Electric Scooters: Buy Vs. Hire

Lady carrying an Iconic X9 scooter upstairs

There is no doubt that electric scooters have become the go-to form of transportation for many New Zealanders, especially those living in urban areas or keen to explore their surroundings in a unique way. They provide an eco-friendly way to travel that is often more convenient and efficient than a car or other modes of transport. Electric scooter rental companies such as Lime and Beam make it easy to try out this new way of getting around, but is renting the best choice for everyone? Is it time to consider investing in your own electric scooter? In this post, we’ll look at some key factors to consider when making the choice between buy and hire. 

Considerations when buying an electric scooter

Cost effectiveness

When it comes to owning vs. hiring an electric scooter, it’s important to look at your usage requirements and consider the long-term costs involved. If you are a tourist or visitor to a city and need a quick and convenient way to get around, then obviously renting an electric scooter is the way to go. If, on the other hand, you are living in an urban area and using the scooter every weekday to get to work, or several days a week to get to your uni classes, the costs of renting a scooter can definitely rack up.

All scooter rental companies will charge a fee to unlock the scooter and then there is usually a per minute charge. They may offer day passes or multi-day passes to regular users but these still add up if you multiply it out by your annual commute cost. It may provide a more cost-efficient or convenient way to travel than the train or the bus, but a few hundred dollars a month turns into several thousand over the year. Alternatively, our cheapest model of electric scooter, the Iconic X7 Electric Scooter costs just $749. This up-front investment can even be split into smaller payments with Afterpay or LayBuy, making it a very cost-effective alternative to renting. 

Flexibility and convenience 

Depending on which city you’re in and which rideshare scooter company you choose to use, there are only so many scooters available at any one time. You are always reliant on a scooter being available in the right place at the right time. Think of the time you would save being able to get on your scooter straight away when you want to use it.

You won’t need to worry about finding one in peak times or in popular tourist areas, and you won’t be watching the clock to make sure you’re not racking up too many minutes. Think of the freedom you could get on a leisurely weekend adventure if you don’t need to clock watch. 

Our range of Iconic Electric Scooters are designed to be portable and lightweight too. They fold down in just a few easy steps and are easy to carry and store away until you need them again. 

Power and speed

Rental scooters tend to be lower spec models – meaning they have smaller motors and can’t get up a lot of speed. If you’re carrying a bit more weight, or are trying to navigate the hills of Wellington or Auckland’s CBDs, this can lead to more of a workout than you were hoping for with an electrically assisted commute. Additionally, if you are travelling to work or uni from the suburbs, being limited on speed can make your journey that much longer, and you’re paying by the minute!

There are lots of different sizes and models of electric scooter available on the market, so being able to buy one that meets your speed and power requirements is a definite bonus.

Safety and maintenance

Whilst the rental companies do what they can to ensure a well-maintained fleet of scooters, it’s always the luck of the draw what state your scooter will be in. If it’s recently been put through its paces by a fellow renter, it may be on its last legs when you hire it and you don’t want to be halfway home and get stranded when the brakes give out or the motor stalls. 

When purchasing your own electric scooter, you are in control of the quality of the machine you’re buying and also you know how well it has been maintained. At Iconic Mini Bikes & Scooters, we provide an aftercare service for all of our products and you can get in touch anytime for spare parts and maintenance support.

Similarly, safety should play a big part in your daily commute, and it just takes one stupid move from a fellow road user for you to be put in danger. Helmets are often not supplied by rental companies, or if they are, it’s often impossible to track one down and it may not be the right fit. With your own machine, it’s easy to stay safe when riding your scooter. 

Familiarity and comfort

As mentioned above, rental scooters are usually low spec models and this can have a big effect on comfort. They might be prone to being bumpy, wobbly and have slight glitches that occur after regular use from so many different riders. 

When purchasing your own scooter, you can buy a model based on your own requirements. Height, weight and level of confidence can all play a big part in choosing the correct scooter for you. You can choose a scooter that’s easy for you to fold up and carry, or one that has a stronger motor to deal with hilly terrains or longer commutes. 

And let’s not forget colour and style! Most models are available in different colours and will come with extra features such as LED display screens, lights, non-slip handles and more.

Time to ditch the Beam & Lime scooters and buy your own?

We have a great range of electric scooters for different purposes – all available at prices that provide great value for money. Check out our range or get in touch and we can help you choose the right model.