tanks. For many, that would equate to one fill-up a month at $8 – $10!

Scooter Limitations

Scooters do have a few limitations, namely the speed limit. Scooters with smaller engines can have a difficult time keeping up with traffic and takes then significantly longer to get up to speed. Some states, such as NC where I live limits scooters to 30 mph. Scooters that can travel faster have the same requirements as motorcycles.

Also like motorcycles, scooters have the same helmet requirements that motorcycles do, meaning you have to wear one. Scooters are also far more dangerous than cars and as motorcycles and scooters become more prominent on the roads, so will accidents.

Another item to consider is the weather, including the cold, heat, snow and rain. Unlike cars there are no roofs, heaters or A/C. While the design of scooters should keep your legs and feet dry, your upper body is completely exposed. You will either need an alternative form of transportation or the appropriate weather gear.

What to know about Scooters

When riding on the road, scooters must follow the same traffic and road laws of other vehicles such as cars. This means they have to obey all traffic signs, signals, etc. Scooters should also travel on the ride of the lane like a bike, so they can be easily passed.

Going cheap can also cost you in the long run. The scooter industry isn’t heavily regulated right now and there a number of off-brand and imported models that while cheap are not reliable, costly and difficult to repair due to hard to find repair parts. While a little more expensive, it may be better to purchase a name brand model instead.

Also, be careful purchasing scooters on the internet, as many come boxed and require assembly which can be difficult, especially when tuning the engine and getting them to run correctly and efficiently.

Are you considering a scooter? How about a motorcycle? What steps are you taking to greatly reduce your gas budget? Have any tips or recommendations on which scooter to buy? Add a comment!

Photo by: ryan_fung

This post sponsered by:

Save gas money and get fit, buy a road bike, and bike instead of driving.


19 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Get 100+ MPG with scooters”

  1. Frugal Dad Says:

    A coworker bought a scooter last Friday and proudly showed it off in the parking lot, quoting the salesperson by indicating the scooter got 90+ MPG. I’m not sold. I think we will hear of more accidents caused by these things. People fail to see motorcycles all the time, and these things are smaller, and much quieter, than a Harley. Scooters offer little protection in a crash – I’ll pay more for gas for the protection of being surrounded by metal and airbags.

  2. Ryan @ Smarter Wealth Says:

    I would love to buy a scooter. It would save me so much in gas money and be so much fun. Only problem is you need to spend money to save money. And I don’t have the money to spend

    Something for though: So if you take into account inflation are we REALLY paying more for gas? Or is it just more money but less value. My grandparents used to pay a penny for lollies when they were kids, now we pay $0.50 or $1. It sounds like a lot more money but it has the EXACT same value. So are we really pay more money?

    But seriously what is wrong with gas prices these days! They are going through the roof. I am going to need to get a hybrid car (or walk more often)

  3. "Mo" Money Says:

    The only problem I have with scooters is the safety factor. My daughter in law had an accident on hers last year and is still in physical therapy.

  4. Justin Says:

    Accidents on scooters are frequent. Is that because the people riding them around where I live have all lost their license? Most people associate them with DUIs. Also, the max designed speed limit in Indiana is 25 MPH, and they must be under 50cc and a max of 2 horse power.

    Otherwise it’s a motorbike and you need a license.

    Riding in the snow and rain isn’t fun either, I imagine, after watching people try and do it.

  5. That One Caveman Says:

    I considered getting a Vespa about 2 years ago, but then I moved within biking distance of work. I’ll gladly get the exercise instead of puttering around on a scooter. That said, a person in my office building and a person down the street from me both got scooters recently and seem to love them.

  6. Foxie Says:

    I wouldn’t bother getting a scooter, it’d never work for me. Besides, I’ve got my motorcycle license, and I fully intend to use it. :) If I can find a way to save up the $4k to buy a brand new bike next year, I am going to do it! (At least I’m in the middle of trying anyhow…)

    I can see the whole safety thing that Frugal Dad points out, but I find motorcycles to be a bit safer really. They handle amazingly well and can turn on a dime, as well as having awesome braking power. A bike is much better equipped to evade an accident than a scooter is. Of course, I’ve had people tell me to get a 500 instead of my desired 250 for this reason, but I’d rather have the smaller bike. Maybe it’s not 100 MPG, but it is 75 MPG and a whole lot more fun!

  7. Eden Says:

    I’m afraid it won’t be a pretty site when someone on their tiny scooter gets into an accident with that gas guzzling SUV out there. But hey, if some people don’t value their lives more than the cost a few gallons of gas who am I to judge.

  8. Stephen Says:

    Foxie has it right; small scooters are NOT SAFE in urban environments with quick moving traffic and lots of intersections, turning vehicles, cabs, deliveries etc. It’s difficult enough on a motorcycle, I can’t even imagine what it would be like on an underpowered scooter.

  9. John M. Says:

    I personally already ride a scooter, but don’t think it’s for everyone. One thing that people don’t emphasize is that you have to really commit to riding it all the time to really save money. I always hear about people buying scooters to “save money” but then they only use it to ride to the store once a week. If you are paying for insurance and maintenance plus any kind of interest on the cost of your scooter, it will never pay for itself. If you park your car for 8 months out of the year and ride the scooter everywhere, then you do have a chance to have it pay for itself in just a few years.

    Also, wear a helmet!

  10. Celina Buy Says:

    This is all very good, but still doesn’t beat to old bicycle. I don’t pay nothing and use the road for free :D

  11. JStaud Says:

    Scooters area a standard form of transportation in Europe. In Naples, Italy you can see an entire family of five riding on one Vespa. I have seen it with my own two eyes. After the birth of my first son whle stationed in Italy, I needed an alternate form of transpo. Initially I felt a little “sack-less” riding my scooter. That was an unfortunate side effect of being an American male. The reality was much different. My wife, thrilled at my dedication to her and the baby by giving up my car, graciously allowed me to start working on number two son. I brought my scooter back to the states with me to some snickering a few years ago. Not having to reprove my manhood to anyone, I rode it as often as practical. I have only recently upgraded to a BMW motorcycle. I refuse to sell my Yamaha Vino. My 15 year old son may need it for school this year. You will always have nay-sayers regarding two wheeled vehicles, but the fact of the matter is, they better watch out or get on board. If you hit one, it’s your fault over 75% of the time. If you’re not riding one, I’ll show you my gas budget to push you along, caveman!

  12. Greg McAbee Says:

    Hi,

    I live North of Indianapolis, Indiana and have had nothing but great results with my Yamaha C3 Scooter. It get’s 115 MPG and goes 45 MPH. However, I plan a wise travel route. I travel only roads that are 35 MPH so I don’t have much problem with cars trying to pass and it is safer that way. I also have passed the Motorcycle Test and Abate course here in Indiana and have it plated as a motorcycle.

    Since it is plated as a Motorcycle, I ride it in the middle of the road. Riding on the side of the road only encourages a car/truck/suv to share the lane with you and that is where it becomes unsafe.

    I am saving 2.4 Gallons of gasoline per day. And I spend 5 dollars a week on a 30 mile daily commute. It is a good option for some folks if ridden safely and the route planned wisely.

  13. Cheap Motor Scooters Says:

    With rising fuel prices, more people are buying scooters and more companies are manufacturing them. However, it is important to consider the quality while purchasing one to avoid any issues later.

  14. dj Says:

    I have been riding motorcycles for 28 years and have had only 1 accident. Think of the money she will save on gas and insurance.
    Let her get a scooter BUT make her take a safety course first.

  15. emma Says:

    I’ve had my Vespa for three years and I love it. I ride it as often as I can in inner city Chicago from spring to fall. I take it to work, grocery shopping, and where ever my kids need a lift too. I think the 5G’s will have been an investment. Love it.

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