I have been thinking about doing this myself: purchasing a motor scooter to save on gasoline. It`s an idea that seems to be taking hold with other commuters, too. My situation is conducive to having one. I live within about six blocks of my job, in a mostly residential neighborhood. It`s a nice situation.
But, I have to take into consideration that my current vehicle costs are relatively low. So, why should I get rid of my 200,000 mile car for a motor scooter? Just to save money? The way I look at it is that as long as gasoline stays above $3.00 per gallon, I am thinking that this is the way to go.
I can drive it to my part-time job, too, which is much farther away from my home, so I`ll be saving there too. But I found out that there are other considerations to owning a gas-saving motor scooter. Here they are:
Hidden costs. Yes, the price is incredibly affordable (compared to a car). For about $1,000 in my area, I can buy a 50cc scooter, that will travel at about 35 mph, and gets about 100 mpg. Not bad. But, I forgot about, or didn`t know about these items:
Helmet. You don`t just need one, in some states they are mandatory. But, even if not, you had better have one. Head injuries are the leading cause of death in motor cycle crashes.
Licensing. Some states require a just an operator`s license, but not a motorcycle license. Some are based on the maximum speed of the scooter. Check with your local Motor Vehicle office to see what requirements are there.
Maintenance and upkeep. You will have to not only add gasoline, but oil changes, too. And, tune-ups will be required the longer you keep the scooter. Who will perform these and what might they cost?
Outfits. You better keep a water-proof jacket in a storage bin on the scooter. No telling when you might encounter a down-pour during your commute.
Storage. If you live in a state with seasonal weather changes, you will need to store the scooter during the winter months. Not only is it extremely cold to ride in the winter, but snow and rain can be dangerous as well.
If the situation is right, a scooter might make a lot of sense for you. Just make sure you have all of your questions answered before you take the plunge. Happy motoring!