Scooter Cost Calculator

Can you save money by buying a scooter? The answer is yes, if you ride it enough instead of driving your car. Of course saving money isn't the only reason for buying a scooter. They can be fun to ride and they are easy and cheap to park, as well as saving money on gas.

This form will calculate how much you will save and how long it will take a scooter to pay for itself if you ride it instead of driving your car. It's assumed that wahtever your car costs you will be the same whether or not you also own a scooter. If you ride instead of driving you'll save a lot more a lot faster of course.

You need to input 8 values.

  1. The number of miles you will ride each week rather than driving.
  2. The number of weeks each year you will use the scooter. It's assumed that if you don't use the scooter you'll be driving the car instead. so if you use the scooter 40 weeks a year, the calculation assumes that you'll be driving the car the same distance for the other 12 weeks (we don't count vacation time!).
  3. The cost of gas for your scooter (regular, plus, premium)
  4. The cost of fuel for your car (could be regular, plus, premium or diesel)
  5. The total purchase cost of the scooter including sales tax and any title fees. If you don't already have a helmet, jacket, gloves etc. You can add the price of those in here too. You can either assume that you'll never sell anything, in which case you enter the full amount you paid, or if you think you'll eventually sell the scooter you can enter the difference between what you paid for it and how much you think it will be worth when you sell it. Enter at least $1.
  6. Your estimated yearly cost of ownership for everything other than gas. This would include registration, insurance and scheduled maintenance, tires, inspection fees (if any) plus estimated repair costs.
  7. Your expected mpg from the scooter (say 100mpg for a 50cc scooter, 80 mpg for a 150cc scooter, 65mpg for a 250cc scooter and maybe 50mpg for anything bigger)
  8. Your estimated mpg for your car driving the same route as your scooter

Enter the 8 values into the form and click "Calculate"

The output shows five values:

  1. Your total gas cost for the year. This is the gas you scooter uses, plus the cost of driving your car when you don't use the scooter.
  2. Your total cost for the year, which is your total gas cost (car plus scooter) plus your scooter's insurance cost, maintenance cost, repair cost and any license and inspection fees.
  3. What the gas cost would be if you didn't own a scooter
  4. How much you save each year by owning and riding your scooter. If this number is negative, it's the additional cost (rather than savings) of scooter ownership.
  5. How long it will take the scooter to "pay for itself" in money saved on gas. If it's actually costing you money, "never" will appear in this window.

So, for example, if you buy a $1400 150cc chinese scooter that gets about 80mpg and costs $150/yr to register, insure and maintain, and you drive 120 miles/week for 40 weeks a year, with gas at 3.50/gallon for the scooter, and your car gets 22mpg and uses gas at $3.25/gallon, it will take about 4 years to "break even". That assumes that your scooter will last for 4 years and almost 20,000 miles without needing major repairs. Of course you will have saved 20,000 miles of "wear and tear" on your car, which is certainly worth something too.

It could get worse....

You can change any of the input values and click calculate again to see what change it makes in the final outcome. If "months to break even" reads "never", it's costing you more to ride the scooter than it would to drive your car! Of course if you enjoy riding your scooter, that may not be a bad thing. If you're trying to be "green", then you have to consider the fact that you are generating less carbon dioxide when riding your scooter and consuming less fossil fuel too. The higher gas prices rise, the more money the scooter will save you and the quicker it will pay for itself

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