Updated April 2022
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Buying guide for Best electric scooters

The archenemy of going green isn't fossil fuels, it's convenience. Hopping in your car to pick up a gallon of milk is faster and easier than walking to a nearby store. And using public transportation in the city just seems to make sense because that's what everyone else does.

But being a follower is how so many people get lost. Don't be a passenger, be the driver. An electric scooter is not only convenient and green but it can also save you money.

We at BestReviews have put together this shopping guide that provides everything from the advantages and disadvantages of traveling by electric scooter to how it works and how much you can expect to spend – and save – so you’ll know how to make the smartest purchase based on your needs.

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An electric scooter isn't like a car. You can't leave the house with an empty tank and hope you make it to the gas station. Routinely charge your scooter so it doesn't let you down when you need it most.

What is an electric scooter?

The word “scooter” can mean anything from a skateboard with a long steering handle to a moped, but this guide focuses on motorized kick scooters. An electric scooter has a large deck where the rider stands. It also has a long handle that steers the front wheel. The motor is powered by a rechargeable battery.

Electric scooter pros and cons

If you're not sure if an electric scooter is right for you, the following list of pros and cons can help you decide.


  • Cost effective: Even the higher-end models are priced to pay for themselves quickly.

  • Portable: Electric scooters are fully portable. Many fold in half so you can carry it over your shoulder and stash it away when you reach your destination (although some are easier to fold than others).

  • Eco-friendly: No fuel means no emissions.

  • Quiet: The motor makes a nearly silent whir.

  • Easy to ride: There is no steep learning curve. It's easier to learn to ride than a bike.

  • Minimum physical exertion: You can travel about without working up a sweat, which makes a scooter a great choice for commuters.

  • Shorter commute time: Step off the train, unfold your scooter, and get to work in a fraction of the time it takes to walk that final leg of your journey.

  • No parking problems: You don't need to worry about finding a parking spot. You can travel directly to your destination.


  • Can be awkward: Even though scooters are relatively lightweight, carrying 20 or more pounds after you reach your destination can be a burden.

  • Limited range: Each charge will only take you so far.

  • Requires recharging: Unless there's a place to recharge your scooter at your destination, you need to have enough battery life for the round trip.

  • No weather protection: You’re completely exposed to the elements while riding a scooter.

  • Limited carrying capacity: You need two hands to ride a scooter. If something doesn't fit in your backpack or basket, you won't be able to bring it with you.

How electric scooters work

An electric scooter only needs to do two things: accelerate and stop. Turning employs a varying balance of leaning and slightly twisting the front wheel.


An electric scooter can accelerate in three different ways: using your foot, using your wrist, or using your thumb. Before using your scooter, read the owner's manual. Although many scooters need an initial push before the motor engages, this action might damage other scooters.

  • Foot: Using one foot, step off the deck and push the scooter forward.
  • Wrist: On many electric scooters, twisting the right hand grip counterclockwise (toward you) makes the vehicle accelerate. The farther you twist, the faster you’ll go. Ease up and the scooter slows down.
  • Thumb: Some electric scooters have a thumb throttle (or push button) located on the right side of the handlebar, easily accessible by your thumb. When you press down, the scooter goes faster. Ease up and you slow down.
  • There are two other features your scooter may or may not have that affect acceleration: cruise control and energy-saving mode.
  • Cruise control: This feature sets and locks the speed so you can give your hand and thumb a rest. Depending on the model, the speed can be set through the display on the handlebars or through your phone (on a smart scooter).
  • Energy-saving mode: This is designed to prolong battery life by limiting your top speed.


Friction makes your scooter decelerate and stop. The two ways to apply friction to the wheels of your scooter are by hand and/or by foot. A third way to decelerate is regenerative braking.

  • Hand brakes: Your scooter can have either one or two hand brakes attached to the handlebar (one for the rear wheel and one for the front wheel). When you squeeze the hand brake, it applies friction to the designated wheel, making it slow down.
  • Foot brake: The foot brake is applied by stepping down on the rear fender. The underside of the fender presses against the tire, creating the friction needed to decelerate and stop.
  • Regenerative braking: Regenerative braking is engaged in much the same way you use a thumb throttle to accelerate. Your left thumb triggers a change of direction in the motor and your scooter slows down using torque instead of friction. While regenerative braking isn’t practical in every situation, it does offer an impressive benefit – the energy released from deceleration can be partially recouped and used to recharge your battery, thus extending its life.

Electric scooter features to consider

There aren’t many parts to an electric scooter. As long as it gets you from point A to point B safely and efficiently, it's doing its job. However, there are a few variables that will help you determine which model is perfect for you.


How far do you need to go? Most electric scooters can travel at least ten miles per charge. Others can go a bit farther. Be sure to read the fine print. The maximum distance is under optimal conditions and at a certain weight – a larger rider traveling uphill won’t reach the maximum range listed.


A scooter for kids will top out at around 12 miles per hour. If you really need speed, you can find adult models that exceeds 25 mph (under optimum conditions). Most adult scooters travel around 18 mph.


Electric scooters vary in weight from about 15 pounds to over 25 pounds. If you need to carry your scooter around a lot, this will be a factor.

Weight limit

Electric scooters have an upper weight limit. Be sure the scooter you’re considering can support not only you but also whatever you need to carry.


Scooters come with solid or air-filled tires. If you choose solid, you’ll be jostled by every little stone or sidewalk crack you hit.

Shock absorbers

The better the shock absorbers, the smoother the ride. Lower-end models don’t have shock absorbers.

Cruise control

Not all models have cruise control.

Energy-saving mode

Not all models have this. If you're having trouble reaching top speeds, there's a chance your scooter’s default mode is energy-saving mode.

Charging time

Charging times vary widely from brand to brand. Most take at least four to six hours, but some take more than ten.

Adjustable handlebars

If two or more people of different heights will be using the scooter, choose onr with handlebars you can adjust to different heights.


Even if you only plan to ride during daylight hours, it's still a good idea to get a scooter with lights. A headlight will help you see and a tail light will help others see you. Especially useful, most tail lights flash to notify those behind you that you’re braking.


If you're going to be navigating crowded city streets and sidewalks, a horn will alert pedestrians that you're coming up behind them.

Smart technology

Some electric scooters have an app that enables you to do things like set the cruise control, turn the lights on and off, see miles traveled, or check battery status.


Most scooters have a kickstand for parking, but not all of them do. If this is important to you, consider models with this feature or purchase an attachment.


Not all electric scooters fold. For commuters, a scooter that can't fold down is a deal breaker.

Carry basket

Chances are slim that you'll find a scooter that includes a front carry basket. They’re available, but you'll have to buy it separately.


Some models offer a removable seat option.

Electric scooter prices

You can expect to pay from $70 to $280 and more for an electric scooter.

Inexpensive: Between $70 and $110, you’ll find expensive toys. These scooters are meant for kids.

Mid-range: Between $110 and $210, the scooters are still mostly for kids, but they’re much more durable. Between $210 and $280 is the crossover range. At this price, you move into adult commuter scooters that can fold. If you’ll be using your scooter every day, this is your entry-level price range.

Expensive: For $280 and up, the scooters become more specialty items. These are ultra-lightweight and offer higher speeds and better shock absorption. Some might be designed for off-road riding, while others might be equipped with more advanced smart technology.

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Reading the owner’s manual before turning on your scooter can save you many troubleshooting nightmares. It can also keep you from inadvertently permanently damaging your new scooter.


Q. What kind of safety equipment do I need to ride a scooter?

A. The bare minimum is a Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved helmet and closed-toe shoes with rubber soles. No sandals or flip-flops. After that, it's up to you and how much pain you enjoy. Knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves are all worth considering.

Q. Do I need a license to drive an electric scooter?

A. In most states, no. However, if you have an exceptionally fast or powerful vehicle, the rules might be different. Also, in certain states, such as Florida, there are a lot more vehicular regulations. It’s important to confirm what the laws are in your state.

Q. Do I need insurance?

A. Again, in most states, electric scooters are not classified as motor vehicles, so there’s no need for registration, license plates, or insurance. However, it’s a good idea to verify the laws in your particular state just to be certain.

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