An electric scooter is a fun, green way to make short trips, and a great scooter might be cheaper than you'd expect. Here we've rounded up the very best cheap electric scooters so you can breeze from A to B without breaking the bank.
This is an interesting price bracket, where a mere $50 can be the difference between a fairly poke 12mph maximum speed, and a nippier 12mph. If your preferred scooter is a little under-powered, you may be able to boost its performance with an auxiliary battery – but is it worth the extra expense and weight? It's a real balancing act.
The most affordable electric scooters tend to be those designed for city riding, rather than taking off-road. If you're looking for something with chunky tires, a powerful motor and full suspension capable of powering up hilly trails, you'll have to open your wallet a little further.
While cheaper electric scooters than those listed here are certainly available, we've only picked ones from established brands with a track record of safety, reliability and after-sales service.
It's also worth bearing in mind that kids' electric scooters look almost identical to adults' ones until you get them out of the box. If a price looks too good to be true, make sure it's not recommended for ages 8+.
The Xiaomi Mijia M365 is one of the most popular electric scooters in the world, and it's easy to see why. It's fast, it's well made, and it's cheap. If you've ever seen someone riding an electric scooter with red cabling, it was almost certainly one of these.
Whereas most electric scooters in this price bracket max out at 12.5 mph, the M365 can reach up to 15mph, putting it on a par with your typical rental scooter, and making it more suitable to riding in bike lanes without holding cyclists up too much.
It doesn't skimp on safety either. Highlights include a double braking system, with both front and rear brakes to provide plenty of stopping power in an emergency, without the risk of the back lifting. There's an integrated rear light as well, and the tires have anti-slip treads for smooth surfaces.
The other e-scooters in this roundup might cost a little less, but the difference in price is minimal and you get an awful lot for that extra investment. The world's top choice, and justifiably so.
Segway (creator of the infamous self-balancing 'personal transporter') was acquired by Chinese company Ninebot in 2015. Since then, the company's designers and engineers have been hard at work developing a line of very good electric scooters, many of which are surprisingly cheap considering their specs.
On paper, the Segway Ninebot ES2 is very similar to the Xiaomi Mijia 365 above. In fact, the only major difference is range, with the 365's battery keeping it running three miles further on a single charge.
That said, the ES2 does have a lot to recommend it. Its one-touch folding system is very convenient, particularly if you're taking it on public transport or tucking it under your desk at the office. It features front and rear integrated lights (though some riders might not like the fact that these are always on), plus front and rear suspension.
It's also worth noting that it's possible to extend the ES2's range by attaching a secondary battery pack. This will add an extra 50% or so to the price, but will keep the scooter rolling for up to 28 miles, and boost the top speed to 18.6mph.
The Segway Ninebot ES1 is the predecessor of the ES2 above, and is a great choice if you're on a tight budget and don't mind an electric scooter with slightly lower specs, as long as it's cheap.
The ES1 has dropped in price significantly since launch, and although its top speed of 12.5mph is a bit on the poky side, and there's only a front shock absorber (nothing at the rear) but it's still a great machine for short city hops provided the roads aren't paved with cobblestones.
This scooter has other benefits, too. If your typical commute involves carrying your scooter for any length of time, it's worth noting the the ES1 is particularly light (some more powerful electric scooters can weigh as much as a steel-framed bike). You can also boost its range and maximum speed by adding an auxiliary battery, though this will hike up the price.
Like Segway's other e-scooters, the ES1 connects to your phone via Bluetooth, allowing you to tinker with options and download firmware updates via the Segway Ninebot app. A fine choice for short commutes and tight budgets, provided you're not in a hurry.
The E22E is one of the newest additions to Segway's ever-growing lineup of electric scooters. It's only a little cheaper than the ES2, but its specs are more like those of the ES1, which pushes it below both in our ranking.
It's not the fastest scooter on the block, maxing out at 12.4mph on the flat, and its range is a little low at just 13.7 miles, but on the flip side, its battery can complete a fully charge in a mere 3.5 hours, so you can leave it plugged in after commuting to work, and be ready to ride again at lunchtime.
Where this scooter really wins is the looks department. It's smart and solidly built (Xiaomi's exposed red brake cables may be distinctive, but they're not very neat), and a more robust design than the cheaper ES1. Like the ES2, it includes dual brakes, a round dashboard to display ride info and, like all Segway scooters, there's Bluetooth connectivity to link it to the company's app.
The E22E is an excellent electric scooter that sits somewhere between the ES1 and ES2 in terms of both price and features, and is a stylish way to get around town, but doesn't offer quite the value of either of Segway's other cheap scooters.
Launched in June 2020, the Xiaomi Mi Essential is a new addition to the company's lineup of two-wheelers. It's super cheap, too – but only if you live in China. As the name suggests, this is designed as an entry-level electric scooter, and its price in the domestic market reflects that (around $200 / £160 / AU$300). Sadly it's much more expensive in other territories, which is a shame.
With a maximum speed of 12.4mph and an optimum range of 12.4 miles, it's slightly less powerful than the older Segway Ninebot SE1, but with a considerably higher price tag.
However, its smaller battery means it's light to carry and fast to charge, which will appeal to commuters. It also offers dual brakes for safe stopping, plus front, rear and braking lights to help make sure you're seen on the roads (particularly important if you're traveling rather slowly).
The Xiaomi Mi Essential is a decent, albeit basic scooter. It's also one to keep and eye on; its price might be on the high side now, but after a few months it many well drop to something more competitive.