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The best cheap electric scooters 2022: budget e-scooters for quick trips

Three electric scooters on khaki green background
(Image credit: Future)

A cheap electric scooter gives you the freedom to skip across town in minutes without the hassle of driving and parking. This is an interesting price bracket, where a mere $50 can be the difference between a fairly sluggish 8mph maximum speed, and a nippier 12mph. If your preferred scooter is a little under-powered, you may be able to boost its performance with an auxiliary battery – but is it worth the extra expense and weight? It's a real balancing act.

The cheapest electric scooters tend to be those designed for city riding, rather than taking off-road. If you're looking for something with chunky tires, a powerful motor and full suspension capable of powering up hilly trails, you'll have to open your wallet a little further.

While cheaper electric scooters than those listed here are certainly available, we've only picked the best electric scooters from established brands with a track record of safety, reliability and after-sales service.

It's also worth bearing in mind that kids' electric scooters look almost identical to adults' ones until you get them out of the box. If a price looks too good to be true, make sure it's not a scooter recommended for ages 8+.

Xiaomi Mijia M365

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

1. Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter

One of the world's most popular scooters, for good reason

Specifications

Top speed: 15mph
Maximum range: 18.5 miles
Charge time: 5.5 hours
Weight: 12.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Fast top speed
+
Impressive range
+
Dual braking system

Reasons to avoid

-
Marginally more expensive

The Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter (more commonly known as the Xiaomi Mijia M365) is one of the most popular electric scooters in the world, and it's easy to see why. It's fast, it's well made, and it's cheap. If you've ever seen someone riding an electric scooter with red cabling, it was almost certainly one of these.

Whereas most electric scooters in this price bracket max out at 12.5 mph, the M365 can reach up to 15mph, putting it on a par with your typical rental scooter, and making it more suitable to riding in bike lanes without holding cyclists up too much.

It doesn't skimp on safety either. Highlights include a double braking system, with both front and rear brakes to provide plenty of stopping power in an emergency, without the risk of the back lifting. There's an integrated rear light as well, and the tires have anti-slip treads for smooth surfaces.

The other e-scooters in this roundup might cost a little less, but the difference in price is minimal and you get an awful lot for that extra investment. The world's top choice, and justifiably so.

Segway Ninebot ES2

(Image credit: Segway)

2. Segway Ninebot ES2

A cheap electric scooter that can be boosted with a second battery

Specifications

Top speed: 15mph
Maximum range: 15.5 miles
Charge time: 3.5 hours
Weight: 12.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Full suspension
+
Fast charge time
+
Fast top speed

Reasons to avoid

-
Shorter range than 365

Segway (creator of the infamous self-balancing 'personal transporter') was acquired by Chinese company Ninebot in 2015. Since then, the company's designers and engineers have been hard at work developing a line of very good electric scooters, many of which are surprisingly cheap considering their specs.

On paper, the Segway Ninebot ES2 is very similar to the Xiaomi Mijia 365 above. In fact, the only major difference is range, with the 365's battery keeping it running three miles further on a single charge.

That said, the ES2 does have a lot to recommend it. Its one-touch folding system is very convenient, particularly if you're taking it on public transport or tucking it under your desk at the office. It features front and rear integrated lights (though some riders might not like the fact that these are always on), plus front and rear suspension.

It's also worth noting that it's possible to extend the ES2's range by attaching a secondary battery pack. This will add an extra 50% or so to the price, but will keep the scooter rolling for up to 28 miles, and boost the top speed to 18.6mph.

Xiaomi Mi Essential

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

3. Xiaomi Mi Essential Electric Scooter

A new entry-level scooter from Xiaomi, with modest specs

Specifications

Top speed: 12.4mph
Maximum range: 12.4 miles
Charge time: 3.5 hours
Weight: 12kg

Reasons to buy

+
Light to carry
+
Charges quickly

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher price outside China
-
Rather slow

Launched in June 2020, the Xiaomi Mi Essential is a new addition to the company's lineup of two-wheelers. When it first launched, it was surprisingly expensive if you lived outside China, but its price has plummeted in just a few months, making it one of the best cheap electric scooters around.

With a maximum speed of 12.4mph and an optimum range of 12.4 miles, it's slightly less powerful than the older Segway Ninebot ES1 below, but is designed to be easy for new riders to handle, with a low, wide footbed that will help first-timers step on and find their balance, and it's now cheaper.

Its smaller battery means it's light to carry and fast to charge, which will appeal to commuters. It also offers dual brakes for safe stopping, plus front, rear and braking lights to help make sure you're seen on the roads (particularly important if you're traveling rather slowly).

The Xiaomi Mi Essential is a decent, albeit basic scooter. It's also one to keep an eye on; its price might drop even further in the coming months, making it an absolute bargain.

Hover-1 Eagle

(Image credit: Hover-1)

4. Hover-1 Eagle

A lightweight, agile electric scooter for short trips

Specifications

Top speed: 15mph
Maximum range: 7 miles
Charge time: 5 hours
Weight: 9.47kg

Reasons to buy

+
Fast top speed
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Short range
-
Long charge time

Hover-1 has made a name for itself in fun, cheap electric scooters and hoverboards, and the Hover-1 Eagle is one of the best. Not only is it very reasonably priced, it's also one of the lightest adult-sized electric scooters around, tipping the scales at just 9.47kg.

Unsurprisingly, this is a no-frills scooter without some of the flashier features you'll find on pricier models, but it still has some welcome additions like built-in suspension to absorb small bumps and potholes. There's a small but clear LCD display so you can clearly see vital stats (such as current speed and charge level) plus an LED headlight and reflectors for safety.

The main downside is its range, which is half what you'd get with a slightly more expensive scooter from Xiaomi or Segway. It also takes a long time to charge, so you'll need to juice it up as soon as you get home to make sure it's ready for the next time you need it.

Hover-1 Alpha

(Image credit: Hover-1)

5. Hover-1 Alpha

The best cheap scooter for teens, with a built-in Bluetooth speaker

Specifications

Top speed: 15.5mph
Maximum range: 12 miles
Charge time: 6 hours
Weight: 15.6kg

Reasons to buy

+
Fun lighting and speaker
+
Good range for the price

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy
-
Long charge time

Another cheap electric scooter from Hover-1, the Alpha is a little more expensive than the Eagle (hence its lower ranking), but will keep rolling for five more miles on a single charge, which might be enough to justify the cost.

It has 10in pneumatic tires for a smoother ride, plus electric disc brakes for safe stopping and a convenient folding design. It's not built with portability in mind though, and at 15.6kg it's the heaviest scooter in this roundup.

In addition to an LED headlight, there's also under-deck lighting, plus a Bluetooth speaker built in. If you're looking for a cheap electric scooter for an older teenager, little extras like those could tip the balance in the Alpha's favor.

Cat Ellis
Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)