Driving around cities can be a real challenge, especially with the increasing costs of car rentals overseas and the heavy traffic you usually have to endure to do your sightseeing.
While walking can be a healthy and cheap alternative to driving, and public transport can be a great way to explore the city like a local, there’s a new trend for city travel starting to emerge in 2019: the electric scooter.
Electric scooters might have been known as a kids toy when they first hit the market, but being that they’re eco-friendly, less costly than driving, and much easier to store, we’re starting to see an influx of scooters on city sidewalks.
In response to this trend, we’ve decided to cover the pros and cons of using electric scooters for city travel. If you find yourself convinced, be sure to check out this MyProScooter guide for info on the best electric scooters.
Electric Scooter for City Travel – Great Idea or Annoying?
While most electric scooters have a top speed of just above fifteen miles per hour, moving around a busy city is definitely faster and easier when using an electric scooter compared to a car.
Scooters allow you to avoid highly congested roads, and allow you to take shortcuts through narrow streets where most cars can’t fit. The downside however is that electric scooters are not weatherproof.
Driving by car is obviously a far better choice when there’s heavy rain, thick snow, or extreme heat outdoors. Similarly, most electric scooters don’t work well over unpaved roads and highly sloping tracks.
On the flipside, parking is not a big problem with electric scooters. You can store them in small spaces or carry one with you to store in a museum cloakroom. These scooters are lightweight and usually range from 20 to 30 pounds.
So, if it’s a beautiful, sunny day, and the city you’re navigating is relatively flat, we recommend renting an electric scooter. However, if the weather looks temperamental, or you’ll have to navigate steep streets, opt for a different form of transport.
Cost and Maintenance
Electric scooters are usually priced at $2,000 to $4,000 per unit, although you can find good deals at $1,500 and below. Of course though, that’s if you’ve chosen to purchase one.
Due to the increased demand for scooters, you can often organize daily or weekly rentals from bike rental shops in most global cities, and the prices start from $4, depending on which city you’re in.
Depending on the make, electric scooters can run more than 30 miles or even twice as far in just one full charge. They are compact, foldable, easily carried and stored, so you’ll have no trouble taking a scooter on public transport.
For beginners, electric scooters are much easier to learn compared to four wheel vehicles. You only need to control the speed and maneuver the vehicle without the need to shift gears and to pedal.
Additionally, these scooters create minimal noise and has zero emissions which makes them more environment-friendly. However, you may need to check with the local government if a license is required for driving electric scooters.
You may also need to equip a helmet and other protection gear depending on the local laws and regulations. Road rules change from country to country, so it’s important to stay on top of the road rules, even if you’re scooting on the sidewalk.
If you’re renting a scooter, which most travelers do, the shop should be able to give you a run down of local laws, like whether or not you’ll need to wear a helmet.
Fun & Fitness!
Scooting is not just practical, but also lot of fun. Jumping on an electric scooter let’s you de-stress in the fresh air and leaves you feeling great after a burst of activity.
And, this is a great low impact workout you can fit into your travels; at an average pace it burns 300 calories an hour, more than cycling.
It’s great incidental exercise that will tone your muscles and keep you fit, even when you’re gorging out on Italian pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!