...with our old landlord's Land Rover in the background
Later that night, we were the proud owners of our first two-wheeled, motor vehicle. Later that week, we were at the DMV getting our M1 permit. By the end of the first month, one of us was riding the scooter to work every day. Sure, it had trouble getting up really steep hills and even the mild San Diego mornings felt cold at a windy 50 mph, but it was fun! Getting to work over winding local roads was fun! Going shopping for groceries was fun!
Sure it's fun, but what about the costs?
Car - $4 every 30 miles
Scooter - $4 every 80 miles
Car - $25 every 5000 miles
Scooter - $35 every 2000 miles
Car - $400 every 30,000 miles
Scooter - $120 every 5,000 miles
Insurance (liability only):
Car: $435 per year
Scooter: $38 per year
The costs of body work or other maintenance are harder to compare, but suffice it to say that it's much cheaper to repair a scooter than a car, whether you're doing it yourself or taking it to a shop. And we've found the Yamaha Vino to be fairly bulletproof: it's needed nothing but gas, oil, a brakepad, and tires in the past 4 years. (Kymco and Genuine owners have told us the same thing: these scooters cost very little maintain over the years.)
Using the figures above, we save $247 for every 5000 miles we shift to the scooter from a car. Nothing to get rich off of, though I suspect the avoided maintenance on a car could increase the savings quite a bit if those costs were factored in. Nonetheless, the savings you'd see from adding a scooter to your vehicle fleet, as we did, aren't nearly as great as replacing a car with a scooter. Nor would you save as much (or get nearly as badass) as you would with a bike. But for people looking for a way to reduce their car usage, but aren't quite ready to start cycling around town, a scooter is a fun way to save a little money.
Want to learn more? Check out...
Just Gotta Scoot
Mr. Money Mustache