The best electric scooters are practical, minimal-hassle and fold into an easily-packable package. As a ‘last-mile solution’, I think there’s nothing better, but things have changed a lot in the electric scooter market over the past few years – a huge number of new companies have dipped their toes in the water, meaning there are now many more practical adult-sized scooters on the market than ever before, and, as the tech gets more widespread, it’s improving, giving you a much slicker experience.
If you have a journey or commute that suits this kind of personal transport, there are electric scooters out there that can reduce your journey time and get you through the traffic. That said, the question of ‘are electric scooters legal’ is one that really depends on your local jurisdiction, so you need to exercise caution here. You can read more about this at the bottom of this page. For UK readers, the good news is that privately-owned electric scooters will soon be legal.
Electric scooters are only growing in popularity, they’re nippy, fun, and they're a lot more portable than the best electric bikes. They might be the mode of personal transport you’ve been looking for. I’ve reviewed and rated the best you can buy because while they may all look quite similar, not all electric scooters are created equal.
Electric scooters are more than just scooters with batteries. As glib as that statement may be, it's also true: they're a lot faster than regular scooters, and they're a heck of a lot heavier.
You're unlikely to be pulling off any sick tricks on these – and at top speed, you should not even be attempting it – but the benefit of a little torque in your wheels means you'll be expertly manoeuvring up hills and speeding along the streets in no time.
Our buyer’s guide includes Xiaomi’s excellent Mi Pro 2, the ultra-lightweight Segway-Ninebot Air T15, and our pick of the best electric scooter you can buy right now, Pure's super-practical and affordable Air Pro (2nd Generation). It’s a brilliant, high-quality scooter, offering something for everyone, and it’s surprisingly affordable against stiff competition.
The best electric scooters you can buy right now
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Picking the best overall electric scooter isn’t exactly easy. Not only because there are so many excellent options out there but also because most of the top offerings come with similar features and capabilities. That said, giving that title to the newer model of the popular Pure Air Pro is a bit of a no-brainer for me.
Pure Electric has done it again, taking its existing market-leading and award-winning electric scooter, user feedback, and discovering actually useful ways it can be improved. Thanks to the new 500W motor, we found performance and range are outstanding, and this, combined with the excellent build quality, safety, comfort, and ease of maintenance, make it one of the best electric scooters you can possibly buy.
It's a little more expensive and heavier than its rivals, but we still gave it five stars in our review as we were so impressed with the overall package. However, if you're looking for something lighter or an electric scooter with even more performance, then keep reading…
Read our full Pure Air Pro (2021) review
If you're looking for a more affordable alternative to the previous model, then we'd suggest the Pure Air Go, which is the entry-level electric scooter from Pure. It features the same great build quality and design as its more expensive sibling above but features a less powerful motor (350W vs 500W) and shorter range.
If you're just dipping your toe into e-scooter ownership and don't want to spend big bucks, then this is definitely the electric scooter for you. It's water-resistant, works with the Pure app, and comes with a comprehensive one-year manufacturer’s warranty. As we mentioned in our review, it's also very solidly built, so should last a long time. Yes, there are even cheaper electric scooters out there, but we think the Pure Air Go offers true value for money.
Read our full Pure Air Go review
Although Xiaomi might be better known for its affordable smartphones, the Mi 1S proves the company is equally adept at creating smart electric scooters. As we noted in our review, while the top speed isn't the highest out there (although, at 15mph / 25 km/h, it's absolutely no slouch), this folding electric scooter has some of the best app connectivity features we've seen.
As well as tracking your journeys and just how fast you've barrelled down those hills, you can get a quick look at how much of the massive scooter battery still remains. The Mi Home app also brings advanced battery conservation features, meaning you could potentially eke out an extra mile or two if you're clever about how you use it, and the F1-like KERS setup means the battery charges as you brake. It's really smart and a big bonus in our eyes.
We found the Xiaomi Mi 1S speed and acceleration controls incredibly simple, anyone can learn to ride in minutes. The light, aluminium construction means you can quickly fold it down for carrying and storage. It's also one of the lighter models we've reviewed.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi 1S review
The new Pure Air Pro LR sits proudly at the top of the Pure Air electric scooter range, with a refined design, longer range and a beautiful wooden deck. The stunning birch and maple plywood deck smooths out vibrations and, I think, looks great. The LR in Pure Air Pro LR actually stands for Long Range and is designed to achieve a distance of up to 60km / 37.2 miles between charges, so it's ideal if you solely use an e-scooter to commute or go on longer trips.
It features the same powerful rear-wheel motor as our favourite Pure Air Pro but unlocks even more power when accelerating and climbing hills, peaking at 700W. I could really feel this extra power during my review – it makes a surprising amount of difference. Of course, the Pure Air Pro LR also offers the amazing build quality that I've come to expect from Pure Electric scooters, with a strong steel chassis capable of carrying a 120kg load, advanced ‘click-lock' folding mechanism and IP65 waterproof rating.
If that wasn't enough, the Pro LR also benefit from a USB charge port mounted to the handlebar, which is useful for keeping phones, lights or other gadgets charged while out and about. Personally, I didn't use it that much, however. This really is the ultimate everyday scooter for those serious about electric scooting.
Perfect for longer journeys, this e-scooter comes with all the trimmings, from a battery life that will give you up to 40 miles of travel and a legally-limited maximum speed of 15.5 mph to an LED dashboard, three-speed modes, app support and even cruise control.
It has a hill grade of 20%, which we found ideal for use in cities with mixed terrain, and an IPX5 water-resistance rating, making it great for splashes and light rain. And, while it isn’t exactly the lightest out there, we did find it easy to fold and put away.
But what really makes this electric scooter a great pick is its price tag. We think it's a great price when you consider everything you're getting. And, unlike other solid black e-scooters, this one comes in a classy dark grey and orange colourway.
Read our full Segway Ninebot MAX G30LP review
The Ninebot Segway Air T15 certainly looks the business, but it is smaller, slower and lacks the range of similarly priced rivals. We think it's perfect, however, for those who want to easily stow it in the boot of a car or wheel it onto public transport. During our review, we found it delivers a perfectly acceptable ride, so long as the surfaces are smooth and you haven’t got too many steep hills to contend with.
Of course, the lightweight body, diminutive package and clever stowage solution mean there is a trade-off in performance, though, but the Ninebot Segway Air T15 majors on clever additional features and a classy smartphone app. The choice between this and its many rivals will be down to the sort of use it is destined for and if you really need that futuristic design.
Read our full Ninebot Segway Air T15 review
The previous version of the Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 is perhaps the most common scooter you'll see around the streets, it was well-priced and a great all-rounder, so you can expect a lot from this updated model. You've got a top speed of 15 miles per hour, which is fairly standard for electric scooters, a range of 27 miles and a weight of 14.2kg. In our review, we found it was a well-made piece of kit, although doesn't quite match the build quality of the Pure e-scooters.
Compared to the previous generation, the Mi Pro 2 features a more powerful 600W motor, improved lights, and a new generation of 8.5-inch pneumatic tires. We found the performance to be impressive, although we prefer the larger 10-inch types found on rival scooters. And again, just like the Mi 1S above, the Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 Electric Scooter also features the best app connectivity we've seen.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 review
There's no avoiding it, the Decent One Max is identical to a number of scooters with different names (Turboant, Riley, Elka), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The factory pumping these out should be experts by now!
The battery is removable and mounted on the handle (rather than the footboard). That means you can keep it indoors at more battery-friendly temperatures rather than in a cold garage or shed. We think that's rather smart, and found being able to charge the battery at our work desk very useful. You can also purchase spare batteries (although these are pretty expensive).
We were also very impressed with the One Max's ride – there's plenty of torque, so acceleration is quick, and the bell, light, and throttle are easy to control. It even has large 10-inch wheels, which make it safer than the Xiaomi, although it's not the most stable e-scooter we've reviewed.
Read our full Decent One Max Electric Scooter review
Okay, this electric scooter is a bit of an oddity. It's designed and made by Bird, who specializes in public rental electric scooters. That means this e-scooter is built like a tank, as it is designed to withstand the punishment of hundreds of users a day – I was seriously impressed with how robust this thing felt.
It also features some super impressive connectivity features, with a really sleek app that lets you lock and unlock your scooter remotely, as well as locate it on a map. The Bird One is about as versatile and as future-proof as e-scooters get.
It's not the most compact or portable option available – I was especially disappointed that it doesn't fold – but if you’re looking for the smartest most robust e-scooter around – this is it.
Read our full Bird One review
The Riley RS1 is one of the more affordable electric scooters on sale today, so could be perfect if you're looking to save money. The RS1 takes a back-to-basics approach to battery-powered e-scooters. During our review, we found the folding mechanism convenient, and the low weight and removable battery made it very easy to live with.
We found the RS1's performance perfectly acceptable and were very impressed by the brakes. The RS1 is not perfect, however, as the battery in the handlebar gives it a top-heavy design, and the battery level indicator is pretty inaccurate.
Read our full Riley RS1 review
How to choose the best e-scooter for you
Picking up the best electric scooter for you is absolutely imperative – it's a proper investment, so you need something you're going to want to ride and something that suits your needs. These things are essentially a narrow plank racing up to 20mph, so safety needs to be a main concern, as these are far more advanced than kids' scooters. But that isn't the only thing you'll need to consider…
Some electric scooters are well suited to a quick hop-on-and-off, sacrificing distance for a vast weight reduction and increased portability. These are ideal for long-distance commutes, where you also need to travel on a train or bus. Other e-scooters pile on the battery for maximum range but leave themselves super-heavy in the process. These are better if you live and work in the same city, and want to avoid using the bus or subway system. Basically, it's a balancing act. If you're commuting a long way, put your money in batteries, but if you're just scooting that final mile, a lighter, more compact scooter might be a better choice.
Is the best electric scooter the fastest electric scooter? Not necessarily. Top speed in the UK is limited to 25km/h (15.5mph), and while most e-scooters will go faster than that, it’s worth noting that you’re more likely to be stopped by police and get your scooter confiscated (and potentially fined) if you're speeding around, driving recklessly, and weaving through traffic. Naturally, common sense is a priority here – don’t ride like an idiot and you probably won’t get stopped.
Consider also the wheels – heavy use requires heavier duty wheels. Most affordable electric scooters come with 8-inch wheels, and while these are fine for smooth city streets, we’d recommend plumping for a model with 10-inch pneumatic tyres and suspension to give you a much smoother ride.
Most of these scooters also have companion apps, which offer a range of useful features. You can digitally lock and unlock the electric motor, which is very beneficial for security. You can also track your rides – kind of like a lazy person’s Strava. Certain companion apps also let you set up your e-scooter, choosing between Eco mode to prolong the scooter’s battery life, or Sport mode to leave panting cyclists in the dust. We like to think of a companion app as a nice bonus, rather than a necessity.
Price is also a major point to consider. The cheapest electric scooter you’ll find is around £200 and prices can range up to around £2,500. It goes without saying, you get what you pay for, so opting for the cheapest model you will find isn’t the best idea. You want to be able to trust the scooter under your feet, because a mechanical failure at around 15mph would result in a trip to Accident and Emergency.
We think you’ll probably want to budget between £450 and £700 for a reliable, well-built e-scooter from a popular brand. This will ensure your electric scooter has the performance to get you around town quickly and won’t break breakdown after a few miles.
If you want more info on the best model to buy for your needs and the factors to consider, check out our how to choose an electric scooter guide. Oh, and you'll want to make sure you're fully kitted out with the best electric scooter accessories as well.
Are electric scooters legal?
Here's where things get a little complicated. Under UK law, most electric kick scooters are not legal for street use unless they're properly registered. Recently, though, the government has announced that privately-owned electric scooters will be made legal, with the announcement expected in the upcoming Queen's speech.
This will remove the current laws banning them (which are based on 1835 regulations surrounding horse and cart driving). This is to encourage more people to use alternative methods of transport when commuting.
These trials, which are currently running across the country, allow you to legally hire and use an electric scooter in public areas where the trials are being held (more on that later).
Some high-powered e-scooters are technically classed as mopeds, though even that classification can be a little complicated, but it is safe to assume that none of the scooters included above can technically be used anywhere other than on private land in the UK.
Pure Electric, the UK’s largest e-scooter retailer says, ‘In practice, electric scooters are already widely used across the UK illegally, with the police generally turning a blind eye to all but the most egregiously reckless rider activity.’
With big names entering the business, and with concerns about the environmental impact of cars at the forefront, you can bet there’s at least some pressure on legislators to get things changed. But, to clarify: electric scooters can be used on private land with the owner’s consent. Thanks to a combination of the Highways Act 1835 and the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is illegal to use electric scooters on roads, cycle paths or pavements. Exemptions have been made for the scooter trial areas, solely for the rental scooters supplied to the relevant local authority. All other scooter use on the public highway will continue to breach traffic regulations and could cause the user to receive a fine and/or points on their driving licence.
US law varies from state to state, so you really must check local laws before you purchase an electric scooter.
Finally, take it from us: whether the laws in your location demand it or not, you’ll want to always wear a helmet when riding an electric scooter. These things move fast and are potentially very dangerous. Protect your head and always be considerate of other people near you.
You'll also want to make sure your e-scooter is properly maintained – you can read all about that in our guide to electric scooter maintenance.
How we tested the best electric scooters
I've reviewed countless electric scooters, and over the years, I've come to develop a rather methodical test route that thoroughly puts each e-scooter through its paces. This route includes hills of varying steepness to test how the scooter handles inclines, as well as varying road surfaces to test the scooter's stability, bump absorption and comfort.
During the many reviews, I will also test to electric scooter's acceleration from a standing start, as well as how well the brakes work and how much confidence they inspire. I also ask, where possible, multiple people to test these electric scooters to see how they react to different loads.
Of course, what's perhaps more important than using these electric scooters on a test route is using them frequently in everyday life. So I'll also use them to commute, to explore a new location, and to visit the shops at the weekend. This teaches me a number of things, from how easy they are to lift in and out of a car boot to how easy they are to fold and unfold and how reliable they are when used heavily. It also gives me a better idea of how long the battery lasts and how long the battery takes to recharge.
The actual review will start when I get the electric scooter out of the box and assemble it. I'll test how difficult or fiddly it is to set up. Where possible, I will also test the electric scooter's app – whether it's easy to connect and stay connected and whether it provides anything useful to the experience. Finally, I'll test every little detail of the electric scooter, from the bell to the lights at night, to make sure you're buying a well-built and safe product.