Choosing The Right Electric Scooter For Your Riding Style And Needs

Daniel Foley
Written By: Daniel Foley
Updated on: 5/19/2024
Published on: 9/5/2023

It seems crazy to think that the first electric scooter was created long before we were alive. Or perhaps it's even crazier that despite the initial lack of enthusiasm and the public's preference for cars, e-scooters are now becoming a popular way to get around.

We've come a long way since the flop of the Autoped, with today's scooters offering style, convenience, and flexibility. Their sustainability also makes them a popular option for people who want to contribute to the environment and become less reliant on cars or public transportation.

With so many electric scooters available, knowing where to start is challenging. Do you want a reliable way to commute? Or is off-road riding your thing?

In this electric scooter buying guide, we'll explore the different types of e-scooters to help you decide which is the best for your unique riding style and needs.

The different types of electric scooters

Electric scooters aren't a one-size-fits-all solution, there are plenty of styles to choose between. However, before buying an electric scooter, it's important to know what each unique style offers and whether it suits your needs.

Also, every electric scooter has a purpose, and jumping into buying one that looks nice or is popular doesn't necessarily mean it's the right choice for you.

E-Scooters for children


Most electric scooters are designed for adults, but some models suit children, as they're less powerful than traditional e-scooters and often have more safety features.

The great thing about kids' scooters is they allow children to get more exercise and learn how to operate them at an early age.

The unique characteristics of electric scooters for children include:

Power & speed

Kids' e-scooters don't have the same features you'd expect from adult models. For example, their maximum speed is low to prioritize safety, and the scooters have a shorter battery life.

They can also take longer to charge because while kids' scooters are cost-effective, you get what you pay for. However, choosing a low-speed and power model prioritizes safety and ensures your child can have a fun-filled experience with less risk to themselves.


Scooters come in different weights, and kids' models will often be lighter than others for easy transportation. Also, heavy scooters are harder to maneuver, and children might have problems turning or using the brakes.

For example, adult scooters weigh between 11kg and 22kg on average, but off-road models can be much heavier. Children's scooters can weigh 5kg to 11kg, making them much easier to handle.

Top choices

If you're looking for scooters suitable for children, substance should always come before style. Luckily, our top three picks combine both, creating a safe ride that kids will love.

Scooter Model Age Range Weight Max Speed Charge Time
Ninebot Zing C8 6 to 12 years 19 lbs 9.9 mph 2.5 hours
Razor Electric E90 8 years and over 24 lbs 8.6 mph 12 hours
Ninebot Zing A6 4 to 8 years 10 lbs 7.4 mph 3 hours

Budget electric scooters

Budget scooters are ideal if you're looking for a cost-effective way to experience electric mobility without breaking the bank. While these scooters offer affordability and convenience, some models still perform nicely and give you winning features.

However, as they are relatively cost-effective, a budget scooter won't have the range and speed that higher-tier models offer.

Power & speed

If you're commuting or riding through cities, you really need a scooter that will keep up with traffic and ensure your safety. Budget models often require charging after a single ride, and their speeds can range between 10 and 15 miles per hour.

Price range

The good thing about budget scooters is their affordability. With most coming in at under $500, these scooters are highly accessible and give newer riders the opportunity to try out this new way of getting around.



As with most budget purchases, riders can't expect these scooters to offer superior durability and stability. That doesn't necessarily mean they're dangerous on the road, but budget models might struggle to navigate inclines and bumpy terrain.

Top choices

If you want to try budget electric scooters for yourself, a few great options are available. These models won't last for years, but they are suitable for beginners to sample this convenient way of navigating the city.

Scooter Model Range Speed Price Charge Time
GO TRAX XR Elite Up to 18 miles 15.5 mph $354 to $405 5 hours
Segway Ninebot ES1L 12.4 miles 12.4 mph $299 to $379 6 hours
GO TRAX APEX LE 12 miles 15.5 mph $349 4-5 hours

Three wheeled e-scooters

Electric scooters with three wheels aren't massively popular, but some people love them for their unique aesthetic appeal and added stability. They're also ideal for younger children, as the design makes them easy to navigate and balance.

Another added benefit of riding with three wheels is it supports people with mobility issues. However, these scooters also have some drawbacks.

Power & speed

A three-wheeled scooter doesn't have the same speed and range as its two-wheeled counterparts. While this isn't usually an issue for casual riding, it could pose problems for city rides, and the additional need for charging means these scooters aren't the most convenient option.

Portability & accessibility

The extra wheel on these scooters will make a difference, and you might find it's harder to carry around. Also, they're usually bulkier, which makes it hard for urban riding as you won't be able to move as freely. However, if stability is your main priority, three-wheeled scooters are worth considering.


A range of three-wheeled scooters are available for riders, but are they suitable for your needs? For example, some three-wheelers are designed to offer an adrenaline rush and often combine the unique designs of skateboards and bikes to create something epic.

However, if commuting or city riding are your top priorities, these scooters might be too difficult to maneuver.

Top choices

From high-performance to child-friendly scooters, there are plenty of three-wheeled models to choose between—but which is right for you?

Scooter Model Range Speed Price Purpose
Cycleboard Rover Up to 40 miles 27 mph $2599 For all terrain usage
Swagtron Cali Drift 12.4 miles 12.4 mph $400 Best for drifting
TopMate ES31 15.5 to 18.6 miles 15 mph $597 Tricycle style e-scooter

Commuter scooters


If you plan to ride your scooter in urban places or for your daily commute to college or the office, a commuter scooter will be the best choice.

While some scooters are heavy, commuter models can weave through traffic effectively and navigate urban and suburban terrain.

These scooters are affordable, portable, and convenient, with features that set them apart from other models.

Range & speed

As commuter scooters need to handle your daily commute, they typically have a decent range and maximum speed that aligns with the general speed limits in the USA.

Most electric scooters in this category can travel between 15 to 25 miles per hour, with a range of anything between 8 miles and 25 miles.

Weight & Portability

The great thing about commuter scooters is their portability, with most featuring foldable designs that allow you to avoid storing your chosen model outside.

While off-road and performance scooters can weigh over 100 lbs, commuter scooters usually fall between 28 and 35 lbs, making them easier to carry.


As their primary purpose is to help people commute and avoid buying a car, many of these scooters also come with Bluetooth connectivity and a dedicated app allowing riders to customize their experience and keep track of their scooter's performance.

Top choices

With an impressive selection of scooters for commuting available, you can find a model that keeps you safe and performs well. Commuting in traffic can come with some potential risks, but our top three scooters deliver on all bases and look ultra-sleek.

Scooter Model Range Speed Weight Charge Time
Unagi Model One Classic 7 to 12 miles 20 mph 28.5 lbs 3.5 hours
Unagi Model One Voyager Up to 25 miles 20 mph 29.6 lbs 2 hours
KQi2 Pro 15 miles 16 mph 40 lbs 5 hours

Off-road E-scooters


Looking for some adventure in your life? Off-road e-scooters offer the ultimate adrenaline rush with their ability to tackle rough terrain and help you navigate challenging trails. These scooters are built big enough to handle the most demanding conditions and can reach impressive speeds.

While off-road electric scooters have many benefits, they're not designed for city riding or commuting and will take some getting used to.

Power and speed

Off-road models are powerful electric scooters that often reach top speeds and utilize high-wattage motors to help them navigate steep hills and rough terrain. Average speeds can range from 20 miles per hour to scooters exceeding 60 mph.


So, how usable are these scooters? Well, there's no disputing that they can take you on exhilarating rides and help you push yourself to the limit. However, U.S. laws state powerful electric scooters often aren't allowed on public roads, so you won't be able to use them for general riding or commuting.


It will come as no surprise that off-road scooters are built for durability, so they're not the kind of thing you'd take to the office. While some off-road models are foldable, weight is a huge consideration, and off-road models have to be larger to enhance ride quality.

Top choices

Off-road riding can be a whole lot of fun, and before choosing a model, you should consider scooter range, speed, and durability. The following are the best electric scooters that will give you a fantastic experience.

Scooter Model Range Speed Weight Charge Time
Nanrobot D4 Up to 40 miles 40 mph 70 lbs 3 hours on dual charge
UberScoot Up to 25 miles 20 to 30 mph 117 lbs 6-8 hours
Glion Dolly 15 miles 15 mph 26 lbs 3.5 hours

Racing E-Scooters

As with many other forms of transportation, e-scooters are gaining traction in competitive sports. The world's first e-scooter racing series, eSkootr Championship, is challenging riders to show off their skills and compete professionally.

While some professional models are built exclusively for competing, there are performance electric scooters that replicate the experience and are ideal for practice.

Power and speed

Racing scooters are all about speed; some can exceed 50 miles per hour, creating a thrilling experience that pushes riders to their limits. Of course, these scooters aren't road-legal, so finding suitable places to practice can be difficult.

Weight and portability

While these electric scooters vary in weight, most are light to facilitate racing. Most manufacturers use carbon fiber and aluminum to keep the weight low and enhance speed. You'll have no issues carrying a performance scooter around, making them ideal for travel.

Ease of use

The good thing about racing scooters is that they often have superior suspension systems, which is essential when riding electric scooters at top speeds. However, they're not ideal for beginners as the scooters aren't easy to control and could cause serious accidents in the wrong hands.

Top choices

A racing scooter should be comfortable, stable, and have some winning features that make it stand out. We looked at some absolute beasts and decided the following scooters are well worth your time and money.

Scooter Model Range Speed Weight Price
VSETT 11+ Up to 60 miles 53 mph 128 lbs $3499
Dualtron Thunder Up to 75 miles 50 mph 95 lbs $4600
Dualtron X2 Up to 80 miles 68 mph 145 lbs $5559

Long-range electric scooters


Long-range scooters travel longer distances on a single charge, making getting out and about easier. Whether you're a commuter or just love exploring new places, investing in a long-range electric scooter will give you more freedom and ensure you can enjoy your ride.

With several notable features and offering a great deal of convenience, these scooters deliver on experience, but they do cost more than city and commuter scooters.

Power and speed

Top speeds can vary depending on the scooter you buy, but the ranges are longer than the average model offers. However, we also have to consider long-range commuter scooters, which are still portable and convenient to operate while ensuring people with a longer commute can use them.


Long-range scooters are highly convenient in many ways, but their additional battery power often means they require longer charging. If you're planning a long-distance ride, you will need to prepare the scooter before setting off, and you'll use more electricity than a commuter scooter.


If you're willing to spend the money, long-distance scooters are a worthy investment - but only if you'll get a lot of use out of them.

For example, if your daily commute is around 10 miles each day, buying a scooter with a range of 60 miles will cost more than a 25-mile scooter, which can still help you reduce charging frequency.

Top choices

When choosing a long-range scooter, your unique needs should come before everything else. Do you need a scooter lasting over 60 miles, or are you looking for a more convenient model with a shorter charging time? Here are our top choices for long-distance rides.

Scooter Model Range Speed Charging Time Price
VINOKIM Ox Super Up to 56 miles 28 mph 11 hours $1758
INOKIM Oxo Up to 68 miles 38 mph 13.5 hours $2766
Unagi Model One Voyager Up to 25 miles 20 mph 2 hours $1190

The best scooters for your riding style


Riding styles refer to how - and where - you ride the scooter. They vary depending on your preferences and intended usage. However, choose a riding style that suits your skill level and aligns with your city's speed limits.

Some scooter brands stick to one style, while others offer various models. Let's look at the different riding modes and see which scooters suit them.

Commute mode

Commuting on an electric scooter can save time and money, with the average cost per person in the USA being $8,466 per year (Bankrate). Scooters don't require fuel, and their initial price is nothing compared to buying a car, making them a great way to reduce your transportation costs.

If you're planning on using your scooter for commuting, it should have a decent range and speed while also ensuring you stay in line with your state's limits.

The best lightweight scooter for commuting is the Unagi Model One Voyager, which features an impressive 25-mile range and speed of up to 20 miles per hour.

With its one-click folding mechanism and lightweight design, you can also easily store the scooter and enjoy a sleek ride that lets you confidently cruise into the office.

Urban riding

In many ways, commuter and urban riding are the same, but cruising around the city means you don't necessarily need a scooter daily. However, it's still essential to prioritize performance over everything else, but the Unagi Model One Classic says you don't have to compromise.

As the Unagi Voyager's predecessor, this scooter has everything you need to make casual rides a breeze. It also serves well as a commuter scooter. If you're looking for a lower-budget scooter that delivers on style and experience, the Model One Classic is the ultimate portable for a stress-free ride.


Off-roading isn't necessarily about speed but endurance. For some people, the idea of being able to tackle challenging terrain and be in nature makes these scooters a worthwhile investment. Commuter and city-riding electric scooters are designed to be sleek, so they often have smaller tires than an off-road model.

The scooter should have superior shock absorption, large tires, and a long range to handle rides through the countryside or forests confidently.

With its impressive 40-mile range and matching top speeds, the Nanrobot D4 offers riders longevity, convenience, and stability, making off-road riding an absolute breeze.

Long-distance riding

There's nothing better than cruising along on an e-scooter with the wind in your face. However, commuter and urban scooters are designed to combine range and portability, so riders usually get between 10 miles and 25 miles per full charge.

If you want to go on long trips without worrying about running out of power, you'll need a scooter that has a longer-than-average lifespan.

However, these scooters can take between 11 and 13 hours to charge, so it's important to think whether you need 50+ miles of range.

If so, both the INOKIM Ox Super and Oxo are good choices, but if you're choosing a scooter that will handle longer commutes, the Unagi Model One Voyager has a quick charging time and will travel up to 25 miles per charge.

Performance riding

Some riders enjoy pushing their scooters to their maximum speed capabilities and love the thrill of performance riding. To enjoy a thrilling experience, you'll need a scooter capable of epic speeds but still has safety features.

However, only the most experienced riders should use these scooters as they require a great deal of control and aren't suitable for beginners.

Our top racing and performance scooter is the legendary Dualtron X2, which can reach 68 miles per hour and is the perfect investment for serious riders.

Choosing an electric scooter based on your needs

So, which is the best model for your needs? Numerous factors ultimately decide the scooter you buy, but we're here to make it easier.

Motor power

Motor sizes depend on the scooter model and its intended use, with the following sizes being the most common:

  • 250 Watts: Motors in this range are usually entry-level electric scooters suitable for light city rides and small commutes.
  • 350-500 Watts: These scooters offer more power and can handle steeper inclines. The higher output also means heavier riders can use them and not feel any lag, which often happens with lower-power models.
  • 750 Watts: If you're looking for a powerful scooter that can handle rough terrain and hills, 750W motors deliver on all bases.
  • 1,000 Watts and above: Many high-performance e-scooters have motors that exceed 1,000 Watts, enabling them to offer higher speeds and a longer range.

Dual motor or single motor scooters?

Single-motor e-scooters typically have one motor, while dual-motor scooters can generate more power. While a single-motor model is cheaper, dual motors enhance performance, are speedier, and will navigate inclines easily.

If it's just for light riding, a single-motor scooter will be fine, but powerful motors give you more freedom—however, they do cost more.

Top speed

Speed is a huge factor in the scooter you get because it defines how long it will take you to reach a destination, whether you can legally use a privately owned scooter on public roads, and if you have a safe experience.

Higher speeds might seem like a great idea, but they don't offer much practicality if you want to use the scooter for commuting or city riding. However, you also want to ensure you're safe on the road, and a scooter that doesn't offer much speed could put you at risk of collisions.

For a fast scooter that will ensure you get to the office on time, the Unagi Model One Voyager is a great bet, but racers might want to choose an electric scooter that gives them an adrenaline rush.

Maximum range

Every scooter has an advertised speed, but not all electric scooters live up to expectations. The maximum range depends on how you use the scooter and where you ride it.

For example, if you navigate complex terrain and inclines, you probably have to recharge much quicker than someone with a smooth journey.

Scooters with a longer range offer many benefits, but they take hours to recharge and are a massive expense for general riding.


In general, you'll see two types of tires with electric scooters, but some brands offer models with hybrid tires. Both pneumatic tires and solid tires have their benefits and drawbacks, but asking yourself the following questions can help:

Where am I riding?

Pneumatic tires are ideal for rough terrain, as they have suspension built into them, but solid tires suit city riding. Also, some scooters that use airless tires add suspension systems to ensure a smoother ride.

Am I OK with maintenance?

Air-filled tires require regular maintenance, as they can experience punctures, but solid tires are puncture-proof, making them ideal for commuters and city riders. An electric scooter with rubber tires and high-quality suspension might also be best for rough terrain as you can avoid punctures.


Brakes are another essential component of any scooter, as they define how much control you have when riding and ensure safety. There are different brake types available, and each has its benefits:

Electric (Regenerative) Brake

Many electric scooters use regenerative braking, where the electric motor acts as a generator to convert energy and slow down the scooter. Regenerative braking systems are easy to understand and require minimal maintenance, making them a popular solution.

However, some people note that these brakes don't provide immediate braking power when traveling at high speeds, so many manufacturers combine regenerative brakes with other systems to enhance safety.

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes utilize a caliper that squeezes the brake pads against a rotor to ensure efficient braking. With their strong and responsive performance, these brakes are ideal for emergencies, and performance scooters often use them.

A downside of these pads is that they require more maintenance, as they will wear down over time.

Drum brakes

Drum brakes have specialist brake shoes that press against the drum's inner surface, creating friction to slow down the scooter. As they're enclosed, drum brakes have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance, making them a good option for commuting.

If you're choosing between drum or disc brakes, it's worth knowing that disc brakes offer more stopping power, but drum brakes still perform well for moderate speeds.

Foot brakes/fender brakes

Foot brakes are a simple solution for riders, as all you need to do is press your foot against the rear fender, and the scooter will slow down. These brakes are easy to use and control, giving riders more flexibility when making their way through traffic.

As fender brakes lack stopping power, they're usually combined with other brakes to give riders more convenience while ensuring the scooter's safety.

Hydraulic brakes

Hydraulic disc brakes use fluid to offer strong and consistent braking by transmitting force from the brake lever to ensure calipers effectively squeeze the pads against the drum or rotor. Many high-performance scooters use these brakes due to their immediate braking abilities.

However, scooters with hydraulic brakes often require regular maintenance and can be complex to care for.

IP Rating

While some advertise their scooters as waterproof, there's no such thing as a completely waterproof scooter due to their electric components. However, many models have varying degrees of water resistance and protection from solid particles.

If you plan on using your scooter to commute, you'll likely encounter rain at some point. Scooters with an IP54 rating offer adequate protection against dust, debris, and water splashes from all directions.

Some scooters offer more protection, and if you're planning on off-road riding, it's a good idea to consider a scooter that can handle debris and water jets.

Also, higher IP ratings often cost more money and are heavier, so it's essential to consider whether you need that amount of protection.


Rider weight limit

All electric scooter brands ensure each model has rider weight limits, which you can usually find in the manual or product specifications. Weight limits might not seem like a big deal, but they are in place to protect riders and ensure a safe experience.

Here's why rider weight limits should factor into your decision when choosing an electric scooter:

  • Safety: Exceeding the weight limit can impact the scooter's stability, leading to potential accidents.
  • Performance: When a scooter is overloaded, it can't perform as well, meaning the speed, range, and acceleration will all suffer. The extra strain can also lead to you having to replace the scooter sooner, which wastes money.

Typical weight limits for e-scooters

The general weight limits for e-scooters fall between 220 and 265 pounds, but there are heavy-duty scooters that support heavier weights without sacrificing performance.

Consider the total weight you'll travel with, as backpacks, laptops, helmets, and other protective gear can potentially put you over the recommended limit.

Suspension systems

Suspension systems can offer riders more comfort when riding on challenging terrain, but it's not a must-have if you're planning on city riding.

Some brands, such as Unagi, don't have suspension because the scooters are for city riding. However, the unique air pockets surrounding the tires act as front and rear suspension without you having to spend a fortune.

If you are planning on off-road riding or racing, there are different suspension systems to be aware of:

Front Suspension: This type of suspension is on the front wheel of the e-scooter, and it can dampen shocks from bumps, potholes, and rough terrain.

Rear Suspension: Some e-scooters have back suspension systems, which are similar in design and work well for riding over rough surfaces.

Dual Suspension (Front and Rear): High-end and off-road e-scooters may feature front and rear suspension systems. Dual suspension provides the best overall ride comfort and performance, making these scooters suitable for more challenging terrains.

Scooter weight

The weight of your scooter holds a lot of importance, as it directly impacts the scooter's overall performance and your riding experience.

Here are the key reasons why scooter weight is an important consideration:


Lighter scooters are easy to carry and store away, making them a good choice for commuting or urban riding. Some people also use their e-scooters for last-mile transportation, allowing them to quickly make it home from train stations, so a heavy scooter will be impractical.

Riding Experience

If you're planning on general riding, you won't need to worry about a heavy scooter, as lightweight scooters are easy to handle—especially when making sharp turns or in tight spaces. However, a sturdier scooter is better if riding on rough terrain, as it provides more stability in certain conditions.

Weight Limits

In some areas, regulations or laws specify maximum weight limits for scooters that are legal on public roads or bike lanes. Exceeding these weight limits can lead to legal issues or fines, so it's important to understand your state's laws and decide where you'll ride the scooter.


Last but not least is your budget. If you're on a low budget, some scooters might suit your needs, but they often lack the speed and range needed to give you a better experience. In contrast, there's no point spending thousands on a high-performance scooter for city riding.

If you don't want to be limited by money, some scooter brands, such as Unagi, are making high-end models affordable by offering riders an all-access monthly subscription that gives you unlimited use of a Model One Classic Voyager scooter.

Not only does this mean you get a premium scooter that doesn't compromise on style, but it also ensures you pay no more than $69 a month.

The bottom line

There's no such thing as a perfect electric scooter, as the many styles suit different riding modes and terrains. Thinking about which is best for your needs will help you make a decision that aligns with the above considerations.

Cheaper scooters might seem like a good idea, but they won't last long, so you'll probably have to replace them at some point.

In contrast, premium scooters might not suit your needs in terms of range and speed, so knowing what you plan to use the scooter for will ensure you get a scooter you're happy with.

Most importantly, enjoy the ride and relish the freedom scooter ownership offers you. If you'd like to buy an electric scooter with top ratings but don't have the upfront cash, Unagi's subscription gives e-scooter riders a choice of the top-rated Unagi Model One Classic or Voyager models.

With an affordable scooter that includes insurance and servicing, you can commute and cruise through your city in absolute style.


Should children use electric scooters?

Electric scooters for children have lower speeds and shorter battery life. These entry-level scooters are ideal for practice, but children should receive supervision and only use the scooter on private land.

Which electric scooters are suitable for commuting in urban areas?

Commuter scooters should be lightweight enough to commute in busy urban environments and have top speeds within the legal limit. Choosing an electric scooter like the Unagi Model One Voyager gives you a safe, stylish, and effective way to commute.

What are the characteristics of off-road electric scooters?

Off-road electric scooters are built for rough terrain and can reach high speeds. However, they are unsuitable for city commuting, and using them on public roads could have serious legal implications.

Daniel Foley
Daniel Foley

Daniel tests all the latest e-scooters and currently enjoys the Unagi Voyager as a daily driver for it's light weight, good range, and stylish look.

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