Scooters are electric vehicles, so there are a few things you should and shouldn’t do if you get one. First, if you’ve never ridden an electric scooter and are nervous about shelling out for one, try a rideshare service. Companies like Lime, Lyft, and Bird let you grab an escooter for not a lot of money, which is a good way to test the waters.
Wear a helmet. Need I say more? Protect your noggin. Our Biking Accessories guide has some helmet options—my personal favorite is the Thousand Heritage helmet—and follow this guide to fit your helmet the right way.
Check your local laws. Are electric scooters legal where you live? If so, what’s the max speed limit? Do you have to be in the bike lane? Over the past three years, escooters have become a common sight in many cities. Chances are your state or city has spelled out rules about riding them.
Don’t charge your escooter overnight or when no one is home. The manuals of several scooters I’ve tested say the same. Not every battery or charger has a UL certification for safety, and I’ve seen one too many stories of battery fires. Always be around when you’re charging your scooter, and unplug it when it’s finished charging.
Try to avoid the rain. You’ll want to check your scooter to see whether it has official IP water- and dust-resistance ratings. If not, avoid riding in the rain. If there is a rating, it’s still a good idea to get out of the rain quickly. More importantly, do not plug the charger in without wiping down the charging port and ensuring that it’s dry.
Be wary of potholes. My first and only accident on an electric scooter is thanks to a deep pothole. I noticed it too late. If you’re driving a car, you’d probably try and avoid a pothole, so do the same with a scooter.
Don’t store your escooter in excessive temperatures. Extreme heat and extreme cold are not good for batteries. Store your escooter indoors in a cool, dry place, like you would your breakfast cereal!
One rider only, please. Unless a manufacturer explicitly states that an escooter can carry two people, only one rider should be on the deck. These vehicles can go pretty fast, and you don’t need to go more than 20 mph to be in a serious accident. It’s also a good idea to check the weight limit on your scooter.
Check the manufacturer’s servicing and repair options. Before you invest in a new scooter, check if the manufacturer offers spare parts or is able to service your scooter if any issues arise. You may want to connect with local ebike and escooter shops to see if they have experience with the brand you’re going with.
Don’t leave your escooter unattended outdoors. Scooters aren’t easy to secure, so it probably goes without saying that they’re easy to steal. Roll them indoors if you need to, but keep them within sight if you don’t want to walk home, helmet in hand.