Renting vs. Buying – The Benefits of Owning an Electric Scooter

UPDATE: This article was written prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, there are now additional considerations with shared items - possibly hundreds of people in a day may touch a rental scooter, so please carry hand sanitiser if you are using them.

We may not be driving flying cars just yet, but who can complain when electric scooters are on the rise. As cities become filled with numerous rental options, the notion of purchasing one for yourself can sometimes be overlooked. But, why spend money borrowing when you could instead invest that cash in having your own?


In addition to price, other factors such as speed, comfort, safety, and hassle play a significant factor in the debate. So, let’s take a look into the benefits of owning an electric scooter, and why it's the better option. 


The Rental Price Really Adds Up 

It’s becoming the norm to see people scootering to and from work. With its ability to quicken and brighten up your commute, it’s understandable why. Amongst these 21st century commuters is a mix of rental and personally owned vehicles. 


Although renters may gasp at the idea of splurging on a scooter purchase, this may change once they begin totalling their average rental costs. 


Say you’re working a standard five days a week and have a 10-minute scooter commute (to and from the office), your total monthly expense is bound to be a shock. 


To break down the maths, our table below looks at the different prices for each scooter rental brand currently available on New Zealand streets. 


Brand 

Price 

(NZD) 

Average Cost Per Week

(Based on a 5-day work week with a 10-minute commute scooter ride completed twice a day) 

Flamingo Scooters 

$1.00 unlock fee 

Plus $0.38 per minute 

$9.60 per day x 5 = 

$48 per week 

Beam Scooters 

$0.45 unlock fee

Plus $0.45 per minute

$.9.90 per day x 5 = 

$49.50 per week 

Jump by Uber 

$1.00 unlock fee

Plus $0.38 per minute 

$9.60 per day x 5 =

$48 per week 

Neuron Scooters 

$1.00 unlock fee
Plus $0.38 per minute


They also offer a 3-day, 7-day, and 30-day pass (each with a 90-min max per day). The cost for these passes are as follows:  


3-day Pass:
$8.33 per day

7-day Pass:
$4.71 per day

30-day pass
$2.97 per day 

$9.60 per day x 5 =

$48 per week 







Two x 3-day packages = $50 to cover 5 days


One x 7-day package =

$33 to cover 5 days 

30-day pass = $89 per month 

$89/ 4 = around $22 per week 


With an average weekly cost of $48, you’re looking at spending around $192 each month. Although that might not seem like an alarming amount, that’s a yearly cost of $2304. Yikes! 


Even if you’ve opted for Neuron’s 30-day pass, you’ll still be paying over $1000 for a year’s worth of scooter hires. Such a large amount could much better be spent towards buying your own — with the average high-quality model costing between $1,200 - $3,000.


Rental Scooters have Limited Power and Speed 

High-quality scooters such as the Mercane Widewheel Pro 2020 are powered by a 500-watt motor giving it a desirable amount of power. Generic rental scooters, on the other hand, are usually powered by a 300 watt motor or less, making inclines a likely struggle.


With the purpose of an electric scooter centred around a quick, convenient ride, many renters become frustrated when their commute turns into a workout. As much as we support moving the body, no one wants to get sweaty on their way to work – and you’re paying for a powered ride, so why should you have to push? 


Rental Scooters aren’t Designed for Ultimate Comfort 

Rental scooters are designed to be mass distributed around a city. Rather than offering customised functionalities, they provide a universal vehicle that any Tom, Dick, or Harry can use. While this makes sense for a widespread rental, it does mean that they’re not always the easiest or comfiest to ride – as they’re not tailored to your specific needs. 


Frequent comments from renters include experiencing a wobbly ride or having a hard time steering. Both of which will affect the comfort and safety of your journey.


Alternatively, if you purchase a scooter such as the Mercane Widewheel, the wheels have been cleverly designed to provide a stable and comfortable ride. 


Rental Scooters Raise Safety Concerns 

When a scooter hasn’t been designed specifically to meet your needs, this can cause safety issues. Such concerns increase when previous rental brands such as Lime have been banned due to glitches with their breaks. 


Even when dealing with a correctly functioning scooter, an unfamiliar rental model can cause new riders to panic when locating the break. As not all models are the same, some may expect a lever and find a button, or vice versa, which delays their ability to slow down. With this in mind, make sure to familiarise yourself with the scooters functions before starting your journey. 


Of course, when you have your own scooter, you’ll be well aware of its design, allowing for a more comfortable and safer ride. You can also ride with ease knowing your vehicle is well maintained (with no room for strangers attempting silly tricks before your hire). 


If you decide to purchase an electric scooter, make sure you buy from an official distributor and not a parallel importer. Buying from a genuine company such as Storm Rides, gives you access to a comprehensive catalogue of parts, whereas, purchasing from a parallel import, will make replacements a near-impossible mission. 


Another major safety concern is the availability of helmets. Sorry, what helmets?


Despite an increasing concern for rider safety, brands such as Flamingo still don’t provide helmets. If you’re renting, you would surely expect the needed safety gear to be provided? That said, other companies such as Beam do offer helmets, but they’re not secured to the scooter  – which means many are either vandalised or stolen. 


If you buy your own helmet, at least you know it’ll always be available (and always be clean!)


For more information about scooter safety, read our Electric Scooter Laws in NZ post. 


Don’t Waste Time Tracking Down a Scooter 

Although there are usually plenty of scooters to go around, sometimes tracking one down can be a mission - particularly when you’re in a rush. And, as expected, most commuters don’t want any unneeded delays. So, why not save the hassle and purchase your own? That means no more daily scooter hunts. Just straight to the riding. 


Buying an Electric Scooter is Exciting! 

Purchasing an electric scooter is like buying a car it's an exciting process. Buying instead of renting gives you the freedom to pick a model that suits your needs and your preferences. Whether you want an ultra-stable wide wheel scooter or seated foldable model, there are so many epic options that make the purchasing decision a whole heap of fun. 


So, What Scooter Should I Buy? 

Just as you would for a car, a lot of research should be done before buying your scooter. This purchasing process typically involves scouting out the right model, making sure you’re buying from a genuine dealer, and, of course, some test riding! 


At Storm Rides, we provide the best quality scooters and support in New Zealand, with original products, genuine parts, and a full 12 month NZ backed warranty   with all parts stocked here in NZ. 


To help you decide what model is right for you, check out our Best Electric Scooters NZ Review or our Guide to Scooter for Adults 2019


If you have any questions or are ready for a test ride, contact us today.