- Gotrax G4
- Hover-1 Alpha
- Gotrax GXL V2
We all need to get around, even under Covid-19 lockdowns, most people still needed to go out for groceries. Cars are the most popular choice as they’re reliable, spacious, and comfortable. Realistically though, they’re expensive to run, not good for the environment, and terrible if you’ve got lots of traffic. Public transport is not ideal, even without a pandemic, you have to wait for it and it’s often expensive and busy. Motorbikes are a potential alternative but they’re still not cheap or particularly good for the environment. Bicycles are cheap, great for the environment, and good for your health, making them a pretty decent option for short-distance transport if you don’t need to take much with you. You may not want to ride a bike everywhere though, thankfully E-Scooters are now a thing and are reliable and cheap enough to be a viable alternative.
E-Scooters are actually a pretty fantastic option for short-distance travel, they’re easy to operate, not terrible for the environment, and surprisingly fast. Not every option is made equal though. So, to help you get a great deal, we’ve drawn up a list of the best budget E-Scooters in 2021.
One thing to note before you go out and buy any form of E-Scooter is that you should look up the legality of riding an E-Scooter in your area. For example, currently, in the UK you can hire ride-share E-Scooters and ride them on the road, however, it is illegal to ride a privately owned on the roads or pavements, limiting their use to just private ground. Make sure you’re aware of the legal situation before you ride, you don’t want to be facing any fines for breaking the law.
- Thumb controlled accelerator
- Lever controlled brakes
- Pneumatic tires
- Maximum Range: 12 miles
- Top Speed: 15.5mph
- Max Weight: 100kg
The Gotrax GXL V2 is a great cheap entry point into the world of E-Scooters. It has a range of 12 miles and a top speed of 15.5mph, though your experience will vary depending on the terrain, usage, and weight. It is rated for carrying riders of up to 100kg. A big selling point are the excellent brakes, with a regenerative front brake and a rear brake disk both controlled by the single left-hand brake lever.
Acceleration is controlled by your right thumb though you will need to kick start the scooter to around 3kmh before the motor can take over. It’s light at 12.3kg and can be folded, making it easy to carry or store. Recharging takes 4 hours. While it is lacking suspension, the air-filled tires can help to cushion the ride somewhat, though they could be punctured.
- Rear brake disk
- Front regenerative breaking
- Light and portable
- No suspension
- No rear light
- Relatively short warranty
- Front, middle, and rear lights
- Bluetooth app
- Configurable performance
- Maximum Range: 17 miles
- Top Speed: 19mph
- Max Weight: 120kg
The Hiboy S2 is a slightly sturdier E-Scooter than the Gotrax V2 with its weight limit of 120kg. It also features solid honeycomb tires that can’t be punctured but also provide a rough ride. The ride quality is somewhat but not entirely softened thanks to the presence of a rear suspension system, however, you should still expect a more jarring ride than from pneumatic tires.
It has a top speed of 19mph and a range of 17 miles, though your experience will vary depending on the terrain, usage, and weight. The included warranty varies between 6 and 12 months depending on the affected part. If you prefer a seat, one is available that can be mounted, though it is not included. One thing to be aware of is the fact that it has no water resistance rating, meaning you can’t run it in the rain or through puddles.
- A scooter seat is available, though not included
- 6-12 month warranty, depending on the part
- Rear suspension
- Solid honeycomb tires provide a rough ride
- No water or splash resistance
- 3-digit display lock PIN
- 4 digit anti-theft combination lock
- Walk assist feature
- Maximum Range: 25 miles
- Top Speed: 20mph
- Max Weight: 100kg
The Gotrax G4 is a more advanced version of the V2 at the top of this list. It features a more powerful motor and a larger battery for a faster top speed and a longer range. It also features a pair of locks. The integrated anti-theft combination lock is built into the stem and allows you to lock your scooter to railings or other structures to keep it safe. The display lock PIN is a little less helpful, as it significantly increases the amount of time required to start the scooter once it’s assembled. While it does flash the lights and beep if the wrong code is entered, it doesn’t prevent a thief from being able to roll the scooter away while it’s off to guess the code on their own time as it doesn’t work while it’s off.
The tires come pre-filled with slime, this makes them firmer, for a rougher ride but also self-seals any punctures. The included tail light is on full normally and blinks while braking. As with many scooters, it requires a kick start to be able to engage the motor. If you have trouble getting started, try double-tapping the accelerator, a software bug can cause this known issue.
- Includes a tail light
- Slimed tires
- Splash resistant
- Weak customer support from Gotrax
- Requires a 5kmh kick start before engaging the motor
- Bug in software means you may have to double-tap the accelerator to start
- Front, rear, and underlighting
- Cruise control is activated by double tapping the throttle
- Large 10 inch pneumatic tires
- Maximum Range: 12 miles
- Top Speed: 18.6mph
- Max Weight: 120kg
The Hover-1 Alpha is a comfortable but fairly heavy budget E-Scooter. The weight helps to keep it stable but also reduces the range quite significantly and makes it slow to accelerate. It comes with 10-inch pneumatic tires that make for a smooth ride, though they are vulnerable to punctures. While some users have reported it being fine in wet conditions, it doesn’t have an IP rating for water or splash resistance, so you should avoid using it in the wet.
The included manual is incredibly detailed, while this may be too much information for some, it may be useful if you run into some issues. Its important to check that all screws are tight when you receive it and with occasional maintenance as users have reported them coming loose. The fact that the cruise control is activated by double-tapping the accelerator rather than holding it is good for safety as it’s much harder to activate it by accident. The top speed of 18.6mph is actually reachable in the real world, while some users have even reported being able to exceed it, with one even reaching 22mph.
- Large pneumatic tires provide a smooth ride
- Very detailed manual
- Quoted top speed can actually be reached or even exceeded
- Requires regular checking of screws as users report them coming loose
- Poor range
- No water/splash resistance IP rating
That was our roundup of the best budget E-Scooters in 2021. Have you recently bought a budget E-Scooter? What sold you on it and what has your experience been with it? let us know down below.
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