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Tips for buying your first scooter

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There are a number of reasons to ditch your car and consider two wheels, so this week we’re going to give you our top tips on buying your first scooter.

A scooter is the perfect first vehicle or cheap way to commute, but the market is flooded with options and therefore choosing one to buy can be quite confusing. Let’s take a look at how to navigate the choices and come away with a little scooter you can trust.

Choosing your scooter

Your choice when buying your first scooter will largely be determined by the licence you have and how far and regularly you wish to ride it. If you’re looking for an alternative to commuting in your car and work locally, a little 50cc scooter will probably suit your needs, but if you’re thinking about making the transition to two wheels on a more permanent basis, you’ll probably want something a bit beefier, like a 125cc.

Licensing and CBT tests

If you passed your driving test prior to 1st February 2001 you can ride a moped/scooter with a 50 km/h top speed straight away, although we recommend taking a CBT (compulsory basic training) test if you’ve never ridden before, because it can be a bit of a shock to the system! This route is ideal for the older driver looking to reduce the hassle of the commute or save money on running costs. You’ll have to do your CBT if you want a bigger engine motorcycle/scooter, however.

If you passed after this date you’ll have to take a CBT and, depending on the size bike you want to ride, take a practical test too.

Which scooter?

Buying used might seem like a good idea, but with such a small engined vehicle it can be risky. Most of the 50 cc engined scooters on the second-hand market will have been thrashed, and will often have many names in the log book, so it’s best to avoid those completely. We recommend buying used scooters from reputable dealers who offer a decent warranty, or buying new if you have the budget.

Small engined scooters

These are our favourite 50 cc models on the current market:

* Peugeot Django 50 (around £2200) – this little beauty combines lovely retro looks with a solid little engine.

* Vespa Primavera 50 (around £2771) – you pay a little more to ride a true classic, but the Vespa will turn heads and be much more reliable than its classic predecessors.

* Piaggio Zip – £1300 gets you this slightly boy-racer styled little scooter, but don’t let that put you off because it’s reliable and great fun!

Larger scooters

A 125 cc scooter will cost more but last longer. These are our current favourites:

* Honda SH125i – a grown-up scooter that’ll last a lifetime for £3000? If you have a lot of miles to do, this is the bike for you.

* Vespa PX125 – so popular that they’re still made brand new, this is the definitive 125 and will make you look super cool wherever you ride it.

* Lexmoto Milano 125 – great retro styling and decent build quality make this Chinese scooter a bargain at just over a grand new. Well worth a look if you’re on a budget.


We hope you found our guide to buying your first scooter helpful – don’t forget that you and your new machine will be welcome down at Trafalgar Street car park, where we’ll be waiting for you to beat the traffic on your next commute!