Electric Scooters are slowly becoming a common sight on the UK roads. At the moment the law states that only electric scooters hired in selected areas via an approved rental firm are legal to ride, however, it is perfectly legal to purchase an electric scooter, provided you only ride it on private land.
We believe a change in the law is just around the corner and we’ve been working hard with manufacturers around the globe to find, test and select a range of scooters that we think are perfect for the UK market.
There are a number of factors that you as a rider must consider when selecting an electric scooter. We have outlined these in the hope that you can make a better decision when choosing the correct scooter.
As there is a lot to consider, we’ve done the hard part for you. Here’s our guide to choosing the right scooter for you.
Why buy an electric scooter?
If you haven’t ridden an electric scooter, we suggest you hire one and give it a try as soon as possible. Electric scooters are a great, environmentally friendly and economical way of getting around quickly and in style. They are easy to use, they help you maintain social distancing rules and don't leave you panty or sweaty when you arrive. But most of all they are fun and given our current climate, I think we could all do with a little more fun.
Not all Electric Scooters are built equally, and you should spend a little time thinking about what you want based on the following factors:
The price ultimately depends on what level of features you’re looking for. An electric scooter with a higher top speed, longer battery life and suspension like the premium INOKIM OXO is going to set you back more than a basic model without the bells and whistles.
We are aware that during these times an electric scooter could be seen as a luxury but if you still have to go to work or commute on a regular basis, we recommend you stretch your budget and see your purchase as an investment. Check out the guide where we look into the costs of running an electric scooter compared to renting on. We also offer finance deals via Klarna or PayPal Credit, both of which allow you to spread the cost of the electric scooter.
Whatever you choose, rest assured that your electric scooter will be delivered to you at no extra charge and delivered from our UK warehouse.
Pro Tip: Spend a little more and you’ll have a scooter you love and not just like.
The distance you are able to travel on your scooter varies considerably and is dependent on battery capacity, speed, terrain and rider weight to name but a few. If you intend on making frequent short journeys and are able to place your scooter on charge easily in-between these times you do not need a scooter with a long range.
Most of our scooters have a range of 15 miles but bear in mind these ranges are achieved in near perfect conditions. In reality, we have found that when you factor in road conditions, rider weight, weather and speed the actual range you get is about 10 % less than what is advertised. While it depends on your usage, a full charge every day will help stave off any range anxieties, wondering if you will make it to your next destination with enough juice to return.
If you intend on riding your scooter for longer periods of time without a recharge, on routes that may include hills, it is worth investing in a scooter with a larger battery. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that most scooters come with different riding modes that usually include an eco-mode that is designed to conserve the battery by reducing the speed and power.
Like all batteries, as time goes on your battery capacity and scooter range will diminish. Most batteries will maintain their integrity for at least 300 to 500 charging cycles, with the best batteries enduring up to 1,000 charging cycles before beginning to degrade.
Pro Tip: Maintaining a consistent speed will help conserve the battery. Check out our guide on how to look after your battery.
The power and speed of an electric scooter go hand-in-hand. Generally speaking, the more powerful the electric scooters motor, the higher speeds you can achieve. However, current UK regulations for rental scooters state that the top speed of an electric scooter must be restricted to 15.5 mph. This top speed is also common across Europe and as a result we have found that even if your scooter has a powerful 600-Watt motor (at peak) like THE-URBAN XT1, your top speed is still likely to be limited to the 15.5 mph recommended max speed.
That being said, we think a speed of 15.5 mph is more than enough for the UK roads. You will still be going much quicker than a person’s walking speed of 4 mph and when you are riding the scooter it will feel much faster.
So why should you get a scooter with a 600-Watt (or greater) motor if the top speed is limited? If your journey consists of steep inclines, uneven ground or you are on the heavier side an electric scooter with a powerful motor will ensure you achieve and maintain these top speeds even on steep hills. We were surprised at how effortlessly the Zukboard City V2 conquered hills with inclines of up to 15%.
The first accessory you need to consider is a good quality helmet. You can learn more about our approach to rider safety here.
Pro Tip: You don't have to pick the fastest scooter around, anything above 15 mph will be sufficient for a commute or recreational use; the INOKIM Quick 3+ will easily beat a cyclist at a traffic light.
All the speed and range in the world won't count for much if the ride is uncomfortable. If the quality of the ride is awful, you will feel every bump in the road.
The quality of the ride, just like the range depends on a number of factors and features but it is worth noting that a scooter with large pneumatic (air-filled) tyres and suspension will offer you the most comfortable ride.
Generally, larger sized tyres are better than small ones and we especially recommend that you avoid the cheaper models with plastic and smaller wheels as any bumps will be amplified tenfold.
Suspension (just like in bikes) is a great way to alleviate bumps, particularly when you are going at slower speeds. In all of our tests, the best electric scooters for ride comfort all had either front and/or rear suspension.
The final aspect we assessed was the braking mechanisms and choosing a scooter with a good braking capability will not only ensure a safer ride, but it will also ensure you feel confident on your journey, elevating your riding experience. Electric scooter brakes can be broken into two categories: mechanical and electronic.
All scooters come with an electronic brake or KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and the scooter automatically slows down when you release the throttle (decelerate). These brakes are effective, but should you need to stop suddenly they are not enough. European regulators are now insisting that manufacturers have independent front and rear braking systems. During our own tests we have found that mechanical disc or drum brakes work the best. These are usually controlled via a lever on the handlebar and when applied can bring the scooter to a controlled stop very quickly.
The increasing number of manufacturers producing electric scooters has provided lots of choice for the consumer but has also made potential buyers wary of un-reputable brands entering the market with sub-standard manufacturing processes and/or non-existent warranties. Do your homework first and always pick a brand with a solid pedigree and history.
Understanding the warranty process is very important and make sure to pay attention to what is and what isn’t included.
Manufacturers will cover most faults that are the result of defective parts, but they won’t cover general wear and tear as a result of riding your scooter. We review the warranty process of all of our suppliers and ensure they have a UK or EU presence should you need to use the warranty. You can review the warranty process by brand here.
Although often overlooked in favour of the other criteria, we feel portability is just as important if you plan on using your scooter to commute with. If you travel on a train and need to fold or carry the electric scooter up or down stairs you will want the scooter to easily fold so you can easily carry it around when you need to. If this doesn't apply to you then you can skip to the next section but if you need to carry the scooter a lot, then you would want to look at something like the INOKIM Mini 2 with smaller transport wheels that will help you manoeuvre with ease across a platform or the EGRET-TEN V3 that has foldable handles which makes it easier to carry.
Electric scooters are not light. They are a sophisticated piece of engineering and those with a longer range are heavier because they have bigger batteries. However, some scooters that fold also come with mini wheel which help when you are walking with them.
Pro Tip: Select a scooter that folds as you never know when you need to carry them. The Inokim mini 2 is lightweight, foldable and has mini wheels so you can pull it along.
If you are still a little perplexed as to which scooter is the correct one for you, we recommend.
Entry Level: Basic Scooters - The ElectriQ Active E-SC1 or Xiaomi Mi Essential are perfect if you are new to scooting and want a basic entry level scooter fit for last mile commutes, trips to the shops or short trips.
Mid-Level: All Rounders – The Zukboard City v2, Inokim Light 2 or THE-URBAN XR1 are great all-rounders that offer decent range, fast speeds, comfortable rides and sensible charging times. Perfect for longer commutes, scenic scooting and getting out there to have fun.
Pro Level: Top Spec – The Inokim OX & OXO and the Egret Ten V3 X are our Top spec scooters that have it all in abundance. They have the speed, range, suspension, tyres and ride quality that will have you riding your scooter for hours at a time.
We stock a range of accessories that will compliment you as you ride your electric scooter, but we strongly recommend you remain safe whilst riding and you purchase a good helmet. Check out our break down on how to choose the perfect helmet.
We also recommend you get a pair of gloves or mitts as these protect your hands whilst riding but also gives you enhanced grip of the handle bars and brake levers without your hands getting clammy. We found the Oxford mitts with their breathable layers do an excellent job.
One final accessory to consider is security. As electric scooters become more prevalent on our roads, unfortunately there has also been an increase in theft of electric scooters. We rigorously test all our scooter locks and have found D-Locks provide great protection. They are light weight, can easily fit in your back and provide enhanced protection should you leave your scooter secured to a fixed railing of bicycle stand.
At present, Electric Scooters are not legally permitted on the roads or on pavements in the UK.
Don't forget to check out our electric scooter legal guide, which highlights the current legal landscape of electric scooters on UK roads.