Save Your Sheckles – Get a Scooter [A cheap and fun way to commute]

get a scooter

Scooters are an inexpensive fun way to travel, and they can also be a good way to save money.

Petrol prices are not gradually rising, they are rapidly rising, and because of this, it can be expensive running a car. So people are looking for cheap alternatives. The bus or train may be cheaper than running a car, but who wants to travel with a group of complete strangers in what can sometimes be an uncomfortable environment. It would be much more enjoyable to set off on a scooter ride instead.

Scooters can also help the environment. When people take the option of riding a scooter instead of taking the car they are reducing the amount of petrol used and they are reducing carbon dioxide emissions, especially if buying an electric scooter.

How Scooters Can Save People Money

Save on fuel – The average scooter can travel roughly 80 to 100 miles using only one gallon of petrol – This means that there is not the constant necessity to fill up with petrol each time a garage is in sight. This makes travelling relatively inexpensive. The exact amount of petrol used will depend on the model of scooter, for example, a Honda Lead 110 Scooter will give 100 miles per gallon. The amount of money that is saved by not having a car or by leaving the car at home could be spent elsewhere.

Electric scooters are highly cost-effective. Although only suitable for short journeys they do not use any petrol at all, therefore in the longer term they are perfect for saving money. There is no need to fill up with petrol and so the initial outlay for the electric scooter is easily recouped by the money saved by not having to spend money at the garage.

Scooters are relatively cheap – They are cheap to buy and therefore are a better alternative to buying a car (unless you have a family to chauffeur around, in which case a car may be needed sometimes). Even if you do buy a car, still consider a scooter too as it will save money when travelling alone.

Insurance – Scooters normally fall into the lowest category group for insurance purposes, making them cheaper than cars of larger motorbikes.

Congestion charges – In most towns and cities scooters are exempt from paying the congestion charge. This can save a lot of money, especially in places like Central London.

Road Tax – The road tax charges on a small scooter are only £15 per annum. Compared to the cost of road tax for the average car this is very good value for money.

Warranties/repairs – Most new scooters come automatically with a free 2 yr warranty and automatic AA or RAC membership.

Free Parking – In most places scooters can park free of charge. Plus more than one scooter can be parked in an area allocated for one car.

Tax Savings – If a person is self-employed then the cost of a new scooter can be entirely offset against their income for tax purposes by claiming it as an investment on the tax return (provided they are using the scooter for business purposes).

The amount of people using scooters is gradually increasing because of these financial savings that can be made just by using scooters. Public transport costs are constantly rising and therefore there has never been a better time to save money and avoid the hustle and bustle of the train or bus journey to work/college etc.

Considering these money saving tips, it’s easy to see why a scooter be the answer to your financial problems?

Buying a Scooter on a Budget

If you’re looking to buy your first scooter, or maybe a small ride-around to go alongside the family car, then you’ll probably have a fixed budget in mind. This budget may not be as large as you’d like so you’ll probably want to find a reliable scooter that doesn’t break the bank.

Before you even start looking for a scooter though you should work out exactly what your budget is. Make sure you account for a crash helmet, protective clothing, tax, insurance and at least a few weeks worth of fuel. Many people forget these important little extras and find they can’t ride their scooter even after they’ve found and bought it!

So, once you have a price range in mind for your scooter where do you start looking?

Newspaper classified sections – Most local newspapers have a section where people advertise things they want to sell, including scooters and other forms of transport. This is a great place to start looking for your budget scooter as the majority of the scooters being sold will be in your local area. Make a note of the ones you can afford and phone for appointments to view them.

Car and motorbike magazines – this type of magazine often has a ‘for sale’ section where scooters of all types and sizes can be bought. Generally speaking the scooters for sale in motorbike magazines are top quality and so they may be a little bit pricey for some.

Used scooter dealers – not every area has this type of business but most of the main cities do. You can get some very nice second-hand scooters from dealers for bargain prices – often because they have taken the scooters in as a part exchange and need to sell them on again. Often if you explain to a used scooter dealer that you have a fixed budget they can show you, models, that most suit your needs for the price you specify.

On the internet – there are numerous websites where scooters are advertised but not all are worth looking at. You can get some great bargains on auction sites but be aware that you probably won’t be able to see the scooter before you buy, and so you’ll have to take the seller’s word that it is actually in the condition they say it is.

Choosing your budget scooter

Depending on the size of your budget you may be quite restricted with regards to the type of scooter you can look at. Brand new models are probably a bit too expensive although most of the large manufacturers and dealers offer payment plans that last several years. If you want to own your scooter outright though then a second-hand model is more suitable.

So, let’s say you have conducted a search and you’ve found a number of scooters that suit your needs and are within budget. What next?

Firstly when you go to see the scooters that interest you try to take someone with you who knows a quality machine from one fit for the scrap yard. A second-hand scooter can look in very good condition from the outside but the engine could be in poor condition – a factor that you may not pick up on if you don’t know exactly what to look for.

Ask if you can take the scooter for a test drive, or alternatively ask if you can ride pillion while the owner drives. Either way, you’ll be able to see how well the scooter moves and if there are any clunks, bangs or other weird noises when on the road.

When you are completely satisfied that the scooter you’re looking at is the one for you, try to negotiate on the price. Mention that you are due to look at a few after this one that is a little bit cheaper, but that you are interested. Even if the seller doesn’t lower the price it will still be within your budget, otherwise, you wouldn’t be looking at it!

So, you’ve found a scooter you like that you can comfortably afford. Now all you need to do is tax it (if indeed it needs tax), insure it and get your helmet on…oh and have loads of fun showing it off to the world.

New Tax Incentives

In the budget in March 2010, Alistair Darling gave the self employed person who wishes to purchase scooter or motorbike the right to offset the price for tax purposes. In effect, if the scooter or bike is bought solely for business use, the whole purchase price can be claimed back from the taxable profits where it can now be declared on tax returns as an annual investment.

Following this change, Scooter and motorbike manufacturers have combined to form the campaign group Get On specifically to promote the sales of scooters and motorbikes for business use. According to the group, a person on the 40% tax band could save £2,728 on a Honda CBF costing £6,821.

At the other end of the market, £100 can be saved on a £500 50cc bike purchase by a low rate tax payer and £200 by someone on the higher rate. The savings here will vary depending on both the cost of the vehicle and the tax band of the purchasers. It is worth bearing in mind that if the self employed purchaser is registered for V.A.T., this element of the purchase and running costs can additionally be reclaimed.

Get On is also now offering free of charge one hour training sessions provided by local instructors to give individuals the opportunity to try the experience of riding a scooter or bike before enrolling for the compulsory basic certificate necessary to drive on the UK roads.

This tax saving will prove to be an added incentive to the self employed person who is perhaps already considering using a scooter or a bike for business instead of a car. He/she can travel quickly and more easily to meet clients and, in London particularly, can save considerably on congestion charges which are not applicable to two wheeled vehicles. Additionally, it is easier to get through heavy traffic on a scooter or bike and there are no parking charges.

Buying a scooter may be a budget solution, so if you are having a hard time picking one, check out our best electric scooters choice or if you are more interested in tricks then go with our best stunt scooters list. Furthermore, if you have some more money to spend and you like hitting higher speeds then consider checking out our best petrol scooters.