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Five best Scooters

Affordable to buy, easy to ride and accessible from a young age scooters are often a first taste of mobility for many – here are our five faves

Phil West

Words by: Phil West

Published on 30 November 2023 | 0 min read

Scooters remain among the most popular of all powered two-wheelers –with good reason. From 16 you’re eligible to ride 50cc or AM class machines, as long as you complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT for short) and have a provisional driving licence, making them among the most accessible ways for youngsters to gain their freedom on powered transport.
With their simple, ‘twist and go’ automatic transmissions, they’re also among the easiest vehicles to ride. With prices starting at a little over £1,400, scooters can be among the most affordable means of powered transport and, best of all, today there’s such a huge variety available, ranging from cheap 50cc runabouts to stylish and luxurious midi or maxi scooters. Whatever you want there’s never been a more effective choice. But which is the best? We’ve focused on commuter scooters before so this time we’ve picked the most desirable current scooters of all. Here’s our pick of the best.

1 - Peugeot Speedfight 50 Euro 5

The legendary Speedfight has been the most desirable sports scooter for 16-year-olds ever since the original way back in 1996. Now in its fifth incarnation (with Peugeot Scooters now owned by India’s Mahindra) it’s just as sharp-looking, nicely built and well equipped as ever, yet also remains decently affordable at just under three grand and a doddle to ride. If you’re 16, riding on an AM licence and want THE sports scooter, the Speedfight 50 5 is the one.
Read the review

2 - Yamaha NMAX 125

If you pay attention to scooter sales charts you’ll be aware 125cc commuter scooters are among the most popular of all. Being 125cc means they’re capable of motorway speeds yet, like 50s, can be ridden on a provisional licence with CBT certificate, although this time you need to be 17. They’re also affordable, incredibly frugal and easy and practical to ride. The two most popular are Honda’s PCX125 and its Yamaha rival, the NMAX 125, Most recently updated in 2021, it’s stylish, well-equipped with keyless ignition and Bluetooth connectivity, has a modern four-stroke engine, plenty of luggage space and costs well under four grand.
Read the review

3 - Vespa GTS 125

If you’re after classically stylish urban scooter there can be only one – the Vespa. The 1946 original established the whole scooter concept with its small wheels and step-thru’ frame, and proved a huge success. Most recently updated in 2021, the latest incarnation is now four-stroke, also available as a 300, has gorgeous styling with lots of retro cues and is beautifully detailed and finished. It’s not cheap – the base 125 starts at over £5,000 with the top spec 300 getting on for seven grand – but it is the most desirable ‘classic’ scooter of all.

4 - Honda ADV 350

You’d be forgiven for thinking scooters are all small-wheeled, small-engined runabouts. But not any more. Yamaha got the ‘maxi-scoot’ scene going with its first 100mph 500cc TMAX and there’s now a huge choice of 500cc ‘maxi’, 300cc ‘midi’, and even off-road capable ones like this. Honda’s first ‘crossover’ scooter was the 750cc X-ADV in 2017 but we prefer its slightly mellower little brother, introduced in 2022, which has just the same space, style, comfort and versatility but a 330cc engine that still nudges 90mph but at a far more affordable price. Funky, fun and immensely versatile scoots don’t get any better.

5 - NIU MQI Evo

As mobility electrifies on four wheels and two, there’s an increasingly big and baffling choice of electric scooters available, the format currently suits commuter scooters better than conventional motorcycles. The latest from NIU, the clumsily named MQI Evo is, for around £4K, probably the best thanks to its near-70mph performance, 60-mile range, five-hour recharge time and features including a TFT dash and Smartphone app. It's decently built, a doddle to ride and as such probably makes the best argument yet for choosing electric over petrol scooter power.
Read the review

Which should I go for?

Your choice will be determined largely by your age, budget, needs and what style you like. At 16 you’re limited to 50cc AM class machines. At 17 that becomes 125cc A1 bikes while 19+ opens the possibility of 47 horsepower A2 class scoots with a full licence required for anything larger.
On top of that, if you’re after a long-distance commuter then size, comfort, luggage capacity and creature comforts such as heated grips come to the fore. Our advice is to research what suits you and your budget thoroughly and buy the best you can afford.

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