How to Buy a Used Scooter

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How to Buy a Used Scooter

The scooter is a two-wheeled vehicle similar to a motorcycle, but it has an open platform in the centre of the body for the feet to rest. Scooters have smaller engines when compared to motorcycles, and typically move at slower speeds. A scooter is considered a good vehicle for riding around town. Rather than spend a lot of money on a new scooter, it is possible to buy an affordable used model. Most used scooters are well prepared for the road, have had their first few services completed, and may have additional accessories installed by the previous owner.

When purchasing a used scooter, there are a few factors to consider. Buyers need to look at the most popular and widely available makes and models. They also need to consider the engine size they wish to have because this can have an effect on fuel consumption and speed. Fortunately, scooters are becoming more popular, which means that buyers can purchase a range of used models from motorcycle dealers and individual sellers in classified advertisements or online at sites like eBay.

Make, Model, and Year of a Used Scooter

There are a lot of scooter models on the market. Buyers should evaluate the most popular versions; these are the models most likely to be available secondhand and in a good condition. Popular manufacturers in the UK are typically internationally known companies, such as Yamaha, Vespa, Honda, Peugeot, and Sym. These brands are known for producing good quality scooters, motorcycles, and other small bikes. It is also easier to get parts for scooters from these companies. Here is a table showing the major manufacturers, the more popular models from each of them, and the most commonly seen model year.

Scooter Manufacturer

Popular Models

Model Year




2009, 2011 to present




2008 to present




2007 to present




2011 to present




2012 to present

The largest scooter manufacturers according to sales of newer models are Yamaha and Honda. Honda produces one of the most popular larger scooters on the market: the PCX. When looking at older models and vintage scooters, the Vespa is probably the most popular. In fact, contemporary models from many manufacturers are based on the design and styling found on vintage Vespas.

Engine Size for Used Scooters

Engine size is another important factor to consider when buying a used scooter. The engine can affect how fast the scooter travels and how much hydrocarbon it emits into the atmosphere. The engine size can affect how much the owner pays in road tax, as it is based on the scooter's emissions.

Engine sizes are calculated in cubic centimetres (cc), or the amount of water the engine displaces when immersed. Scooters are typically sold with three engine sizes: 50cc, 150cc, and 250cc. Other scooter sizes, such as 125cc and larger than 250cc are also available. Vehicles with larger engines are known as maxi scooters.

50cc Engine Used Scooters

A 50cc engine scooter is able to achieve a top speed of around 64 kilometres per hour (km/h). This engine is the smallest and also produces the fewest emissions. Buyers can get the best mileage out of a 50cc engine with some scooters achieving 42 kilometres per litre (km/l). These scooters may have trouble travelling at higher speeds because the top speed can drop when more weight is carried by the vehicle.

150cc Engine Used Scooters

The mid sized 150cc engine is great for scooters that drive around town and on short motorway runs. These scooters can also carry more weight, such as a second person, without difficulty. The 150cc engine still has good fuel efficiency at around 30 km/l, which is great when considering the top speed of 25 km/h. The mid sized engine can experience a slowdown in speed with the added weight, and it should only be used for a short distance on motorways.

250cc Engine Used Scooters

The 250cc engine scooters are the biggest, not including maxi scooters, and are more than able to handle high speeds and motorways. These scooters create more emissions than the other two engine sizes, but they are still below a petrol car's emissions. The 250cc engine can achieve road speeds of 120 km/h, but use about 25 km/l of fuel.

Maxi Scooter

Also called touring scooters, maxi scooters are meant for longer distances. They are an option for those that want to use scooters on the motorway and carry lots of extra weight. The maxi engine starts at 250cc and goes up to 850cc, making this scooter close in size to most motorcycles. They usually have extra space in the seat for a second passenger and a larger platform for more legroom.

Accessories for a Used Scooter

Previous owners of used scooters may have added accessories and extra features to the vehicle. These add-ons are nice to have and can make a scooter more practical for everyday use.

Storage for a Used Scooter

Scooters can be accessorised with a storage rack or top case. The storage rack is a strong plate attached to the back of the scooter frame, directly behind the seat. Top cases are large plastic containers with secure lids to keep cargo from flying off the scooter at high speeds. A top case can be attached to the storage rack for safety. Side cases can also be attached to the sides of the scooter body below the top case.

Windscreens for a Used Scooter

Not all scooters come with a windscreen. The screen helps to keep wind from impacting the rider's body directly by forcing it up and over the top of the rider's head. It can also perform a similar function in the rain. Windscreens can help to keep wind noise down.

Spare Tyres for a Used Scooter

A spare tyre can be incredibly helpful when the scooter experiences a puncture while out on the road. A proper scooter tyre is only about 30 centimetres in diameter, so spare tyres can be stored in one of several places. They can be kept on a storage rack behind the seat, tucked into a special tyre carrier in the side of the vehicle, or mounted to the inside wall of the scooter below the handlebars. If buying a used scooter with a spare tyre, check the tyre to see that it is inflated properly.

Buying a Used Scooter on eBay

You can buy a used scooter on eBay at an excellent price compared to a new model. There are many used scooter listings available from individual sellers and dealers. Browsing through all of these listings could take time. Fortunately, the eBay search engine tool is a quick and effective way to narrow down your search. You can enter in any search term, either specific or general, and get results within moments. For instance, enter a search term like "Aprilia scooter" to find vehicles from a particular manufacturer. You can also search for scooters by engine size, condition, and model year, if you have a particular vehicle in mind.

Read the Item Description

Read the item description for the used scooter carefully. The seller should list the specification for the vehicle, as well as any features or faults. Examine the photos closely, in particular looking for excessive signs of wear and tear, or rust. If there are any questions that are not answered by the item description, then contact the seller.

Buying Locally

After purchasing a scooter you need to collect it or make arrangements with the seller to have it delivered to you. To reduce the cost and effort involved in getting the scooter, consider buying from a local seller. To narrow down your search results to only those scooters in your local area, you can search by postcode from the results page or by using the advanced search feature. Just enter your postcode. The website automatically updates search results to show only those that match your parameters.


Buyers have a lot of scooter manufacturers to choose from when buying a used vehicle that is perfect for their needs. When it comes to purchasing used scooters, buyers should consider the make, model, and year that they prefer. It is often the more popular models and manufacturers that are available secondhand. Some of these scooter makers include Honda, Yamaha, Vespa, Peugeot, and Sym.

Buyers should also consider the engine size of a scooter. There are three main engine sizes available: 50cc, 150cc, and 250cc. The smallest engine size can achieve the highest distance per litre of fuel on the road, while the largest engine size can achieve the highest speed. Small engines are, in general, not ideal for motorway driving, while maxi scooters are able to handle longer distances and are similar to motorcycles. Used scooters may also come with various accessories that can help to make them more practical, including spare tyres, storage racks, and windscreens. Used scooters are available from a range of dealers and private sellers on eBay.

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