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How to get a loan for your new scooter
Compare financing options and costs for a new Vespa, Yamaha and more.
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.
What are my financing options for scooters?
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.
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.
15.99% to 23.99%
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.
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.
Starting at 12.99% APR
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.
Can I take out an auto loan for a scooter?
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.
Compare personal loans for scooter financing
How to finance a scooter with a personal loan
- 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 get started. Try to apply for a loan as close to that amount as possible 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. Also, consider factors like funding speed, overall cost and monthly repayments — prioritizing whichever is most important to you.
- Prequalify. To get an idea of the rates and loan amounts you’re eligible, try prequalifying 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 state-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.
- Buy your scooter. Once you have your loan, you’re free to head over to the dealership and purchase your scooter. And if you need any new equipment or special licensing, you can use your remaining funds to cover extra costs.
How much does a scooter cost?
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.
How much top manufacturers charge for their scooters
$3,949 to $10,499
$2,299 to $5,599
Starting at $2,199
$1,999 to $2,399
$2,499 to $5,599
Genuine Scooter Company
$1,649 to $3,399
6 tips for finding the right scooter
- Get your motorcycle license first. Laws vary by state, so you might not be required to get a motorcycle license to buy or ride a scooter. But it’s a good idea to know how to properly operate your new vehicle, given the high fatality rate of two-wheel vehicles.
- 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 35 miles per hour — a 49cc engine should be enough. But if you’re traveling rough terrain or going longer distances, you might want to get 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. But 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 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.
What else should I consider when buying a scooter?
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.
Frequently asked questions
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