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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 within everyone’s budget. When you’re looking for a scooter, consider how you’ll finance it and what a loan might set you back.
There are two main choices when you’re looking to finance a scooter: Dealership financing and personal loans.
The easiest way to finance your scooter is to get a loan directly through your dealership. Most offer 0% financing for the first 12 to 24 months. Most dealerships offer financing when you buy your new set of wheels and work with third-party lenders like Sheffield Financial, Synchrony or Nextep Funding.
However, it might not be the most competitive option out there if you need more than a year or two to pay or think you may qualify for a lower rate. In that case, consider a personal loan.
|Dealer||APR||Terms||How it works|
|Vespa||Starting at 1.99%||Up to 60 months||Offers term loans through Sheffield Financial, a division of BB&T. You must have a credit score of 660 or higher to qualify. Loans range from $1,500 to $50,000.|
|Yamaha||15.99% to 23.99%||N/A||Offers a credit card issued by WebBank that you can use to pay off your scooter. Many credit cards come with a 2.99% APR for the first 24 months.|
|Aprilia||Starting at 0% APR||Up to 60 months||Offers loans through Sheffield Financial. Some vehicles come with promotional rates of 0% or 1.99% APR for the first 24 months.|
|Ojo Electric||Starting at 12.99% APR||6–60 months||Offers loans through First Mutual Finance. Some loans might come with a 0% promotional APR for the first 12 months.|
Most personal loan providers allow you to use your funds for any legitimate purpose, including buying a scooter. Personal loans typically range from $2,000 to $50,000 — plenty to purchase a scooter or moped. Terms typically range from two to five years. Interest rates tend to run from 4% to 36%, depending on the lender.
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 extra in interest for the middleman. And 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.
Typically, no. Lenders tend to group financing for smaller vehicles like scooters and motorcycles under unsecured loans. On the other hand, auto loans are secured loans that use the vehicle purchased as collateral.
Scooters can range from a few hundred dollars to over $10,000. 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. For example, Honda charges between $150 and $320.
New scooters typically cost upfront 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.
|Vespa||$3,949 to $10,499|
|Yamaha||$2,299 to $5,599|
|Aprilia||Starting at $2,199|
|Ojo Electric||$1,999 to $2,399|
|Honda||$2,499 to $5,599|
|Genuine Scooter Company||$1,649 to $3,399|
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 — does it rain a lot in your city? Is it warm enough most of the year to travel outside? Scooters also aren’t ideal for long-distance trips, so it might not be a worthy investment if you travel a lot.
Then there’s safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the fatality rate for motorcyclists — including scooters — was six times higher than the fatality rate for passenger car occupants in 2015. About 55% of these accidents happened in urban areas, 57% happened during the day and 97% took place during clear or cloudy weather conditions.
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. But while dealership financing might seem like the easiest way to pay for your new vehicle, it’s not always the most cost-effective. You can start comparing your personal loan options by checking out our guide.
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