Lifestyle Up, Costs Down

Two wheels, a hand accelerator and the everpresent buzz akin to a swarm of bees. Some call them scooters and others call them mopeds. They are simple like a novelty and efficient enough to be a utility. Love them or hate them, they are here to stay and increase as a viable transportation option to many.

The sensation of driving a scooter is like riding a bike or a motorcycle but not quite closer to one than the other. You get the simplicity and ease-of-use of the bicycle, but the higher speeds and maintenance of the motorcycle. It has a pleasure unto itself.

In North America, scooters are something of a wimpy cousin to the motorcycle. Their limited power and condensed utility are things that don't quite fit the mentality of many drivers. In Europe and Asia scooters are commonplace and even the primary means of transportation for many. Often they are simply a necessity due to narrower roads and cramped thoroughfares. This just isn't the case in the US and Canada where wider roads and a power-hungry car culture dictate consumer interest in transportation.

The benefits of owning a scooter, however, should not be discounted by societal norms. In a time when the cost of living is skyrocketing and the earning ability of the family breadwinners is constrained by external factors, the scooter offers budgetary relief with some enjoyable side affects. A commuter vehicle, a quick ride to the grocery store, simplifying life and increasing your enjoyment of it at the same time. 

So, without further ado, here are five great reasons to get a scooter:

1. CHEAP TO BUY: A brand new 50cc (roadworthy) scooter costs only a few thousand dollars for either a single passenger model or a two passenger model. A used scooter can cost only a few hundred dollars. Either way, they are significantly cheaper than cars, trucks or motorcycles.

2. CHEAP TO OPERATE: You can often  fill up a single passenger Vespa scooter for under $10. They get 75 miles to the gallon as opposed to a typical SUV which can get as little as 20 miles per gallon. Maintenance is cheap as well. Parts and labour for a scooter are a fraction of the cost of full-sized vehicles and can often be handled by the owner.

3. FAST: The typical scooter can top out around 39 miles per hour for the lower end model or 80 miles per hour for the higher end model. There is a speed comfort level for everyone.

4. EASY: When I first hopped onto a scooter until the time when I felt completely comfortable riding it everywhere took half an hour. They are easier to drive than a car or motorcycle. Also, depending on where you live, the lower end models may not require additional licencing over and above your automobile licence which makes the transition from car to scooter painless.

5. FUN: The first step to becoming a scooter fan is admitting that you think it looks fun. The people who smirk silently as you zip by are, inside, wishing they were riding one too. You can jump on and off at the beach, cruise into a tiny space in a cramped parking lot and so much more. Scootering also has it own culture where knowing nods are exchanged at traffic lights and ride clubs welcome you into the fold with open arms.