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8 best electric scooters to help you ditch your old commute and arrive feeling fresh

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They might all look the same, but the best electric scooters are not all created equal  (iStock/The Independent )
They might all look the same, but the best electric scooters are not all created equal (iStock/The Independent )

Electric scooters are having their moment in the sun. While they might all look the same as they whizz past, they’re not all created equal. The best electric scooters are rated for their reliability, their comfort, their range and – above all – their safety.

These e-scooters are fast becoming the preferred mode of transport for anyone looking to avoid packed trains, cut out unnecessary car journeys and arrive at their destination without looking like they’ve just been dragged backwards through a bush.

But despite their booming popularity, local laws have been slow to adapt to this emergent form of green transport. There are imminent plans in the UK to regulate and authorize the use of private scooters on public streets, but until these new rules are implemented – and depending on where in the world you are – the e-scooters in our list are only permitted for use on private land. So always scoot responsibly.

Finding the best electric scooter for your needs depends on a range of factors. Will it have a long range to ferry you to and from your destination? Does it have durable tyres to cope with the road surfaces you ride on? Can the motor handle that steep hill on the way to Big Tesco? Does it fold up easily and fit in the back of a Smart Fortwo?

Our list of the best electric scooters includes models to suit most riders: scooters impeccable all-round performance, affordable models that don’t cut corners when it comes to quality and safety, and long range models for those who want to go on a scooting adventure.

Read more:

How we tested

A big part of why electric scooters still occupy a legal grey area is simple regulation. You can easily find suspiciously cheap and poor-quality electric scooters online that would never pass a basic safety inspection and are potentially dangerous to ride. That’s why the e-scooters in our list are models we’ve tested from brands we know and trust, so you can be sure you’re making the right choice.

We’ve tested eight of the best electric scooters on the market, taking into consideration the range, comfort, portability and safety of each. Bear in mind that the ranges stated below are given by the manufacturer and measured under ideal conditions. Things like hills, the weight of the rider, your speed and the weather conditions can all make a big dent in the actual range.

As a rule of thumb, you want a scooter with a stated range at least twice that of the distance you intend to ride it on a regular basis. This gives you plenty of breathing room, and ensures you’re unlikely to get stranded halfway to your destination.

The best electric scooter in 2022 is:

Pure air go (2nd generation)

Best: All-rounder

Rating: 9/10

  • Weight: 16kg

  • Size: 116cm x 50cm x 119cm/51cm

  • Range: 20km

  • Charging time: 3.5h

  • Power: 350W

  • Tyres: 10in, air-filled puncture-resistant

The best electric scooter for under £400, the Pure air go strikes an uncompromising balance between value, battery life, comfort and build quality. It looks smart, weighs just 16kg, sports a sleek, no-fuss design and has a quality steel frame in black or grey.

IP65 water resistance – a grade above most other scooters we’ve tested – means you can confidently zip through puddles without damaging any of the sensitive electronics inside, making it a great choice for anyone who wants to continue riding during the wetter winter months. The rear-wheel drive can lose momentum on steeper inclines, but the three speed motor keeps you moving all the same.

It is an excellent all-rounder, and everything you need in an electric scooter.

Buy now £349.00, Pureelectric.com

Pure air pro (2nd generation)

Best: For performance

Rating: 10/10

  • Weight: 16.5kg

  • Size: 116cm x 50cm x 119cm/51cm

  • Range: 50km

  • Charging time: 8.5h

  • Power: 500W

  • Tyres: 10in, air-filled puncture-resistant

Like the more affordable Pure air go (£349, Purelectric.com), the Pure air pro is built to withstand all kinds of miserable weather, with IP65 water resistance allowing you to plough straight through puddles rather than around them. Chunky 10in wheels and pneumatic tyres make for one of the most comfortable and least jittery rides of any of the scooters we’ve tested.

A fully upgraded version of the basic Pure air electric scooter, the pro weighs just half a kilo more and introduces a few improvements over the regular model. The front-wheel drive motor is a lot more powerful and races up inclines as if they weren’t there, while a larger battery and regenerative braking extends the battery life and boosts the maximum range to an impressive 31 miles.

The Pure air pro is a high-performance e-scooter and an excellent choice for anyone regularly riding across hilly terrain.

Buy now £499.00, Pureelectric.com

Unagi model one

Best: Lightweight electric scooter

Rating: 8/10

  • Weight: 12kg

  • Size: 116cm x 50cm x 119cm/51cm

  • Range: 15.5 miles

  • Charging time: 5 hours

  • Power: Dual 250W

  • Tyres: 7.5in solid

The lightest electric scooter we’ve tested, the Unagi Model One is a nippy little ride with a stylish magnesium alloy handlebar, integrated display and carbon fibre tubing. At just 12kg, it’s one of the most portable scooters on the market and sports a straightforward, single-click folding action, making it a superb choice for anyone who goes on regular rides and needs to store it in a car boot or luggage space.

To reduce the weight this much, Unagi has had to sacrifice some power output and restrict the battery size. That means it struggles on steeper inclines and has a relatively limited range compared to more heavy-duty scooters in our list. The Unagi model one’s range sits at around 15.5 miles, less than half of the long range Pure air pro LR (£749, Purelectric.com).

Those solid rubber tyres are puncture-proof, durable and well-suited to smooth roads, but will rattle your teeth on rough terrain.

Buy now £749.00, Amazon.co.uk

Xiaomi Mi 1S

Best: Budget electric scooter

Rating: 9/10

  • Weight: 12.5kg

  • Range: 18.5 miles

  • Charging time: 5.5 hours

  • Power: 250W

  • Wheels: 8.5in pneumatic tyres

If you’ve ever taken a ride on an electric scooter before, chances are it was a Xiaomi. For a long time the most widely mass produced e-scooter on the planet, the Xiaomi M365 (or some variant) was the workhorse of many e-scooter rental apps. This is thanks to the Chinese scooter’s simple, low-cost construction and near-indestructible build quality. The Xiaomi Mi 1S is built around the blueprint of the M365, and redesigned for private ownership.

Gone are the hard-wearing rubber wheels, replaced with air-filled tyres for a more comfortable ride. At 12.5kg, the Xiaomi Mi 1S is easier to carry in one hand than every other scooter we tested – barring only the fractionally more lightweight Unagi model one above (£749, Amazon.co.uk). While the small motor feels sluggish when approaching its top speed, initial acceleration is delightfully snappy and responsive.

Buy now £339.49, Amazon.co.uk

Xiaomi Mi pro 2

Best: For adults

Rating: 8/10

  • Weight: 14.2kg

  • Range: 28 miles

  • Charging time: 8.5 hours

  • Power: 300W

  • Wheels: 8.5in pneumatic tyres

Xiaomi’s more premium electric scooter is powered by a significantly punchier motor than its budget-level counterpart the Xiaomi Mi 1S (£339.49, Amazon.co.uk). Keep in mind that motor power doesn’t change the Xiaomi Mi pro 2’s top speed – electric scooters sold in Europe are speed-limited to 15.5mph – it does improve performance on hills and with heavier riders.

The Xiaomi Mi pro 2 is also a good deal larger than the more compact Xiaomi Mi 1S, which makes this scooter less portable but noticeably more stable. Smaller electric scooters can feel wobbly, but here the longer wheelbase allows for more balance and control, even when making tight turns at low speeds. The larger deck creates more room for battery storage too, giving it an impressive range for its weight.

Buy now £469.00, Currys.co.uk

Bird one

Best: For teenagers

Rating: 8/10

  • Weight: 14.2kg

  • Range: 28 miles

  • Charging time: 8.5 hours

  • Power: 300W

  • Wheels: 8.5in pneumatic tyres

Another electric scooter originally designed for the rental market, the Bird One is a robust and high-performance ride built for reliability and crammed with a unique set of connectivity features. The companion app works much like it does when using rentals, allowing you to find the scooter using GPS tracking, remotely lock or unlock the scooter from your phone, and detect any thieving shenanigans when it’s parked up somewhere out of sight.

The scooter’s semi-solid tyres provide the best of both worlds, resisting punctures while remaining cushioned and comfortable over kerbs and bumps, though its overall weight and inability to fold down the handle leaves it feeling a little cumbersome when not in use. If there’s an easy way to pick this scooter up without smashing your unsuspecting shins to smithereens, we haven’t figured it out.

Buy now £349.99, Electricrideoncars.co.uk

Decent one max

Best: With replaceable battery

Rating: 7/10

  • Weight: 15kg

  • Size: 108cm x 42cm x 118cm (46cm folded)

  • Range: 24 miles

  • Charging time: 6 hours

  • Power: 350W

  • Wheels: 10in pneumatic tyres

If the design of the Decent one max looks familiar, that’s because you’ll have seen its post-mounted battery design used by many e-scooter rental services.

This is a robust and high-performance ride built for reliability and comfort, with a hard-working motor that tackles steep inclines with aplomb. It rolls on a pair of cushioned, 10in pneumatic tyres that are well-suited to zooming over bumps and cracks and have car-type valves for ease of repair. The removable battery means you can keep a fully charged spare (sold separately) on hand to use while your depleted battery recharges.

This is a very well-priced electric scooter built to a superb standard.

Buy now £449.00, Currys.co.uk

Segway ninebot max G30E II

Best: For long-range

Rating: 7/10

  • Weight: 19.1kg

  • Range: 40 miles

  • Charging time: 6 hours

  • Power: 350W

  • Wheels: 10in pneumatic tyres

The Segway ninebot max G30E II is a beast of an electric scooter, designed to go as long as possible on a single charge and engineered to withstand even the harshest of riding conditions. This premium model introduces creature comforts such as softer tyres for more comfortable suspension and a bright, full-colour LED display showing speed, ride settings and battery level.

The best-in-class 40-mile range means you can ride it farther than any other scooter in our list, but this comes at the expense of the scooter’s portability when switched off. A low-torque pedestrian mode assists you when walking alongside the scooter, but lugging this 19kg lug up a flight of stairs is like moving a piano.

Buy now £729.00, Halfords.com

FAQ electric scooters

Are electric scooters legal in the UK?

Yes, but only under certain conditions. Trials of electric scooter rental services are currently taking place in cities across the country. It’s legal to ride these rental scooters within the area the scheme operates. However, the law has yet to catch up with how electric scooters are being used, so there are still some technical limitations on where you can ride privately owned e-scooters.

Private scooters can only be used on private land. If you use a private electric scooter on a public road the police can fine you for operating a motor vehicle without insurance or a licence, you can receive penalty points on your licence, and you could have your scooter impounded.

Legislation is in the works to formally classify electric scooters as a new vehicle class, which would make them legal to use on public roads.

Electric scooter road safety rules

General road safety laws apply when riding an electric scooter. You can be issued a fixed penalty notice for riding on the footpath. You can receive six penalty points and a fine for using a mobile phone while riding an electric scooter. Riding through red lights can result in £100 fine and points on your licence.

And if you’re found to be drunk or intoxicated while riding an electric scooter, you can technically face the same charges as when driving any other motor vehicle: fines, a driving ban and even jail time.

Since December 2021, electric scooters have been prohibited from being carried on TfL services, after defective batteries caused fire incidents.

The government has issued the following advice on the use of rental scooters:

  • Though not a legal requirement, riders are advised to wear a helmet and fluorescent clothing while using an electric scooter

  • Traffic signs with bike symbols, such as at cycle lanes and bus lanes, also apply to electric scooters

  • Do not ride on the pavement

  • Do not ride an electric scooter on a motorway

  • Do not tow anything

  • Do not use a mobile phone

  • Do not carry a passenger

  • Do not hang luggage from the handlebars

  • Do not ride while intoxicated

The verdict: Electric scooters

For unbeatable all-round performance, top build quality and affordability, our choice of the best electric scooter is the Pure air go. However, riders who need to carry extra weight or want spicier performance should consider the Pure air pro.

If your main priority is portability and simplicity, the stylish and lightweight Xiaomi Mi 1S is the electric scooter for you.

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