The budget sector is a really fertile one for e-scooters. There are plenty of known brands fighting it out here with no-name imports, and it’s possible to pick up a real bargain if you spend some time looking. It’s also possible to get something that is poorly made and appalling value for money, but hopefully we can steer you away from those. Popular mid-range models from Xiaomi, Pure and Razor are out, however - we’re looking at the entry-level here.
At this price level, you have to accept that you’re going to get slightly less in terms of power and running time, and spending a little more, up to a maximum of £350, can get you additional features. Look out for dual brakes, pneumatic tyres rather than solid plastic ones, motors with higher wattage ratings and built-in headlights. Kickstands and energy recovery systems are standard features.
The old warning continues to apply to e-scooters. You can only legally ride them in public in the UK as part of an e-scooter trial, if you’re over 18 and hold a driving licence - provisional will do. This may change, depending on the results of the ongoing trials. Otherwise, use one on private land and you can do what you like. Within reason, obviously.
Just scraping the top of our price range at £349, this is about as good as it gets for an e-scooter on a budget. It’s Pure’s entry-level model, but shares a lot of design cues with its bigger siblings, as well as very decent build quality. The 350W motor is a clear step down from the 500W found in other Pure scooters, but this shouldn’t be too much of a problem unless you're trying to go uphill in a hurry. The rear hub motor has three power modes, and there are brakes on both wheels. Acceleration comes via a thumb lever, there are LED lights at both front and rear, and you get a bell and mudguards too.
The chassis is waterproof, and you’ll get around 12.5 miles from a charge. The ten-inch wheels are shod with puncture-resistant pneumatic tyres, which is really good to see at this price point, while the 187.2 Wh battery takes about 3.5 hours to fully charge. The 16kg scooter folds down nicely for transport, and riders can be up to 120kg in weight (that’s 18 stone 12 lbs).
A compact, lightweight e-scooter, the A2 is built from aluminium and will squeeze around six miles out of a charge. It’s incredibly light at 6.5kg, will accelerate up to 10mph, and the handlebar is collapsible so it folds down particularly small. It almost doesn’t look like an e-scooter, especially as there are no built-in lights to give it away.
The tyres, disappointingly, are solid urethane, which give a less cushioned ride than air-inflated tyres and can wear down with use. There’s one brake, operated by your foot at the rear, and the motor also sits in this wheel hub, which solves the multiple maintenance issues caused by belt or chain drives.
The motor is very weak, at just 90W, and this leads to a maximum rider weight of 65kg, or 10st 3lbs.
Another entry-level model with a 300W motor, this time integrated into the front wheel. As long as you’re not too heavy - the scooter’s maximum weight limit is 100kg/15st 10lb - this will be fine. The maximum speed is 12.5mph and the nine-inch wheels have a semi-solid design which is puncture resistant.
After a 3.5hr charge you’ll get about 13.5 miles out of the battery, and while the chassis has limited splash resistance, it’s not recommended for use in the rain. You get built-in lights, a bell, and a cruise control setting so you can take your thumb off the throttle and still move along. There are brakes on both wheels - the front operated with your foot, the rear from the handlebars - and at 13.5kg this is a reasonably compact and easy to carry model.
Once an expensive model, its price has dropped so much that we feel confident you’ll find it for less than £350 somewhere. This e-scooter will do 12 miles at 12mph before needing a charge. It has cruise control, three speed modes, its IP45 rating means it’s reasonably waterproof, the 8.5in tyres are pneumatic, and only the 250W motor seems a little weak.
As long as you’re under 100kg/15st 10lb, then you can ride this, and while we wouldn’t expect it to take us up many hills, it’ll be just fine for zipping around in flat areas. The aluminium body folds down in just three seconds, there are brakes in both wheels, including a rear disc, and it has lights and reflectors.
We’ve seen this going for as little as £200, and with a 300W motor, maximum speed of 15mph and a range of seven miles, it looks like a bargain. The solid wheels are quite small at 6.5in, though there’s built-in suspension to smooth out the bumps, and the motor sits in the front wheel hub.
Charging takes around five hours, and the maximum rider weight is 74kg or 11st 10lbs. You get LED headlights, a foot brake, and a clear LCD display. For an adult-sized scooter, the footplate is surprisingly narrow, meaning you’ll really need to keep your foot straight rather than at an angle in order to maintain maximum grip. This does, however, contribute to the compactness of the scooter, and as it weighs in at a fairly average 13kg, makes it a good choice if you need to carry it around with you when not riding.