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Finding and buying your first scooter can feel daunting, with many important decisions to be made. From choosing the right sized engine to fuel consumption and budget restrictions, there’s a lot to consider before you even think about getting out on the road.
With that in mind, we’ve gathered together some of the most important things to bear in mind before you buy a scooter for the very first time.
First, make sure you have the right licence
If you haven’t already got your licence, the type you’re planning to hold will influence what scooter you can ride. Luckily, there’s plenty of information out there on licensing requirements for different types of vehicles. You’ll typically need an A1 licence for light scooters or motorcycles and an A2 licence for standard ones.
If it’s your first time riding a scooter or moped, you’ll also need to book a CBT test. This is compulsory training that must be completed before you head out on the road. Take a look at our guide to taking your CBT for more information on what the course involves, or go right ahead and find a training school near you.
Carefully consider your budget
Your budget will greatly determine what you buy – and a used scooter can cost a lot less than a new one. If you do opt for a second-hand model, put aside a little extra cash and get it checked over thoroughly to avoid potential headaches further down the line.
If possible, it’s also worth taking a friend with some mechanic knowledge along to give their opinion when you view the vehicle. Otherwise, do some research into the make you are looking at so you know any potential faults and what to check for. This could save you some serious cash on repairs in the long run.
Remember those additional costs…
Scooter cost alone isn’t the only thing to think about when setting out your budget. Don’t forget to buy a good quality helmet, alongside clothing and accessories such as locks and security devices. No matter the size of your budget, safety should always come first. You’ll also need to purchase appropriate scooter insurance before taking your first outing.
Find the right sized scooter
Before you buy a scooter, it’s important to sit on it to gauge its size and how it feels to ride. Things like the height of the seat can make a big difference in whether it’s easy and comfortable.
You’ll also need to make a note of the scooter’s storage capacity and determine whether it meets your requirements. Is there enough storage for your helmet? What about any bags or extra luggage you plan on carrying with you?
Choose your engine size
Engine size is an important consideration that depends almost entirely on what you’ll be using the scooter for. In particular, you should consider the distance you want to cover and the average speed limit of the roads you’ll be riding on most.
50cc scooters are handy for short urban commutes, however, their 30mph top speed means they aren’t ideal for faster roads or longer distances. A 125cc scooter provides more oomph to keep up with traffic on busier roads, with a top speed of around 60mph. This makes them a wise option for versatility and there are some great models to choose from in our list.
Anything over 125cc requires a full motorcycle licence. There are many 400cc-plus scooters out there too, so take some time to consider what will work best for you.
Don’t forget fuel consumption
When thinking about cost and which scooter is right for your needs, it’s important to also look at running costs and how economical the scooter is.
Data suggests that a 125cc machine will typically cost under 10 pence per mile to run, while research from Scooter.co.uk says a typical scooter uses between 55% and 81% less fuel than a car for the same journey.
Even so, you’ll probably want to consider fuel efficiency before making a purchase, both from an economical and an environmental perspective. There are a whole host of low-emission vehicles and motorcycles to choose from, with just about every budget catered for.
Always do your research
Whether you’re buying your first scooter or adding to a growing collection, it’s always recommended to do plenty of thorough research. Check out any information provided by your preferred manufacturer to see if there are particular things to check for or avoid, such as common faults or problems with certain models.
With so many things to think about before you buy a scooter, it’s no wonder the decision-making process is often a little lengthier than first-time buyers expect. Our best advice is to take your time and make a decision that’s unique to you.
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