There’s no doubt that electric scooters are the future of daily commute. They’re better for the planet, better for you, and way cheaper on the wallet. Personally, I made the switch to electric scooters in the early 2000s — back when there weren’t too many choices in the market.
Come 2023, and the electric scooter market has so much more to offer. While scooters are an affordable transport option by default, you can get a great electric scooter for under $500 that delivers a smooth ride for at least five years.
I’m not the kind to gamble on road safety, and I used to think the only cheap electric scooters were toys.
But while testing a whopping 23 electric scooters for this article, I was blown away by some of the more sophisticated yet affordable electric scooter options. Great front and rear suspension, cruise control, battery life, speed modes, and the works. I graded each electric scooter on the range, acceleration, speed, brake time, and of course, the overall ride experience. The result? Only the best 6 electric scooters in the market for those on a budget. (Yes, even for college students drowning in student loan debt)
If you don’t have the time to go through a well-researched, crash-tested electric scooter guide, no worries! Our quick recommendation goes to the Hiboy S2.
Here are the best electric scooters in the market that don’t break the bank.
Top 6 Budget-Friendly Electric Scooters
Best budget e-scooter under $500
1. Hiboy S2
Our top pick
The first electric scooter on our list is the Hiboy S2.
I make sure to test electric scooters for a minimum of two weeks when writing product reviews, and the Hiboy S2 was the toughest to return. It was without a doubt, the best electric scooter on this list, and could even hold its ground against more expensive scooters in the market.
The Hiboy boasts the highest top speed on this list at 19mph, as well as a great range of 17 miles on a full battery. Getting great speed and range on an electric scooter is rare, and the Hiboy does it all with a super rugged sturdy build. This scooter seems to have been built as a dupe to the Xiaomi mi electric scooter, but I actually prefer this to the latter.
I was apprehensive of the semi-solid tires, but they’re 8.5″ and provide a really stable ride. The scooter also comes with suspension in the rear tire, and a powerful chain-driven motor. Apart from this, the Hiboy S2 has virtually every feature you could want. Headlights? It has three. Double brakes? A dual braking system with regenerative anti-lock braking. There’s a Hiboy app for security so you can lock your scooter too, though I’m sure many would feel more comfortable with a physical lock.
It looks pretty sleek, with classic red cabling. Though if I had to go by looks alone: I’d say the Segway has a much more sophisticated look.
I only wish it were lighter. It’s built to be on the heavy-duty side, and while it has a folding design, I found it too heavy to lug around.
- Dual brakes
- Clone of Xiaomi mi electric scooter (same quality, cheaper price)
- Affordable price point
- Rugged sturdy build
- High max speed of 19mph top speed
- Great range, can ride for around 4 hours till the battery drains
- Good electric scooter for short to medium rides
- Another model with an in-built seat available
- Great inclined performance
- The maximum weight capacity is only 220 lbs
- The net weight is on the heavier side, tough to carry
The Hiboy S2 is an all-rounder, and the top pick because of its performance. If you’re looking for an electric scooter, chances are you’ll be more than happy with this one. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a more durable option and want to invest in quality. This would be a great scooter even if it was priced $100 more, so you know you’re getting a steal deal.
The Hiboy S2 is particularly ideal for someone who needs a better range in their scooter. If your work commutes can be a round trip of 10 miles or above, the Hiboy will serve well.
Best budget electric scooter under $550
2. Segway Ninebot E22 Electric Kick Scooter
Best Premium Electric Scooter in the Budget range
Segway makes some of the most popular electric scooters. It’s definitely considered a Premium brand, but I included their base model Ninebot E22 in this list because it’s marginally more than the $500 mark and oozes value for money. You get a whole host of premium features and performance with the Segway Ninebot, making it an absolute steal in the budget scooter category.
If you asked me which was the best electric scooter I tried out — it’s this one. You’ll know you’re riding a premium vehicle the moment you step foot on it, and the stability and smoothness are pretty unmatched. This is a highly durable option: perfect if you’re looking for a more permanent transport solution (at least for the next five years).
The Segway has a really powerful motor: 300w and it’s incredibly powerful traveling uphill. In fact, this was the best performing budget electric scooter for uphill terrain. For a scooter this powerful, it’s also reasonably light. At a net weight of 40lbs, you can one-touch fold and carry this around when you don’t want to park it.
The rear suspension makes the ride super smooth. There’s no rattling noise and it handles cobblestone, rough terrain impressively: though it’s most definitely not made for a dirt track or off-road. Another feature I liked was that the lights are really powerful: great for those who need to ride at night.
Here’s the only caveat: you won’t get the best top speed with the Segway. The Hiboy offers much better speed in comparison, and the Segway Ninebot caps at about 12.4 mph since it is Segway’s base model. There are higher-end Segway models that go up to 18 mph but at about a 50% higher price. If you ask me — the high quality and durability of the Segway E22 make up for the slower maximum speed, but it depends on your individual requirements.
- A comfortable ride with front and rear suspension
- Solid tires – 9 inches wide
- Sleek matte-finish design
- Great for city riding
- Sport mode for faster routes
- The best quality control in our list
- Decent maximum range of 13.7 miles
- Stronger 15% uphill capability
- Dual braking system
- Loud safety bell
- Push-button throttle
- Full charge in 3.5 hours
- Low top speed, max speed is 12 mph
- E scooter slows down at 10% battery
- Battery life is poorer in colder weather
- Segway app may not be thief-proof
This is the perfect electric scooter for someone who values quality above all else. This Segway Ninebot E22 is built to last, so you won’t have to keep replacing it every few months. While it is on the higher end of the budget category, it’s still considerably less than premium electric scooters.
The Segway E22 would be a good choice for you if you need a comfortable and enjoyable ride with a good suspension. The speed isn’t the best, but it’s a safe option for city riding. The braking, accelerating, and range are all above average, making this one of the best commuter scooters on our list.
Best affordable e scooter under $400
3. Hover 1 – Rally Electric Scooter
Most affordable electric scooter
When I first saw the product listing for this scooter, I did a double-take. This is the most affordable cheap electric scooter on our list. Most electric scooters at this price range are kids scooters, but this is most definitely an adult electric scooter and a pretty decent one at that.
The Hover 1 has a satisfactory top speed at 12 mph, with a 320w powerful motor that can handle slopes and inclines. I found it lived up to the claim of hilly terrain, but does so at a crawling speed. The Hover 1 has 6-inch solid tires and a cruise control toggle. You can activate cruise control by pressing down on the throttle, and this maintains the speed for a smoother ride quality when you’re riding with no obstacles.
Here’s the most impressive feature: an LCD screen dashboard. I didn’t expect to see this feature on a cheap scooter, and it’s pretty great to be able to see the speedometer, battery level, and headlight icons when you glance down. There’s no question about it, the Hover 1 delivers above and beyond other similarly priced models. You’re not gonna be going over the speed limit with this one any time soon, but it’s perfect for short distances.
One-touch folding means you don’t have to rely on a bike rack when you make pit stops. As far as budget scooters go, this is also quite lightweight at 30lbs for easy storage.
Now it’s not perfect — there are two things I wish were better. The range and the weight capacity. This is one of the few scooters that delivers below 10 miles range. You only get 7 miles when the battery is fully charged: so the Hover 1 is built for very short distances. It takes a standard 4 hours to get fully charged.
- Most affordable price
- Full LCD screen unlike other electric scooters
- Solid rubber tires + air-filled tires
- E scooter with built-in reflectors
- Cruise control mode
- One-step folding system
- Electric brake
- Low range
- Low weight capacity
- Speed takes a hit with heavier riders
- Small wheels struggle on bumps and cracks in the road
- No real lights, only reflectors
If your number one prerogative is to pick up the cheapest electric scooter possible: you can go ahead with the Hover 1 without any regrets. It’s almost suspiciously affordable with some pretty great features. This would not be a good choice if you need more than 7 miles of range, but for very short distances, it would work well.
Best cheap electric scooter under $300
4. Gotrax GXL v2
The cheapest electric scooter
The Gotrax GXL V2 is widely considered one of the best and cheapest electric scooters. I’d heard great things about this scooter, and tried it out with considerable skepticism. But it truly outperformed the other scooters across the budget board — in terms of range, acceleration, and overall sturdy build.
The Gotrax GXL V2 is definitely a well-built option for the price point. It’s simply a great performing electric scooter with a good distribution of features. It’s not too heavy, has a nippy speed of 15.5 mph, and has a new and improved disc brake with enough braking power. The original Gotrax had a foot brake and was known for being slightly laggy. This V2 overhauls the braking system, introducing a much-improved hand lever.
I found it a smooth-ish ride, for the most part, thanks to the pneumatic tires — but you can’t expect the same ride quality as an electric scooter with spring suspension. Doesn’t exactly rattle, but isn’t buttery smooth either.
I won’t lie — the Gotrax XR isn’t going to give you the best top speed. You can really push the speed to about 16 or 17 mph if you’re lighter than 150lbs, but that’s still half the top speed some of the premium electric scooters can offer. For some riders, this doesn’t matter too much. Riding across your university campus isn’t exactly a Need for Speed situation, and many students are happy to pay half price for half speed.
The range lived up to the manufacturer’s claim, and I could ride up to 12 miles before the battery drained. It’s not the most awful scooter to drag along, however, and it folds compact enough to carry around. I only wish the GXL V2 was better for uphill riding. The stability, speed, and maneuvering definitely go downhill when you go uphill, making this a better choice for shorter and more leveled rides.
- Perfect electric scooter for beginners
- Comfortable ride
- Good battery life for short rides (Range of 12 miles)
- Removable battery
- Pneumatic air-filled tires
- Great performing cheap scooter
- Dual braking system
- Easy storage, folds compact
- Four hour recharge time
- Needs to be in motion for the motor to start
- Not a very high top speed.
- Not the best budget scooter for uphill routes
This is the perfect scooter for the rider who needs an affordable option that’s high in quality. The Gotrax Gxl v2 is one of the lowest-priced electric motorized scooters in the market and has stood the test of time in terms of quality. Most owners claim that the GXL V2 lasts a solid 3-4 years with no issues.
This is a great choice for you if you need a commuter scooter for short and leveled rides, and if you don’t mind a slower speed. While it doesn’t have the impressive high-end features that other scooters on this list do, it’s a great starting point until you’re ready to level up.
Best value electric scooter under $600
5. Turboant x7 pro
Fastest Budget Escooter
Only a handful of electric scooters can offer the same max speed and maximum range that Turboant x7 pro can, and none in the budget scooter category.
Turboant is an incredibly powerful lightweight scooter that zips past at 20mph top speed with an incredible 30-mile maximum range. And if you thought that was the best of it: this scooter actually has a detachable battery with a spare for an even faster, smoother battery change experience. Riding the Turboant X7 pro definitely feels efficient: it’s stable and smooth, and you’ll likely not need to push to the top speed for city riding.
If you’ve ever wanted an e-scooter for longer rides: this is it. The X7 Pro can last 30 miles, and you can carry a backup charger to add 30 more. I’m not sure why you’d need a stand-up road trip, but more is more! You’ll have slim chances of ever running out of battery when you take this scooter around all day.
You’ll find some great pneumatic tires on the X7 Pro, even bigger than the previous X7 model. It’s also easy to carry around — in three steps, it can be folded down and carried with ease. The X7 Pro is also quite lightweight, weighing just under 20 lbs.
The Turboant isn’t as affordable as other scooters on the list, and it’s definitely a premium buy with impressive high-end features. To me, this is a performance e-scooter through and through. You’ll want to buy this for the speed and range, but it performs its best on lighter weights. While it has a weight capacity of 270 lbs, the top speed goes down to nearly half. Inclined hilly terrain also doesn’t let the true capabilities of the X7 Pro shine.
- Fastest e scooter on our list
- Solid pneumatic tires
- More premium features than cheap scooters tend to have
- Prices powered e scooters
- High top speed of 20 mph
- The longest range on adult electric scooters (30-60 miles)
- Dual brake system + front electronic brakes
- 3 LED Headlights
- Folds compact
- Not the best for inclined and hilly regions
- Not as affordable as other e scooters on the list
The Turboant x7 pro is the perfect scooter for speed.
The Turboant is similar to the Gotrax scooter. You’d get great durability with both scooters, but Gotrax scooters are better for a sturdy and smooth build, while the Turboant shines ahead in speed and range. While there are cheaper electric scooters in the market, not many are good electric scooters that can compete at the same top speed.
Best cheap electric scooter under $400
6. Populo Electric Kick Scooter
Best Electric Scooter for Battery Life
Last on our list is an electric scooter with a really long-lasting battery. The best cheap electric scooters in the market are those that provide a good balance of performance without running out of battery in ten minutes — and the Populo E-scooter does just that.
The Populo scooter also has a noteworthy throttle and really smooth acceleration. It feels like a much more controlled ride compared to other electric scooters in the market. The Populo scooter had the most comfortable handles — and I can see this being a great option for everyday short-distance commute. You also get the option to order the scooter with a seat, but I didn’t test that one out.
The speed and range are exactly what you’d expect: 15 mph top speed and a maximum range of 14 miles. These aren’t the most impressive specs on our list, but the end result is a very reliable and affordable product. This is a kick scooter, so the motor doesn’t start automatically. It does need to be in motion for the motor to get engaged.
The Populo scooter doesn’t try to go overboard with any of its features but provides a really good balance of everything. I think it is also one of the better-looking scooters on the list: and the dashboard is designed really well to have the speed and battery level fit in.
While riding this scooter, I noticed that the cruise control switches on automatically. It usually kicks in after you’ve been riding smoothly for about 5 minutes, and this can be annoying if you don’t want it to happen automatically.
- Great battery life
- Kick scooter
- Well designed dashboard
- Decent top speed and above-average range
- Smooth acceleration
- Can get with a seat if needed
- Affordable price point
- Kickstand can be flimsy
- Cruise mode control switches on automatically
The Populo Electric Kick Scooter is a reliable and lightweight electric ride option. If you’re not looking for the most cutting-edge features but need a battery you can depend on: look no further. It’s also one of the cheaper electric scooters on our list.
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Cheap Electric Scooter For You
Why Choose a Cheap Electric Scooter?
People are generally shocked when I tell them I own an electric scooter and no other vehicle. It’s served me well for years, and I dare say my back thanks me for all those hours not spent hunched over behind a wheel in traffic.
Sure, you can’t exactly go on long road trips with friends — but I’d argue the pros outweigh the cons. If your travel time tends to be between 10 minutes to 20 minutes, an electric scooter would be perfect for you. For many, having an electric scooter for errands or getting to school/work every day can actually work out cheaper than public transport, not to mention being a much smoother experience.
Not only are electric scooters a smaller upfront investment, but they’re also next to nothing in the cost of operability. Not having to worry about surging fuel prices can make you feel like you travel for free, always. Studies also show that the low-intensity exercise of riding a scooter can provide significant health benefits.
There are plenty of scooters in the market, especially in the budget range. Here are some factors to look out for. While you could argue the perfect scooter (check out our list of the best electric scooters of 2023) has everything, there’s always going to be a little bit of compromise. Understanding your own riding needs will help you save money otherwise spent on unnecessary features.
The range of your scooter is how far it can travel from a full battery to an empty battery. Cheaper electric scooters tend to have lesser ranges, but this isn’t a problem if you only need a scooter for short distances. For example: if you run multiple errands in a day, a scooter will less range can be intermittently charged — as compared to someone who needs to have longer round trips.
Needless to say, Speed is an important factor when buying an e scooter. If you’ve only driven cars in the past, you might find a high top speed of 20 mph too slow. However, speed on a scooter is a whole different ball game. You have minimal protection (a helmet is strongly advised!) and will usually be riding on a bike lane or the side of the road. A speed of around 15-20mph is on the higher side when you take into account safety and maneuvering.
A scooter is also not aerodynamically built to go fast. Speed also varies depending on the terrain.
But this doesn’t mean you have to crawl at snail speed. People who ride scooters regularly often reach much faster than public transport counterparts since they’re traveling directly from point A to point B. There are also many other benefits, such as getting low-intensity physical exercise, and an almost non-existent cost of operability.
A scooter needs a powerful motor to be able to go uphill. Most electric scooters can easily handle a 15° inclined slope, but not at all perform their best in such conditions. Many scooters won’t go as fast, and this greatly depends on the rider’s weight. If an electric scooter is built to handle hilly terrain well, you’ll likely see a motor of 350w or above.
Most higher-end electric scooters have suspension in-built, so you can ride over a bumpy road or a bit of cobblestone with no issues. As you go down the price bracket, this is a feature that manufacturers drop like hot cake. However, many riders are happy to compromise on a super smooth ride if it means paying half the amount.
Higher weight capacity
Electric scooters need to be built very rugged and sturdy to handle weights above 250-300lbs. You’ll likely only find premium scooters that are built to hold these weights.
It Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive
As you can see from my tests, it doesn’t have to be an expensive electric scooter. you can get cheap scooters that doesn’t break your bank. Just select one of our rides to get the best cheap electric scooters out there. The Hiboy S2 is a no frills scooter that can handle a rider weight up 260 pounds.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about Cheap electric scooters
Are electric scooters legal in the USA?
Yes, all electric scooters are legal in the USA. E-scooter riders have to be extra careful and follow road laws: including but not limited to sticking to bike lanes, sticking to the curb, and ensuring they’re not holding up other vehicles or pedestrians. Just because you don’t need a license doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow traffic signals too!
Are electric scooters legal in the New York?
Yes, all electric scooters are legal in the New York. Stick to bike lines and follow the NYC traffic rules.
Are electric scooters safe?
Most electric scooters are built to be safe, but it’s always a good idea to invest in a trustworthy brand. Electric scooters don’t go faster than human running speed (yes, even Usain Bolt at 28mph is faster than most electric scooters), so they limit the danger of falling down and hurting yourself when alone. However, there’s always the risk of accidents with other vehicles on the road. Always use a helmet when riding an e-scooter – check out our list of e-scooter helmets.
Do you need a license for e-scooters?
No, you do not need a license for an e-scooter that has a motor lower than 250 watts and a top speed of 20mph. Most popular electric scooters fall into this category.
Do you need to register an electric scooter?
No, you do not need to register your electric scooter or apply for a license plate as long as your two-wheeler has a top speed of 25mph or less. This means that anyone can ride an electric scooter, but you can still get into trouble with the authorities for flouting traffic and road laws. For your safety and others, always stick to the curb and bicycle lanes.
Is there an age restriction for electric scooters?
Yes, most states in the USA require you to be at least 16 when riding an electric scooter on the road. The age requirement is 14 in Mississippi and 12 in both Minnesota and Michigan. Remember that these apply to riding electric scooters on the road, and the laws might vary from district to district. It’s a good idea to discourage kids from riding on the streets, no matter what vehicle they’re using.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that all electric scooters are built the same: but this is quite far from the truth. While the humble two-wheeler looks simplistic, there are plenty of factors that can affect your overall riding experience. Getting a budget electric scooter can be one of the best investments you make for your future, and for the planet as well.
If you’re still unsure about which electric scooter to choose: you can’t go wrong with the Hiboy S2.Scootermap may collect a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of its links to an external website like Amazon. Please see our affiliate disclosure for further information.