Having your own scooter is a little bit like having a regular car or similar vehicle. That is to say, if your car had no seatbelt, windshield or two-tonne reinforced metal frame to protect you in the event of an accident. And if you were also sitting directly on the motor.
Scooters are the seatbelt-less, windshield-less alternatives to getting around. They are convenient, compact, nippy and easy to get around on. Plus you have the additional benefit of protective gear such as helmets, padded suits and licenses.
The legal age to use scooters can be anywhere from 16-years-old for the smaller ones to 25 years old for the bigger, more powerful ones. Obviously, insurance is a must, as is proper safety gear, because safety should always come first.
In many areas, it is illegal to operate a scooter or any other unenclosed motorised vehicle if you are not wearing a helmet, at the bare minimum. If you are planning on going above a certain speed (depending on your area’s speed limits, of course), on one of the more powerful scooters we spoke about above, you may be required by law to wear full protective gear, depending on where you live and the specific laws applicable to your particular case.
As every responsible driver who has ever used one knows, a scooter, while it has slightly less potential for danger than, for instance, a car, van or motorcycle, can still cause damage to property, injury, or even death, if misused. Hence the laws stipulating the restrictions on age, skill, and other factors when buying a scooter.
Check out the local riding schools that offer short courses to get your knowledge and confidence up to par. Many offer lessons over a day or two, ensuring you know everything you need to know about looking after, maintaining and riding your scooter.
It’s not too cheap to buy a decent scooter, sort out your insurance, and kit yourself out with the best and safest gear (and if you’re in one of the places that require them, safety lessons and an official license), so unless you’re Jeff Bezos’ best friend, it’s not recommended to use your zippy new vehicle to go crashing into every lamp post, litter bin and petrol station pump that you see.
Like a dog, a good scooter is for life, not just for Christmas. Really speaking, you’ll want it to last as long as you need it for. Take care of your scooter, and you can probably still be using it a decade or so from now, when it’s considered “vintage” and “old-school”.