The scooter is well known for its European roots and classy looks, but is the scooter becoming the next trend to hit the U.S.? Taking a look around the big cities, you’ll see hundreds of cars coming and going, parking spaces filled to capacity and gas prices over $4. It’s no wonder there’s been a spike in scooter sales. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, scooter sales have risen almost 50 percent in the first quarter of 2011. In the years before that, there has been a steady increase in sales since 2006. Looking at the key points of vehicle usage, we can see scooters have many advantages.
Living in a crowded city can be tough when trying to commute. In countries like Vietnam and Italy, scooters tend to be more popular then cars. Scooter commuters can zip in and out of traffic, avoiding the tedious hold-up we have all come to hate. I myself, own a 50cc scooter and I have no problem zooming by the unhappy faces of car drivers with a smile on my face. When I had a car, the 5-mile commute from downtown to my college uptown could take an hour. Now with my scooter I can get there in fewer than 30 minutes and have fun doing so! And let me add, parking was no problem. I’ve convinced a few of my friends to make the switch and now we ride together just for fun. My friend describes his decision as “One of the best I’ve ever made. Not to mention, I pick up so many chicks. Chicks dig Vespas.”
Besides crazy traffic, gas prices are unbelievable. An article on CNN Money says the average American household spends $368.09 a month on gas. Scooters have a great fuel-economy with some models getting more than 100 miles per gallon. Just think of the vacations you could go on, and the things you could buy without throwing your paycheck away at the pump. Not only will you be saving more money, you’ll be saving the environment. You’ll use less gas, and you’ll spend it more efficiently.
Sustainability of your vehicle is also very important. Repairs on scooters can be done by even the least mechanically proficient person. I started off with no knowledge of mechanics what so ever and now I can take apart any scooter, fix it up, and have it back on the road in a hour or two. Parts like a new engine may cost 1/20nth of a car engine, and could be installed by your 8 year old.
Insurance is another aspect of motor vehicles that can drain us of our hard earned money. Most plans are upwards of $200 a month, and that may be without full coverage. Taking a look through the many insurance companies available for scooter insurance I’ve found prices of about $300 annually for basic insurance and around $1,000 for full coverage.
Looking at the advantages of the scooter I’m already drooling over the money that could be saved. Since I have made the switch from gas hungry cars to a peppy scooter I’ve had savings of about $400 more each month. As gas prices continue to rise, it’s clear to me that many Americans will look for cheaper ways to get around, and the scooter may be leading that endeavor.
Motorcycle Industry Council, “US Motorcycle Sales Rise During The First Quarter” Irvine, Calif., April 26, 2011
Ben Rooney. “Your monthly gasoline bill: $368” CNN Money May 6, 2011