More and more people are looking to scooters as an alternative method of transportation. Scooters are easy and fun to ride and are very economical. Many models boast a fuel consumption of over 100 MPG city driving.
Many people wonder if they should buy a scooter from an online dealer or a brick and mortar dealer. This question is very often confused with people wondering if they should by a big name brand Japanese scooter like Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki or an inexpensive, no brand, Chinese scooter.
The answer to the second question is not very complicated. If one has the means to buy a new Japanese or Italian brand name scooter, it goes without saying this would be the right decision. Japanese and Italian scooters are purchased from local dealers and come with a full warranty that also covers labor. The scooter is delivered to the buyer fully assembled and reviewed by the dealer. If anything goes wrong, all it takes is a trip to the dealer and they take care of it.
A 50cc Japanese scooter cost around $1950. A Chinese 50cc scooter cost around $800 online and $1200 from a dealer. Chinese scooters usually come with a 1 or 2 years power train parts only warranty. This means that the dealer does not cover any labor; only the engine and the transmission parts are covered.
Many people think it's a good idea to buy a Chinese scooter from a local dealer. The thought of having a dealer take responsibility if the scooter needs repair is very comforting. There are other advantages for buying from a dealer, the customer can inspect the bike, and the dealer assembles itâ€¦ Most dealers would give an around the block return policy, meaning it can be returned within the first 5 minutes of the purchase. Brick and mortar dealers do not usually cover any labor in the warranty. They may or may not guarantee parts availability.
Buying a scooter online may be a bit more complicated but many people think the savings are worth the extra effort. Buying a scooter online entails receiving the scooter, performing the 30 minutes to 1 hour uncrating and assembly and registering the scooter. For all mechanically inclined people with some tools, this is the way to go for sure.
So how does one who is not so mechanically inclined still save by buying a scooter online? A little more legwork, do some research. Select the best 3 online scooter dealers found read their purchase agreement and their FAQ. Find answers to all these questions: What is the return policy? What happens in case the scooter is damaged in shipping? What happens if the scooter does not start? How is the paperwork handled? What happens if the scooter canâ€™t be registered? Are parts available and how to order? How does the warranty work? Do they offer tech support? If any question is not answered, contact them by email or phone. Note that most of these questions would apply to a brick and mortar scooter dealer as well.
Those who do their homework well may also want to research the online scooter brands and dealers in scooter forums. There are many people voicing their opinion, there will be good and bad; just make sure the good is way more than the bad.
Then find a local mechanic that can work on the scooter. After the scooter is assembled, bring it to the mechanic and have it checked over, make sure everything is installed properly.
Keep in mind that most Chinese scooters found online are equivalent or maybe even better quality than a Chinese scooter purchased from a local brick and mortar dealer. The instances of problems out of the box are usually very low; many of the problems are cause by inexperience in starting the scooter and result in a dead battery. It is always a good idea to contact the online dealerâ€™s customer support prior to starting a scooter the first time. This would avoid many problems and complications. Problems that require labor to resolve happen even less. In the majority of cases, the out of pocket cost to the customer is less than $100; far less than dealerâ€™s markup.
If one is ready to pay the dealer markup, then save up for a name brand Japanese or Italian scooter like Vespa, Piaggio, Honda, Yamaha or Suzuki and savor the red carpet treatment.
About the Author
In all cases, enjoy riding a scooter and always ride responsibly and wear protective gear. Respect all local traffic laws. New scooter riders are strongly recommended to take a riding course, contact a local DMV, police or sheriff station for more information.