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Would You Ride A Scooter To Save Money On Gasoline?

Before we left California, we were seeing an increasing amount of of small scooters on the road, as people are trying to escape the $5.00 per gallon gas prices. Small, nimble, and definitely good on gas, it’s no surprise there is more and more interest in these small motorcycles/oversized bicycles! Annual sales have surpassed the 130,000 mark, and since you can get brand new ones for around $2,500 and up, I expect we will be seeing a lot more of them on the road. A recent article posted at Smart Money talks about the scooter revolution:

“To hear industry experts say it, though, the scooter revolution may be moving into high gear. San Francisco has carved wide swaths of parking for motorcyclists, while Florida’s amended helmet law allows for enthusiasts to hop on their 50cc scooters helmet free. Some cities also give scooters preference in their anticongestion plans. And with gas prices skidding ever upward, a mode of transport that sips fuel at 70 miles per gallon is an appealing alternative. “The stars are aligning,” says the Motorcycle Industry Council’s Ty van Hooydonk, who predicts that scooters will be increasingly popular among “cost-conscious motorists.”"

While I have considered getting a scooter or a motorcycle in the past, I don’t know how well they would work here in our new town. Sure, for the summer it would be great, but come winter I would still need a car or truck to get around – so that would make us a three-vehicle family, which I definitely do not want to be. We have been a one-car household for a few years now, and we are going to see how long we can keep that going. But what about you? Would you (or did you already?) consider getting a scooter to cut your gasoline costs significantly? What about if gas went up to $6 or $7 a gallon, which I imagine it will be next year. Would you do it then? I think if gas reached $7 a gallon, everyone would be riding these around. What do you think?

Photo by palindrome6996

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Comments (20)

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  1. Emily says:

    My hubby is talking about getting one. He really only drives to work and back 10 miles each way so having a gas guzzling car isn’t necessary. We have good weather here in Florida year round so it would work well. We’re talking about going from two cars to a hybrid and a scooter/vespa.

  2. FAye says:

    what are good scooter companies? how much do they cost?

  3. Lynnae says:

    My husband considered getting a scooter, but like you, he’d still need his 4 wheel drive for the winter, so it just didn’t make sense for us.

    It sure would be nice if public transportation were better around here.

  4. claire says:

    Our winters are pretty cold; I think that alone precludes the scooter/motorcycle option. If that isn’t enough, my area is not bicycle-friendly and it has more than its share of bad drivers. I’d be concerned about the lack of bodily protection.

  5. Laura says:

    I have seriously considered getting scooter, but the roads for my commute to work aren’t too bike friendly. Other parts of the city are better, though, I’m looking at just getting a regular bike for the exercise.

  6. Frugal Dad says:

    I live near a military base and I’m told that they are very popular on the base wth people ‘scooting’ around base housing to their day jobs, etc. I drive an old van with horrible gas mileage, but I only have a five mile commute one way. I suppose if I had a longer drive I would look at improving my mileage with something more fuel-efficient, and in a warm-weather climate a scooter wouldn’t certainly be fine.

  7. Jon says:

    I’m an avid motorcycle commuter, but the principle is pretty much the same for scooters. If you’re interested, I’ve posted on the pros and cons on my livejournal page listed above.

  8. Jon says:

    Ah, I just realized that the URL doesn’t display, but is linked to my name, so here’s the URL, just in case. http://eltigreblanco.livejournal.com

  9. Patrick says:

    I had a motorcycle for awhile and I enjoyed riding that (and the great gas mileage). Unfortunately, bikes are fair weather riding where I am. There is too much snow and ice in the winter to deal with a bike and I don’t have room in my garage for a scooter just for summer. Otherwise, yeah, I would consider it.

    :)

  10. I would probably buy a scooter if I was still in school and needed cheap transportation just for myself. Although, I did think about getting one when I drove to the train station as a cheaper alternative.

  11. Kelsey says:

    I LOVE MY MOPED!! I have had one for over two years now and I absolutely love it. I am a college student on a big campus and so it helps me get to class, work, groceries, etc. I have two internships on the other side of town that I moped to. I live in Wisconsin so it does get cold but if you wear the right clothes and suck it up, it isn’t too bad. I know I could take the bus, but I hate how long it takes. I only take the bus in the winter when it becomes so cold and snowy that I can no longer ride my moped for long periods of time. But overall it has been awesome and cheap. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for cheap transportation and for a fun ride!! http://moneymix.cuna.org/000001/blog/?p=241

  12. Kelsey says:

    to Faye– a good scooter company is TGB, they make a great scooter (Key West) for a pretty decent price. You could always go for the standards like Honda, Toyota etc. but they will generally cost you. I drive a Key West and get good speed, good mileage and it’s pretty sweet looking! I would talk with a salesperson about the different things you would want in a moped and then go from there. You can also research online, i found that helpful.

  13. david says:

    Also, check out Piaggio and Vespa, of course!

  14. Rahaha… what a silly question to ask me. I already have a scooter! Honda Big Ruckus (PS250). 70mpg vs 12? No question.

    For all those considering getting one, though, a huge WARNING: Don’t buy the cheap chinese knockoffs. Yeah, they’re only $1000 or so, but you’re paying for the quality. It will break down. It will die. And you won’t be able to get any parts for it to fix it. General rule of thumb, if the thing costs less than $1500, stay away – especially for a “brand” you’ve never heard of (which tends to consist only of the stickers on it and nothing more, I’ve seen my old knockoff sold under so many different names it’s ridiculous).

  15. Kelsey says:

    I agree! My first moped I got was only $800 and it was an unknown company/type. (Geely, ever heard of it? Me neither). Needless to say, we couldn’t get parts when everything began to break. And I mean everything. The final straw was when we found a leak where the oil is. That can’t be fixed easily, especially without a manual and access to parts. I decided it was cheaper to get a new one and I’ve never looked back.

  16. [...] Would You Ride A Scooter To Save Money On Gasoline? [...]

  17. deepali says:

    I’ve thought about it, but I think I would get a bike first. But I don’t have a car, mostly walk everywhere, or rely on public transportation. On weekends, when busses/trains run less frequently, the bike/scooter would be good to have!

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  20. Sistaelle says:

    I already do! I LOVE my scooter!!
    73 MPG vs 23 of my Subaru. I ride it as much as weather allows.. which is any time it doesn’t rain. Even if I don’t drive it for 3 month of winter it still saves me a significant amount. My car will last much longer and need less frequent repairs. Mine is a Piaggio BV200.
    Piaggio is the Italian company that also owns Vespa and Aprillia. Best advise is get a quality machine from the company that is located closest to you. They will need servicing. Hondas and Yamaha’s are also great. The savings are great but the best part is it’s fun.

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