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Compare loan options for your new scooter and get out on the road sooner.
Scooters are a relatively inexpensive way to get around a city with lots of traffic and limited public transportation, but that doesn’t mean they’re affordable for everyone. Most provinces and territories in Canada require you to have insurance for your motorized scooter before you head out on the roads. In addition to paying for gas, safety equipment and storage, the costs can add up quickly. When you’re looking for a scooter, consider how you’ll finance it and what a loan might set you back.
There are three main choices when you’re looking for scooter financing options: leisure vehicle loans from financial institutions, personal loans and dealer financing.
1. Leisure vehicle loans from financial institutions
Banks and credit unions offer scooter financing in the form of a leisure vehicle loan. They offer some of the most competitive interest rates, but you need good to excellent credit score (above 650) to apply. Loan terms are typically up to 7 years.
Apply for a credit union leisure vehicle loan
2. Personal loans
Most personal loan providers allow you to use your funds for any legitimate purpose, including scooter financing. Personal loans typically range in amounts from $1,000 to $50,000 — which is plenty of money to purchase a scooter or moped. Terms tend to range from 6 months to 5 years, and interest rates run from 6% to 47%, depending on the lender and your personal financial situation.
- Personal loans might be a better choice than dealership financing for borrowers who have good or excellent credit. You’ll have more options than you would going directly through a dealership, and you’ll avoid paying higher interest rates and fees.
- Even if you don’t have the best credit, personal loans through an online lender could be a better choice for someone who might have trouble qualifying for the financing offered by their dealership.
- Get an estimate. It’s good to have a model and make in mind before you take out a personal loan. That way, you can get an estimate on your scooter’s total cost before you start your loan application. Try to apply for a loan as close as possible to that amount so you don’t over-borrow and end up paying more interest than necessary.
- Compare lenders. Look for a lender that offers the loan amount you’re looking for with eligibility requirements you can meet. Consider factors like funding speed, overall cost and monthly repayments — prioritizing whichever is most important to you.
- Get pre-approved. To get an idea of the rates and loan amounts you’re eligible for, try getting pre-approved for a loan. Most online lenders let you do this by filling out a simple form that only takes a minute or two to complete. If you’re looking for a bank or credit union loan, you can call or stop by a branch to discuss your options.
- Apply for your loan. Once you’ve found a lender that can work with you, follow the instructions to complete the application. Lenders typically ask to see a copy of your Government-issued ID, bank statements and proof of income when you apply.
- Receive your funds. If you’re approved, many online lenders can send money to your bank account as soon as the next day. Banks and credit unions might take a week or two to release the funds.
- Buy your scooter. Once you have your loan, you’re free to head over to the dealership and purchase your scooter. If you need any new equipment, insurance or other related expenses, you can use your remaining funds to cover any extra costs.
3. Dealership financing
The easiest way to finance your scooter is to get a loan directly from your dealership. Many offer promotional 0% or low interest rates on financing for the first 6 to 24 months. After the promotional period, many dealerships offer competitive financing options.
Keep in mind dealership financing might not be the most competitive option out there if you need more than a year or two to pay off your scooter. If you think you may qualify for a lower rate, consider a personal loan.
|Dealer||APR||Terms||How it works|
|Vespa||Promotional rates start between 1.99%, while regular rates typically sit between 3.99% to 5.99%.||Up to 60 months||Vespa offer term loans that extend up to 60 months. You’ll typically need a good credit score of 650 or higher to qualify.|
|Honda||Around 5.49%||Up to 60 months||Choose from a variety of loan terms. No down payment on the scooter is necessary to start the financing process.|
|Yamaha||Around 8.49%.||Up to 84 months||Choose between a standard personal loan with consistent monthly repayments, or a balloon loan which gives you more flexibility.|
Scooters can range from a few hundred dollars to over $10,000. New scooters typically cost more than used scooters, but a used scooter could require repairs and might not last as long. If you’re going to buy used, pay attention to age, mileage and damage like dents and rust. Consider having it inspected by a mechanic before you buy it to make sure you don’t overlook any potential problem areas.
How much top manufacturers charge for their scooters
|Vespa||From $3,700 to $11,000|
|Yamaha||From $3,699 to $4,099|
|Honda||From $3,399 to $4,099|
If you’re buying your scooter directly from the manufacturer, you might also have to pay for shipping — sometimes called a destination charge. Destination charges depend on where you live and the type of scooter you’re buying. You can expect to pay between $100 and $500 for destination charges.
- Get your motorcycle license first. You’ll need to get your motorcycle license (M1, M2 and M) in order to operate your scooter in most provinces and territories across Canada.
- Consider the engine size. If you’re just riding around a city to go to work or school — areas where the speed limit is no more than 50km per hour — a 49cc engine should be enough. If you’re going over rough terrain or longer distances, you’ll need an engine that’s 150cc or higher.
- Ask yourself: gas or electric? Electric scooters are better for the environment and can help you save on gas costs. However, gas scooters have more power and might be a better choice if you’re looking for a 150cc engine.
- Check it out in person. Buying a scooter online might be simpler, but it’s easy to miss imperfections and other problems if you don’t see it in person. This is especially the case if you’re buying used from a private seller. You’ll want to see what you’re getting before you spend your hard earned money.
- Consider the warranties. Most scooters come with a manufacturer’s warranty as well as an extended warranty option that you can pay for. Prices for the extended warranty can vary by manufacturer and dealership and don’t always cover every part of the vehicle, but they can add an extra seven years of coverage to your scooter.
- Find a repair shop near you. Not every mechanic will be able to handle regular maintenance and repairs of a scooter — especially if you’re getting a less common model. If there aren’t any mechanics nearby, you might want to look into another option. Otherwise, you could end up seriously stranded.
Scooters might help you save time and money when you live in a big city with lots of traffic — but think carefully about whether it’s the right choice for you. Consider factors like:
- Weather. If it rains a lot or there’s snow for long periods of time, a scooter may not be practical.
- Distance. Scooters also aren’t ideal for long-distance trips, so it might not be a worthy investment if you travel a lot.
- Safety. Scooters and motorcycles tend to have much higher rates of accidents and death. Consider how comfortable you feel driving a scooter before you dive in and purchase one.
Getting a new scooter can be a great way to cut down on personal expenses: it’s much less expensive than a car and can help you save on gas costs. While dealership financing might seem like the easiest way to pay for your new vehicle, it’s not always the most cost-effective. Be sure to compare your scooter financing options, including both dealership financing and personal loans, before you apply for funding.
You can start comparing your personal loan options in our guide here.
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