With rush hour traffic and angry motorists to contend with, commuting to work is one of the least enjoyable parts of our day. Take the stress out of your daily commute by switching to a scooter!
There’s no denying it, getting to and from work everyday can be a real drag, which is why it’s no surprise that a report published by the Royal Society for Public Health has found that non-active commuting is detrimental to our health. Whether you’re currently using a motorbike or a car for your daily commute, we’ve pulled together the main benefits of switching to a scooter.
1. Money saving
You can easily save money by switching to a scooter for your daily commute. Not only are mopeds and scooters cheaper to buy than cars and motorcycles, they’re also a lot cheaper to run.
Prices for scooters range from under £1,000, for a basic second hand 50cc model, to around £2,500 for larger, high-spec models. Compare this to the price of a new motorbike or even a second hand car, which is likely to cost in excess of £3,000 for a reliable vehicle, and you can see why choosing a scooter as a commuting bike is the best money saving option.
But it’s not only the cost of the vehicle you have to worry about when buying. Costs such as insurance, MOT and tax will have a massive impact on how affordable a car or motorbike is for everyday use. Thankfully, running a scooter is just as affordable as buying one!
Unlike many second hand cars, where low vehicle costs usually means higher tax which can skyrocket to hundreds of pounds a year, mopeds are taxed on the size of their engine. Both 50cc and 125cc scooters fall into the same tax bracket - and will only cost around £19 for the whole year!
Due to their engine size, mopeds and scooters also have the lowest cost MOTs. The government website states that the maximum cost of an MOT for a scooter up to 200cc is £29.65. Compare this to the larger engined bikes and cars, which could see you paying up to £54.85 for a single MOT.
There are a lot of factors that can affect the cost of any vehicle insurance policy, such as the type of insurance cover, number of years no claims, vehicle storage and security, and your age and location. However, overall the cost is much lower to insure a scooter compared to cars or larger motorbikes.
2. Better for the environment
Due to their small, efficient engines, scooters are a much more eco-friendly option to get you to work. Mopeds burn far less fuel than a car doing the same journey. Not only are these small engines great for the environment, the manoeuvrability of a scooter means you won’t get stuck in traffic, pumping out CO2 while stationary.
3. Fuel efficient
Not only will you be able to navigate through the traffic on the back of your scooter, making your overall journey time shorter and using less fuel, the miles per gallon is much higher on two wheels compared to four.
According to The RAC Foundation, a typical car does an average of 50.5 miles to the gallon. Compare this to the average mpg for an automatic petrol motorbike, at a massive 76.3mpg and you can see why choosing a scooter can drive down the cost of petrol.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that the average mpg figure for cars takes into consideration many newer models and eco alternatives. Affordable, second-hand cars tend to have a much lower mpg figure, while affordable scooters are very fuel efficient. Let’s look at this in practical terms. A typical commuting vehicle, such as the 2008 Ford KA, which will cost around £1,500 to purchase, does an average of 46.3 mpg, whereas many 125cc scooters achieve over 90mpg.
4. Easy to handle
As you’ll most likely need to commute to work up to 5 days a week, then one of the most important things to consider is ensuring your ride is as stress free and comfortable as possible. Scooters are some of the easiest bikes to handle, their lightweight frame means they are nimble and easy to move around traffic, getting you from A to B with ease. Scooters also have a smaller wheelbase than motorcycles, making them easier to handle at slower speeds.
If you’re new to riding, the thought of getting on the back of a moped may seem daunting. However, not only are mopeds really easy to handle, they are also really comfortable. When riding a moped or scooter your body will stay in an upright position, similar to sitting on a chair, which makes riding extremely easy for newcomers.
5. Lower power
Although for some people less power may not seem like a benefit, the smaller 50 and 125cc engines in a scooter makes handling a lot easier - which is great for first time buyers. But, 50cc bikes aren’t only perfect if you’re just starting out, the lower power means scooters can reach a top speed of around 30mph, and if you’re travelling around a town or city that’s pretty much the fastest you’ll be looking to go any way.
6. Road friendly
Nipping through city centre traffic can definitely lower the stress of your commute. Instead of spending half of your morning in honking traffic, using your scooter to get to work means a much shorter journey time. In addition to this, did you know that scooters and motorcycles can legally travel in certain bus lanes? If the road sign for the bus lane features a motorcyclist, then you can pop into this lane on your bike to skip the queues.
Please note that scooters and motorcycles are not permitted to ride in all bus and taxi lanes, please ensure you check the signage before you join a bus lane.
In addition to this, mopeds and scooters are much smaller and therefore contribute less to congestion. Motorbikes and mopeds are exempt from both the Congestion Charge and T-Charge in London, meaning if you commute in the capital by bike you can save £11.50 a day!
7. Easy (and cheap) parking
Car parks are one of the biggest headaches for motorists, trying to find a space for your car is hard work enough without the added cost of parking fees. Luckily for scooter and motorcycle riders, parking up is a dream. Not only is it a lot easier to find a space to park your bike, many councils and multi-storey car parks across the UK do not charge parking fees for two wheeled vehicles, providing you park in the bays provided.
Please be aware, not all pay and display car parks offer free parking to motorcyclists - ensure you check the signage or check with your local council for more information.
8. Space saving
This may seem obvious, but a scooter takes up a lot less space than a car. Whether you’re concerned about home storage or parking space while you’re at work, it’s undeniable that a scooter is a much more convenient vehicle to store. If you’re in a city centre location, chances are you don’t have a massive driveway to store your road vehicles. Scooters however, can be stored easily in gardens or on the street. There are also some really handy pop up motorcycle storage sheds that you can purchase to keep your bike secure and away from the elements. Don’t forget to Lock, Chain and cover your bike when it is not in use.
9. It’s easy to get started - even from a young age
To get started on the road to scootering, all you need is a provisional driving licence and to complete a compulsory basic training (CBT) course. That’s it! From there you can ride a 50cc scooter on the road with L plates. Not only this - you can also start riding from the age of 16.
A CBT course is designed to ensure that you can safely handle a moped on your own and lasts for 2 years, giving you a chance to practice for your full test. This is undeniably a lot less hassle than holding a provisional car licence, where you have to have an experienced driver in the car with you at all times.
After you’ve completed your CBT, you can ride a:
- moped if you’re 16 or over
- motorcycle up to 125cc and with a power output of up to 11kW if you’re 17 or over
(note: you must use L plates)
If you’d like to find out more about what to expect on your CBT please see our Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) guide.
10. Affordable Protective Equipment
And finally, starting your scooter journey requires a lot less gear than you need to ride a motorbike. There’s no need to break the bank on expensive specialist leathers and equipment to ride a scooter. While you will of course need a tough jacket and trousers, protective gloves and a good crash helmet to ride, these tend to be much lower cost (and easier to get in and out of) than motorcycle leathers.
We hope this helps you to decide whether a scooter is the right fit for you! If you have any other questions or concerns, please leave a comment below.