Get a Free Scooter every 3 Years!

Even Norman the Scooter Dog knows that a scooter can save you serious money.
Even Norman the Scooter Dog knows that a scooter can save you serious money. | Source

Scooter Heaven: Scooter ownership pays for itself!

As I have written in a previous article, Scooter Heaven, there are few things more pleasant than zooming around the countryside on a scooter. But, I did not emphasize another happy truth about motor scooters: YOU CAN SAVE ENOUGH MONEY EVERY YEAR THAT YOU COULD BUY A REPLACEMENT SCOOTER EVERY THREE YEARS!

You say: "How? How can we possibly save money by buying a motor scooter?"

Well, I'm glad you asked, so let me explain this in a logical manner:

(1) You can spend about $5,000 for a brand new scooter, especially if you want a "Cadillac" scooter nameplate, such as Vespa, Genuine Scooter, Honda or Yamaha. But you can find a NEW Chinese-made scooter for $800 to $1,200, if you don't get too fussy about build quality and a glamorous nameplate. On the other hand, you can find nice USED scooters made by good manufacturers from India, South Korea and Taiwan, in that $800 to $1,200 price range. Low-mileage USED Chinese scooter can be found on Craigslist or Ebay in the $600 to $800 range. ** For this illustration, let's say that you purchase a decent scooter - new or used - for the reasonable price of $900 (plus tax, title and license plate - which is different everywhere, so I won't include these smaller expenses). **

(2) Let's assume a gasoline fuel cost of $3.50 USD per gallon. Yes, gas prices vary wildly over time and also vary within different states and tax districts. But, I can't account for all of these variations, so let's just use a fairly recent gasoline price from here in southern Wisconsin.

(3) Let's assume that you keep all of your cars and/or trucks, so the afore-mentioned $800 in annual savings has nothing to do with you selling one of your vehicles.

(4) Let's assume that the number of gasoline gallons that you consume by personal automobile is the same as the average for American drivers (2006): 554 gallons per year. (Link)

(5) Let's assume that your automobile obtains an average gasoline fuel mileage (2006) of 22.4 miles per gallons. (Link) 22.4 m.p.g. times 554 gallons per year equals approximately 12,410 miles traveled by the average American vehicle owner in one year. 12,410 miles traveled per year is about 1,034 miles traveled by vehicle, per month of the year.

(6) Let's also assume that your new-to-you 50cc scooter obtains an average gasoline fuel mileage of 90 miles per gallon. By the way, I get about 90 m.p.g. on my Bronc (a.k.a., Jonway) 50cc Chinese-made scooter ... and I weigh over 260 pounds and I travel in a very hilly area! So, 90 m.p.g. for a 49 - 75cc scooter is pretty reasonable. (There are no government scooter mileage statistics to use here, but scooter-wise hubber Hal Licino has done the scooter world a great service by researching and writing a Hub that details the gasoline mileage figures for 250 popular scooters! [Link] You will note that the best fuel mileage Hal found among 50cc scoots was 144 miles per gallon for the Honda Dio and the lowest 50cc scooter fuel mileage was 68 m.p.g. for the Urban R4 scooter.)

This modest-looking scoot is the 144 m.p.g. Honda Dio ... in all of it's gas-sipping glory.
This modest-looking scoot is the 144 m.p.g. Honda Dio ... in all of it's gas-sipping glory. | Source

We're almost done with the math!

To wrap this up, every auto, van or truck owner would consume an average of 277 U.S. gallons of gasoline ('petrol') during the course of the warmest 6 months of the year. This 277 gallons of gasoline, at an average price of $3.50 per gallon (USD), will cost you an average of $1,038.75 during those 6 warmest months.

But, if you were to use your $900 scooter for approximately one-third (1/3) of your warm weather commuting and errands, instead of your four-wheeled motor vehicle, you would also reduce your auto or truck's gasoline consumption by one-third (1/3). So, your 22.4 m.p.g. car or truck would consume about 93 gallons less, each year, for a savings of $348.75 in gasoline. Of course, your still going to travel all of those miles, except that you will be riding them on your 90 miles per gallon scooter! So, your scooter will have an equivalent fuel expense of about $100 per year, even accounting for using more expensive premium fuel in your scooter.

Obviously, if gasoline dips below $3.50 per gallon, you won't be able to use such a large offset from the overall cost fuel ... or if the price of an inexpensive scooter goes up over time ... then the Free Scooter Concept may need to be stretched out for another year or two. On the other hand, if the price of gasoline ('petrol') goes up over $3.50 per gallon ... or if Global Warming becomes a reality and you can ride said scooter for 8 or 10 month of the year ... then the Free Scooter Concept might only take 18 to 24 months - yes, a new Free Scooter' in 18 months or less!

Even the Worst MPG Scooter isn't too bad!

The 68 m.p.g. gas-guzzling Urban R4 scooter, the gas mileage loser among 50cc scooters, according to my fellow Hubber, Hal Lucino.
The 68 m.p.g. gas-guzzling Urban R4 scooter, the gas mileage loser among 50cc scooters, according to my fellow Hubber, Hal Lucino. | Source

A new scooter every 3 years - and it's paid for!

In summary, by traveling on a small motor scooter - rather than a car or truck - you will save approximately $248.75 each and every year! ($348.75 for car or truck vs. $100.00 for a small motor scooter, for a net savings of $248.75.) Each year during the 6 months of warmth (e.g., mid-spring to mid-fall in the USA), you will travel about 2,100 miles on your motor scooter, instead of in your car or truck. Therefore, after 3 years of use, your motor scooter will only accumulate about 6,300 in odometer miles, which isn't a huge amount, even for an inexpensive and slightly fragile scooter from China!

Presuming your used scooter is in decent shape and running, you should have no problem in selling it for $250 (or more). Thus, 3 years of fuel savings ($248.75 x 3) - which you've been putting in the bank, right? - plus the used resale value for your current scooter (at least $250) will total around $995.

$995 cash in your pocket will buy you a new scooter - EVERY 3 YEARS! Even if higher inflation returns, you should still be able to get a new motor scooter every 3 years, for the rest of your life! THAT'S WHAT I CALL A GREAT DEAL!

I DID NOT EVEN TALK ABOUT THE GREAT FUN IT IS TO RIDE ON A SCOOTER, DID I?!

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Comments 2 comments

jeffduff profile image

jeffduff 3 years ago from Southwest Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Mr. Alocsin.

Regarding your comment, I have bad news and good news.

Bad News: You would need at least a 150cc scooter to legally ride on your highways and freeways. Even worse, you would want a 250cc scooter or motorcycle, to handle the speeds involved. The increase to 250cc scooter would cost about $1,000 to $1,500 more, plus this would noticeably decrease your fuel mileage. Both of these factors would hurt my hub's financial calculations for a 50cc scooter, unfortunately.

Good News: In sub-Arctic Wisconsin, we can only scooter about 6 or 7 months of the year. In sub-tropical Southern California, you can probably scooter about 12 months of the year, right? This additional 5 to 6 months of scootering would make up for most of the financial disadvantages mentioned in the previous paragraph!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

I can't argue with the math. But unfortunately, here in Southern California, much of our commuting is done by freeway and these scooters can't go at freeway speeds, can they? That makes them impractical here. Voting this Up and Interesting.

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