With the rise in popularity of people using electric scooters for commuting, many commuters are asking whether it is best to rent or buy an electric scooter.
Many companies are popping up worldwide, providing public electric scooters for hire, such as Bird and Lime. For a small amount of money, you can activate an electric scooter with an app, ride it to your destination and leave it there for someone else to use.
But, there are many fantastic electric scooters on the market that you can buy and own yourself. So, which should you do, rent or buy an electric scooter?
Buying and renting electric scooters have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on your circumstances. However, we believe people who own an electric scooter benefit from them the most.
Owning An Electric Scooter Is Better For The Environment
Electric scooters are much better for the environment than driving or using public transport. Electric scooters do not emit fumes like a vehicle with an internal combustion engine when you are travelling.
Of course, scooters have a carbon cost when they are manufactured, but the carbon cost is significantly lower than the manufacturing process of a car.
It is the same story when it comes to disposing of the scooter at the end of its life. Much of an electric scooter is recyclable, and it is obviously much smaller than a car.
Renting an electric scooter is not as eco friendly as owning one. Dockless rental scooter companies need to distribute, collect and charge their scooters. They make this possible with an army of people driving vans around the city collecting them. Once they have collected them, they need to recharge and drive them back out to popular locations.
When you think that people ride electric scooters to replace their car, this business model is not that eco-friendly. This is a serious consideration when you are trying to decide whether to rent or buy an electric scooter.
As so many people ride rental electric scooters, they have very short life spans. When a rental electric scooter is damaged, the owning company usually just sends it to a landfill.
Rental electric scooters are often used for vandalism. For example, in Marseille, there is a trend where people throw these scooters into the sea. The lithium in the batteries poses a risk to marine life, while the seawater conducts electricity creating fires. Local police have to send divers into the harbour to retrieve the scooters.
When you compare rental electric scooters to one you would own, you can see a big difference. If you look after your electric scooter, the carbon cost will be spread out over time. Therefore, if you own one rather than rent a scooter, you will be much greener.
Owning An Electric Scooter Is Better For Your Wallet
If you only need to use an electric scooter for sightseeing, or just every now and again, it is better value to use one of the rental schemes.
The minimal cost of unlocking the scooter and the rate per minute is much cheaper than if you were to pay for a taxi.
However, if you need to travel regularly, buying your own electric scooter is much more beneficial. Even though the initial price can be pretty steep, this will eventually pay for itself over the lifespan of the scooter.
Is It More Convenient To Rent Or Buy An Electric Scooter?
When you need to get somewhere quickly while you are in town, rental electric scooters are great. They are easy to locate, unlock and use, as they are ready to go. Anyone with a smartphone can use them.
Sometimes it can be challenging to find a rental electric scooter when you need one. In some cities, they can be hard to track down, which is something extra to think about in addition to your journey.
But, when you are at home, you don’t really want to start walking around looking for a scooter to use. When you find one, it may not have enough charge in the battery to get you to your destination.
Some rental services and cities often restrict where you can ride rental electric scooters, which may not be very convenient for your journey.
When you rent an electric scooter, its maintenance is out of your hands. Therefore, you need to trust that the rental company has serviced it properly. This is basic health and safety, but when you own an electric scooter, you know it will be in working order and have plenty of charge to get you to work or wherever you are going.
To ensure there are enough electric scooters available, rental companies simply put more scooters on the streets. This is causing a problem in some cities, as people are leaving them in dangerous places.
With discarded rental scooters cluttering up pavements, they are causing hazards to vulnerable people such as the elderly and visually impaired people.
If more people owned their own electric scooters, these issues would be reduced significantly.
Make Your Electric Scooter Your Own
Scooter rental companies tend to provide their customers with just one type of scooter. They all have the same components, such as tyres, motors, and brakes. These components may not be best suited to the terrain on your journey. So, if your trip consists of rough surfaces and not just smooth roads, the rental scooters on offer may not be best suited to you. By buying your own electric scooter, you can make sure that it is suitable for your commute.
Rather than jumping on unfamiliar scooters every day you are not familiar with, you get to learn all about yours. You will learn how it handles, accelerates and stops. In addition, the familiarity of owning your own scooter means you can enjoy it more as you will come to know its characteristics.
Things such as range and performance will not be alien to you, so you will be able to get the most out of every ride. In addition to this, you will know if it has been adequately maintained. Nobody will know your scooter better than you, so when the braking performance starts to deteriorate, you know it is time to fix it.
When you buy an electric scooter, you can choose from a whole host of options to ensure that you get one that is most suited to you and the journeys to make. Electric scooter manufacturers offer different sizes, colours and optional extras to suit your personal preferences.
Not only this, but you can buy electric scooters that will ride on all types of terrain. These scooters open up more possibilities for different commuter routes, so you are not just stuck on roads and cycle paths. These scooters are also great for weekend fun, as you can explore the countryside and unpaved areas. To give them the ability to ride anywhere, manufacturers fit these scooters with suspension, heavy-duty tyres, powerful motors and strong brakes. You will not find these features on rental scooters, which limits where you can ride them.
Customise Your Ride
Many electric scooter owners like to customise their rides. When you rent one, you have to make do with what you get. But when you own an electric scooter, you can make it look exactly how you want it to. You can also fit it with better lights, tyres, brakes etc. However, simple modifications can make a massive difference to how your electric scooter rides. For example, handlebar grips and additional mirrors make your ride more comfortable and safer.
When you are wondering whether to rent or buy an electric scooter, it depends on how much you will use it.
Dockless rental electric scooters are ideal for tourists that want a great way of getting around a city. They are also suited to people that just need a quick way of riding around town from time to time.
However, if you need a way of commuting on a regular basis, it would be best for you to buy an electric scooter. You will benefit from having it permanently at your disposal. You will become familiar with it, know that it is safe to use and that it will get you where you need to go.
If you are eco-minded, you will also be pleased that owning an electric scooter is more sustainable than renting them all the time. Over time, the carbon cost is much less. With regular maintenance, your electric scooter will be good for years to come.