Budgeting evergreen Original Smart Money

Expensive Penny: Is a Low-cost Scooter a Good Substitute for My Damaged-Down Automotive?

Expensive Penny,

After our automobile broke down, associates suggested us to get an electrical scooter as an inexpensive, fuel-efficient different. I do know we’ll be transferring in a yr, and we’ll promote the scooter after we do.

With that in thoughts, we’re questioning if it will be higher to purchase a brilliant low cost, secondhand scooter and never tackle any debt, or purchase a brand new scooter and get financing for it.

I believe we’ll be capable to promote it for the rest of the mortgage stability after we transfer, and we may have a pleasant scooter for simply the price of the month-to-month funds.

What do you assume? If we do go this route, what ought to we search for when contemplating financing?

Thanks for the assistance!


Expensive J.,

This scooter seems like extra work than it’s value. However let’s discover it.

On paper, a scooter might sound like the right option to zip round city. In lots of areas, you’ll be able to simply and comfortably get away with being car-free due to the arrival of ride-hailing providers, public transit and the elevated prevalence of motorbike lanes.

However you’ll nonetheless need to lug groceries, take the canine to the vet or journey with further people every so often.

When you add up the price of the scooter, scooter insurance coverage and people further journeys that should be made by conventional automobile, does it make extra sense to simply get one other automobile? A automobile with 4 wheels that may go on the freeway with out topping out at 35 mph?

If this was an answer to needing wheels however not having the ability to afford a whole automobile, I’d say go for the scooter. Estimates for the price of automobile possession vary from $8,000 to $12,000 per yr if you add up funds, insurance coverage, fuel and all the remainder, which implies something lower than that may be a win.

However you’re taking part in with the thought of getting a shiny new scooter for just some months of use. For those who have been dedicated to a way of life change for the long run, you’d purchase the brand new scooter and love the heck out of it. You by no means would have thought of writing in to ask about it.

You’re speaking in regards to the short-term. And the short-term seems like novelty greater than practicality.

Let’s say you are interested by scooter life as your without end life. I’d nonetheless advocate for the used one to start out out as you get your scooter legs and construct up your confidence on the highway. With a brand new scooter, you’ll probably need collision insurance coverage, which may dramatically drive up the price of insuring it.

I commend the toe-dip right into a car-free way of life, however a yearlong stopgap doesn’t a way of life make.  

So begin low (on value and engine dimension), begin gradual (put on a helmet, my pal) and construct as much as a shiny new two-wheeler in case you discover it really fits your way of life.

Have a tough cash query? Write to Expensive Penny and also you may see your query answered in an upcoming column.

Lisa Rowan is a private finance professional and senior author at The Penny Hoarder, and the voice behind Expensive Penny.

Supply hyperlink

Post Comment