Why are scooters so popular?

Vespa scooters on a ride out - Scooter Insurance

Almost 31,000 new scooters were registered last year making them the most popular type of bike bar none in the UK.

It was the same in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 according to historical data from the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA).

So it’s safe to say that scooters are the most popular bikes in the UK. It’s a position they’ve held over the past five years and it’s one they look set to claim again this year.

Already, scooters account for more than 26 per cent of the market in 2016, with April sales growing by 16.5 per cent compared to April 2015.

But why are scooters so popular in the UK? We’ve come up with a list of reasons for the popularity of the step-throughs.

1. They’re cheap

One of the biggest reasons for the success of scooters on UK roads is just how accessible they are.

You can get your hands on a brand new scooter for anything between £600 and £5,000 plus.

Basically that means that you can buy a scooter that suits your own pocket, and that’s before we’ve even weighed up the costs of used scooters which can go for as little as £250.

2. Running costs are as minimal as they come with an engine

We’ve not moved far away from point one here but the fact of the matter is, scooters are cheap to own as well as buy.

You can tax a 150cc scooter for £17 for 12 months, get an MOT for £30 and get at least 70 miles per gallon in fuel economy.

Compared to a car the savings are excellent and compared to higher capacity motorbikes, they’re good too, so you can see why so many people look at a two-wheeler as such an affordable option.

3. Charges and parking costs are low

If you live in London, a scooter can save you money straight away because they’re exempt from the congestion charge.

But for anywhere outside of the capital, scooters can also save you money when it comes to parking.

In many city centres, parking is free for two wheelers and more easily accessible than they would be if you were in a car.

Read our guide for more information on where you can park your motorbike.

Vespa parked up in an Italian side street (content image)

4. You can get on the road with a CBT

If you’re happy riding a scooter with 125cc or less, you can get on the road having completed your Compulsory Basic Training (CBT).

Your CBT will cost around £100 and if everything goes to plan, you’ll usually have done enough to get through it in a single day.

Watch our video for more information on what to expect on your motorbike CBT.

5. Insurance costs aren’t horrendous

Insurance costs for scooters aren’t horrendous, at least when compared to car insurance.

A 16-year old may pay around £1,000 for 12 months insurance on a 50cc moped but for anyone who is a bit older, costs should be less, especially when No Claims Bonus is added to the mix.

Compare scooter insurance quotes with The Bike Insurer.

6. Twist & Go’s are easy to ride

Lots of scooters are Twist & Go’s, which means there’s no manual gearing for you to worry about.

As far as we’re concerned, that makes things easier because you can concentrate fully on your riding (road position, observations for example) rather than changing gear, which for lots of new riders is the most complicated aspect of riding when they’re starting out.

7. They save you time

Commuting is one of the biggest factors in the popularity of scooters in the UK.

According to research by the RAC, commuting on two wheels can save you time, as much as three hours per week when compared to commuting by car.

Other research in the EU found that if just 10 per cent of car drivers switched to two wheels, congestion would be slashed by 40 per cent.

8. They’re fun

We don’t care how much you love driving a car, riding on two wheels is more fun.

9. The scene

What’s more, the UK scooter scene is massive and when you own one, you get to join in and go to brilliant scooter shows like Big 7 Scooter Rally.

So there you have it. More affordable, more fun, easier to ride and quicker to get on the road. Why would you ride or drive anything else?

Next page: Expert guide to motorcycle and scooter tax