You may have seen electric scooters cropping up around big cities in the UK; however, private e-scooter usage in public is not legal just yet. E-scooters are essentially standard scooters that you may have used as a child but have an added battery pack and an electric motor, which turns them into a small portable vehicle. Some electric scooters can reach around 15mph and can be used for 10-to-40-mile trips depending on the model and the route.
If you are looking for a more sustainable way to commute to work in future, keep your eye out for an electric scooter. They have taken off in mainland Europe, and it won’t be long until they become all the rage in the UK.
If you want to give e-scooters a go, then here are our best budget electric scooter recommendations.
Are e-scooters legal in the UK?
Currently, electric scooters are only permitted to be used on private land with the landowner's permission. Privately owned e-scooters and e-bikes are not presently allowed to be used on public roads, pathways, or cycle roots.
Nevertheless, with the UK Government’s ongoing trial of hired e-scooters, it won’t be long until they are fully legalised for private use.
The current trial only allows rental e-scooters to be used in public and is testing whether e-scooters can offer “fast, clean and inexpensive travel that can also help ease the burden on transport networks and allow for social distancing.”
The outcome will be used to "guide final decisions about whether and – if so – how to legalise e-scooters fully". Ordinary scooters are legal for use in the UK, and private and rental e-scooters are already permitted to use in public spaces in many European countries.
The best budget electric scooters at a glance:
Best overall electric scooter: Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter - 1S
Best lightweight electric scooter: Hover-1 Eagle
Editor's pick: Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter Essential
The best electric scooter with durable rubber wheels: Reid E4 Plus Electric Scooter
Best electric scooter for teens: Razor Power A2 Electric Scooter
The best budget electric scooters 2021
Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter - 1S
Best overall electric scooter
Our top pick is the Xiaomi M365, one of the best-selling e-scooters on the market today. Not only does it come at an affordable price for the quality and performance, but it has many other appealing features, such as a foldable frame and an impressive battery life.
This e-scooter is the predecessor to the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2 electric model; however, the upgrade is unnecessary. The e-scooter comes with an app to pair with your smartphone to track and control your speed. There is also an integrated display that shows your battery life and how fast you are going.
The Xiaomi M365 is not only a fast ride but a safe one too. Comprising of bright headlamps, 8.5-inch anti-skid tyres and double brakes, this model is one of the most thought-out e-scooters on the market.
|Max Speed||15.5 mph|
|• Popular brand||• Heavy|
|• Can reach high speed (15.5mph)||• Small wheels|
|• Long range|
|• Comes with an app|
|• Dual braking system|
Review: "Bought to ride to work 3 miles away. A mix of road and cycle paths with one reasonable hill. As it's only 3 miles and I can charge the scooter at work, I ride in S mode, which gives 24 kph. At work, I have a 70% charge left so I could make it home without recharge. I bought a helmet, important. It's great fun, and I arrive without sweating. Tips; learn to ride it, i.e. how to take bends and slow down. It's only ip54 and not waterproof. So I can't ride in the rain. No suspension, so it's bumpy on bad surfaces. So far, I love it."
HOVER-1 Eagle Electric Folding Scooter
Best lightweight electric scooter
This e-scooter from Hover-1 is one of the best budget scooters for under £250. If you are looking for something lightweight and foldable, this model would be a great pick, weighing just 9.47kg.
It features a small LCD screen that informs you of your battery life and speed, a built-in suspension to a more comfortable ride on bumpy terrain, and an LED headlight and reflector for extra safety at night. This e-scooter has a sleek gold and black design and 6.5-inch wheels making it not too clunky to take around.
Compared to higher-end e-scooters in the Xiaomi or Segway range, the Hover-1 Eagle takes more time to charge fully, so you will need to charge it every time you take it out. If it’s a budget, lightweight and basic e-scooter you are after, this Hover-1 Eagle Electric would be an excellent choice for you.
|• Fast top speed||• Longer charge time|
|• Lightweight||• Short range|
Review: “So far, so good, travel 2 miles per day roughly, so it’s ideal for getting me to and from work, probably one of the best purchases I’ve made had it a month now and going strong.”
Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter Essential
If you are searching for a high quality, lightweight and basic e-scooter, then the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter Essential ticks all those boxes. Released in June 2020, the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter Essential is shockingly one of the most inexpensive scooters on the market.
So, if you are looking to buy one of the scooters in the Xiaomi range, then the Xiaomi Mi Essential would be an excellent pick for a smaller budget. This model has a smaller battery than the others in the range, so it is lighter to carry and faster to charge.
It can reach a maximum speed of 12.4mph and has a range of 12.4 miles, which makes it a great option for shorter frequent trips. With some great safety features such as dual brakes and lights, this will be a safe and enjoyable ride.
|Charge time||3.5 hours|
|• Light to carry||• Slower than other models|
|• Charges quickly|
Review: "This was the best price I could find at the time of purchase, and the scooter is exactly what I was expecting. Top speed of 20km is a little slow but good enough for short commutes."
Reid E4 Plus Electric Scooter
The best electric scooter with durable rubber wheels
This model from Reid is one of the sleekest and most secure models on the market. It is ergonomically designed with a great 350W motor, underdeck lights, headlights, a shock-absorbing rear suspension system and large 10-inch solid rubber wheels for a more comfortable first-class ride.
The e-scooter is also customisable using the free mobile app, so you can enjoy enhanced features such as journey tracking, light customisation, and a speedometer.
|Charge time||5 hours|
|• Secure ride||• Heavy|
|• Long range||• More expensive|
|• Solid rubber tyres|
Review: "Bigger than I thought, and the build quality is excellent, pulls me up a steady incline (over 15 stone) and very quickly with 13-year-old on board, I find breaks are a bit harsh and would prefer separate disk/electronic so the rider has a choice. It needs a gentle touch to slow down smoothly. Light is bright, under deck light not for me, obviously, time will tell reliability wise but so far so good!"
Razor Power A2 Electric Scooter
Best electric scooter for teens
If you are buying for a teenager or a light individual, the Razor Power A2 would be a fantastic pick. It is compact, lightweight, and one of the best portable e-scooters available.
It may not be the fastest scooter on the list, but it can reach a speed of up to 10mph and has a battery life that can last up to 40 minutes (7.5 miles). Therefore, the size, foldability, weight, and price of this model makes this a very high-quality budget option.
|Max Speed||10 mph|
|• Lightweight||• Slower speed|
|• Affordable||• Low load capacity|
|• Reliable brand||• Low range|
|• Compact||• Suitable for lighter indviduals|
Review: “A nice little scooter! I find 16 kph to absolutely be fast enough for the kind of trips I am doing (to connect to bus/train). Folding and unfolding are quick and easy, and I have not detected a rattle so far.”
How do you charge electric scooters?
You can charge up electric scooters using a standard power outlet. The plug and cable will be provided with the e-scooter.
Why does an electric scooter’s speed or distance range change?
The top speed and maximum range of an e-scooter are deduced from tests in near-perfect conditions. Factors such as hills, heavy loads, wind direction, and cold temperatures can all negatively affect an e-scooters performance. It will not be likely that the person using it will always be able to get the best performance from the model’s battery.