NextPit

Buying guide: How to find the right e-scooter in 2023

Best E Scooters
© Xiaomi

E-scooters have long populated our streets in large numbers. Most of them are e-scooters that are available for hire. If you want to buy one for yourself, then there are plenty of things to consider. We would like to recommend a few great models to you and explain everything you need to bear in mind before making a purchase decision!

  A selection of e-scooters that are road-worthy
Product Ninebot KickScooter ES1L Ninebot KickScooter MAX G30 LP Xiaomi Mi Scooter 4 Pro GoTrax GXL V2 Niu KQi3 Max
Image Ninebot KickScooter ES1L Ninebot KickScooter MAX G30LP Xiaomi Mi 4 Pro von der Seite Go Trax GXL V2 Niu E-Scooter von der Seite
Price $299.99 $989.99 $731.99 $349 $999
Weight 11.3 kg 17.5 kg 16.5 kg 12 kg 21 kg
Load capacity 100 kg 100 kg 120 kg 100 kg 120 kg
Dimensions 113 x 41.4 x 32 cm 111 x 47.2 x 53.5 cm 119.8 x 48.4 x 124 cm 110 x 42.5 x 104.5cm 120 x 57.6 x 26 cm
Motor 250 watts 350 watts 350 watts 250 watts 450 watts
Brake type Front electronic brake, rear disc brake Front disc brake, rear electronic brake Rear disc brake, electric front Front electronic brake, rear disc brake Triple brake system: front and rear disc brake and rear electric brake
Charging time 6 hours 6.5 hours 8 hours 5 hours 8 hours
Max. Range 20 km 40 km 55 km 20 km 65 km
Speed 20 km/h 30 km/h 20 km/h 25 km/h 21 km/h
Tires 8-inch pneumatic tires 10-inch pneumatic tires 10-inch pneumatic tires 8.5-inch pneumatic tires 9.5-inch pneumatic tires with shock absorption
Display Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Smartphone holder - - - - -
Check offer*

Check price

Check price

Check price

Check price

Check price

Buying an e-scooter is easy. It is less easy to see whether such a vehicle is technically up to scratch and whether you are allowed to use it on the road at all. In order for you to obtain the full picture, we will guide you step-by-step and clarify everything you need to know before buying an e-scooter.

We have not reviewed any of the e-scooters that were listed in the table ourselves. We have looked through reviews and user reports from colleagues and selected a few models on this basis, all of which are highly recommended and can be used on local roads. Here is something for those who are interested in the topic: This year, we will also venture into our own e-scooter reviews! Hence in addition to purchasing advice and news updates about e-scooters, you will also find reviews by NextPit in the foreseeable future!

Table of Content:

Der untere Teil des Navee-E-Scooters
The Navee N65 e-scooter is also part of the Xiaomi fleet. / © geekbuying

Features to look out for when buying an e-scooter

Who is allowed to ride an e-scooter?

In principle, any person over the age of 16 is allowed to ride an e-scooter in the United States. Do bear in mind that regulations differ from one state to another. In the US, North Carolina requires a DMV registration, nine states require a driver's license, and some require riders to wear a helmet, so always check with the local authorities. Many models also come with active insurance.

Mann fährt den E-Scooter auf einer Brücke
Make sure to ride e-scooters like the Ninebot MAX G30D II with a helmet. / © Nintebot

Please remember that you may only ride the e-scooter alone. There is no obligation to wear a helmet, but in the interest of your own safety, you should definitely wear one anyway. Young people should also wear knee and elbow pads.

Where are you allowed to ride the e-scooter?

When buying an e-scooter, it is very important to check whether the smart scooter has a road permit for your country. This applies at least if you want to drive around on public roads. As long as you are only making your rounds on private property, this approval is not necessary.

If you have an e-scooter with a road permit, you are allowed to drive on bicycle paths at speeds of up to 20 km/h. If there is no bicycle path, you are not allowed to ride on the road. Riding on the sidewalk is only permitted if you do so at a maximum speed of 12 km/h!

What does "street legal" mean?

As already mentioned, you need an e-scooter with road approval so that you can ride alongside traffic on public roads. We will now break down what this means. First of all, the vehicles must first meet a few requirements so that they fall under the H.R. 727 amendment to the Consumer Product Safety Act in the US. These are the general requirements:

  • Maximum power of 750 watts.
  • Maximum speed of 20-mph.

Local State and City governments may impose other regulations, so be sure to check with your local authorities. Some cities announced bans on electric scooters, especially ones from sharing services.

Confusingly, it may be legal to ride electric scooters in some metro areas, but not in certain regions, like in Los Angeles, where there is a 15-mph speed limit, but e-scooters were temporarily banned in some cities within the region.

Lenker des Ninebot KickScooter MAX G30D II
You will always find a display on the handlebars / © Ninebot

Important technical features

Before you fork out a few hundred dollars, there are several technical specifications that you should have on your radar. These include:

  • Weight: As a rule, e-scooters weigh anywhere between 25 and 40 lbs. However, there are also more massive, heavier models as well as lightweight alternatives that tip the scales at only 23 lbs. Take the weight into account, especially if you have to heave the scooter onto the train every day on the way to work, for instance. Speaking of the train: In that case, it would also be practical if it were a foldable scooter.
  • Payload: The author of this article will definitely not review an e-scooter anytime soon, because I clearly exceed the payload of such a scooter. In most cases, this load stands at 220 pounds (100 kg), but there are also devices that allow you to climb on with a rather hefty 260 lbs. Very important: Do not forget that the total weight is decisive. It won't help you if you weigh 200 lbs but have 30 lbs of groceries in your backpack.
  • Battery/range: Another very important criterion in the purchase decision is the battery and range. You will always be given a maximum range on the specifications sheet. In reality, however, you will not achieve such levels based on experience. The weight of the payload, possible slopes, and the ride speed will definitely affect overall battery life so that it can often be significantly below the stated range. Do take this into account beforehand, and it's best if you do some test drives. There are also models with removable batteries. This makes life easier for you when repairs are required, and you can also take it into your home for charging without any complications.
  • Power: E-scooters of up to 750 watts are permitted in the US. The more power the scooter has, the easier it is to cope with heavier people and slopes.
  • Speed: 20 mph is the maximum permitted speed limit on the road in the US, which is considerably faster than the general rules in Europe (20 km/h). Some e-scooters models can also go faster, but those may need to be registered with the DMV.
  • Tires: Pneumatic tires make the ride smoother and absorb shocks, but they are also generally more sensitive if you drive over a nail or other sharp objects. Solid tires, on the other hand, are much rougher, but not as vulnerable to punctures. You will find this variant on most rental scooters in larger cities. Also, do pay attention to the size of the wheels: The larger the wheels are, the easier you can overcome obstacles such as curbs.
  • Brakes: Of course, the brakes are also an important component of your e-scooter. You have the choice between several technologies such as disc or drum brakes, or also electrically functioning brakes.
  • Lighting: Lights are mandatory anyway, but you could make sure that the system is connected to the battery and does not work independently. This way you don't run the risk of losing your lights at any time. Turn signals are not mandatory, but they significantly reduce the risk of accidents.

What else can you pay attention to? Yes, there are other points that can be included in your purchase decision and you should pay attention to. One of them is, of course, the price. For the models suggested here, the price ranges between $300 and $1000. Please also remember to look into theft protection. There are also software-based PIN solutions.

All the e-scooters shown here have their own display. A companion app can make your life easier. In addition, some models offer you a holder for your smartphone. Since we are already talking about the handlebars: Please also make sure that it is height-adjustable. This would come in extremely handy, especially for tall or short people who will thank me later on!

And that's it! If you were to take into account all the provided tips, you should be able to buy the right e-scooter. Now, you just have to do me a favor and assure us that you will follow the traffic rules and drive carefully. After all, we want you to read our next articles in good health! Do you already own an e-scooter or are you just starting to look for one? Do you already have experience with rental models? Write to us in the comments!


Article updated on 6 January 2023. Existing comments were retained.

NextPit receives a commission for purchases made via the marked links. This has no influence on the editorial content and there are no costs for you. You can find out more about how we make money on our transparency page.
Carsten Drees

Carsten Drees

I started blogging in 2008 and have written for Mobilegeeks, Stadt Bremerhaven, Basic Thinking and Dr. Windows. I've been at NextPit since 2021, where I also discovered my passion for podcasts. I have been particularly interested in Android phones for many years now, and would like to get involved with the highly exciting smart home market. LEt's see, did I miss anything else? Oh yes, I love Depeche Mode and suffer with Schalke 04.

View all articles

Recommended articles

Liked this article? Share now!
Join the discussion

1 Comment

Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • abrarr 2 days ago Link to comment

    I like this E Scotty, its very amazing.