The best electric scooters for students 2024: affordable student e-scooters

The best electric scooter for students
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Electric scooters for students are a quick, affordable and fun way to get around campus, so we've picked the very best you can buy right now. Whether you're heading off to college or university yourself, or helping your kids get ready for the new school year, we've picked out a set of scooters that are affordable, safe, and reliable enough for everyday riding.

When it comes to the best electric scooters for students, there are a few important points to look out for. You'll need to consider range, as this varies greatly depending on the scooter's battery capacity and weight. If you're using an e-scooter to zip around campus, you might not be able to recharge it until you get home at the end of the day, so you'll need to be sure that it's not going to run out of juice before your final class. Nobody wants to be carrying a dead scooter back to their dorm.

Cost is another consideration, especially now that you're doing all your back to school 2023 shopping, but in our experience the very cheapest scooters on the market are generally pretty poor value in the long run. The build quality is poorer, you might not get a warranty or servicing, and the spec just isn't up to snuff. 

Take brakes, for example. Disc brakes will allow you to stop your scooter quickly and safely in an emergency (particularly if you've picked up speed going downhill). A cheap scooter, however, might only have a foot brake, which requires you to stamp on the back mudguard to stop yourself. It's less effective, less intuitive and less safe. Having said that, if you do want a scooter but only have a small budget, take a look at our best cheap scooters guide. You might also find a great option in our back to school sales page.

One factor that's not so important is speed. A college or university is going to be pretty busy, and you're unlikely to be the only one riding a scooter, so traveling at a slower speed might actually be an advantage, helping you turn more easily and avoid accidents. Moving a little slower will also help your scooter's battery last longer between charges. Win-win.

The best student e-scooter back to school sales

Hiboy S2 Pro: was $669.99 now $449.99 on Amazon
We've tested some Hiboy e-scooters before, and they're pretty great for the price - even though the models we have tested are not the quietest, they're robust and a great value for your money. This S2 Pro model is also discounted just in time for your back to school shopping at 33% off

Hiboy S2 Pro: <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=8428&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2FHiboy-Pro-Electric-Scooter-Long-Range%2Fdp%2FB086N23QBD%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank">was $669.99 now $449.99 on Amazon
We've tested some Hiboy e-scooters before, and they're pretty great for the price - even though the models we have tested are not the quietest, they're robust and a great value for your money. This S2 Pro model is also discounted just in time for your back to school shopping at 33% off.

Image

Segway Ninebot MAX: <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=8428&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2FSegway-Electric-G30LP-Long-range-Lightweight%2Fdp%2FB08BL4VPDR%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank">was $749.99 now
$519.99 on Amazon

We love our Segway Ninebot Max - it's beautifully design, premium built, and great performing. It even has an anti-theft feature. And while it is one of the more expensive mid-range e-scooters on the market due to the brand name, it also gets discounted quite often. Right now, for instance, 31% off just in time for back to school. 

The best electric scooters for students 2024

GoTrax Apex LE on an overlook in Los Angeles

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)
The best student electric scooter overall

Specifications

Top speed: : 15.5 mph
Maximum range: 12 miles
Charge time: 4-5 hours
Weight: 31 lbs (14kg)

Reasons to buy

+
Adorable design in several colorways
+
Snappy performance, excellent braking system
+
Robust build

Reasons to avoid

-
On the heavier side
-
Deck isn’t very spacious
-
Short range

The GoTrax Apex LE electric scooter is our top pick for students looking for an e-scooter because it's relatively cheap and delivers a solid performance. It also looks fun and comes in four colors, including pink and white, which is refreshing considering most e-scooters are only available in black.

In the past, cheap e-scooters were considered lower quality than their more expensive counterparts. But although the Apex LE isn't the best electric scooter you can buy today in terms of power and range, it punches above its sub-$400/£300 weight.

In our GoTrax Apex LE review, we said that we enjoyed testing the scooter because it's robust and well-made with an impressive braking system for ultimate control. Sure special features are limited, but that makes sense for the price. And its simplicity will actually be a selling point for beginners. It's very easy to get to grips with thanks to a folding mechanism and 15 minute-ish assembly time. 

You won't find the GoTrax Apex LE at the top of our ultimate best electric scooters guide, but it's our top recommendation for students looking for a reliable, cheap and colorful option.

Read our full GoTrax Apex LE review

TurboAnt M10

(Image credit: TurboAnt)

2. TurboAnt M10

The most robust cheap electric scooter we've tested

Specifications

Top speed: 20 mph
Maximum range: 18 miles
Charge time: 5 hours
Weight: 29.8 lbs (13.5 kg)

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Solid performance
+
Good shock absorption

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for uphills

While we don't have a full review of the TurboAnt M10 available, we did test this very affordable electric scooter out in the wild, and it's got our seal of approval. As one of TurboAnt's entry-level scooters, it's certainly easy to discount as a cheap option. But while other electric scooters in its class might feel rickety out of the box, we found this one to be actually very solid, thoughtfully design, and made of the more premium materials.

TurboAnt is very good at building affordable e-scooters that are robust, and this one is an excellent example of that. What the company does sacrifice here are the special features. But, if you're a student looking for a budget option, do you really need all the extra frills when you can have something that guarantees your safety instead?

The company also doesn't scrimp on performance. Road-testing this e-scooter even in areas in our neighborhood where the roads have seen better days, we appreciated its snappy performance and great shock absorption - you've got those 10-inch pneumatic tires to thank for that. And that 18-mile battery life and 20mph top speed, we have found, is rare in an e-scooter this cheap. This one is truly worth your money.

NIU KQi3 Pro outdoors

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)
Smoothest electric scooter if you're ok spending a little more

Specifications

Top speed: 20mph
Maximum range: 31 miles
Charge time: 6 hours
Weight: 44.75 lbs (20.29kg)

Reasons to buy

+
Empty List

Reasons to avoid

-
Empty List

While we definitely recommend seeking a more lightweight and more budget-friendly option first for a student electric scooter, we're big fans of the NIU KQi3 Pro and cannot recommend it enough to people. And if you have a bigger budget for your kid this back to school season, it might be the best value option, especially since   it is still more portable than a bike.

Testing this model, which incidentally sits at the top spot of our best electric scooters list, was a pleasurable experience. Each tire on this is 2.5 inches thick, giving it amazing shock absorption and incredible traction, which means that every ride we took was smooth, comfortable, and most importantly, safe, which is what you want for your kids. Speaking of safe, it's also got an anti-theft feature that when activated goes off, making a huge fuss and deterring petty thieves. 

In fact, for everything that it offers, we actually think that this is worth more than what it costs - at least in the US (in the UK, it's a little more expensive). NIU also slapped on amazing features like regenerative brakes, the always-on Halo headlight and rear light, and zero start (which activates as soon as you hit 200 riding meters for safety).

Read our full NIU KQi3 Pro review

The Segway Ninebot ES2 scooter

(Image credit: Segway)

4. Segway Ninebot ES2

Reliable student electric scooter from a trusted brand

Specifications

Top speed: : 15.5 mph
Maximum range: 15.5 miles
Charge time: 3.5 hours
Weight: 27.6 Ibs (12.5 kg)

Reasons to buy

+
Full suspension
+
Impressive top speed
+
Smart design with internal cables

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than Xiaomi

Xiaomi might be the biggest name in electric scooters right now, but Segway is making big strides too, particularly in the US. The Segway Ninebot ES2 is one of its most affordable scooters, but has surprisingly impressive specs and is another top choice for students heading to uni or college.

Its top speed of 15mph means it's considerably faster than the Xiaomi Mi Essential above, and it can keep going a little further too, with a top range of 15.5mph in optimum conditions. It's well built with all cables tucked away neatly inside, and full suspension to cushion you from life's little lumps and bumps. It is, however, more expensive, so it's a matter of where your priorities lie. It's possible to extend the range of the ES2 even further by attaching an auxiliary battery, but this bumps up the price beyond most student budgets.

While we haven't tested this particular model ourselves, Amazon reviewers many have given it a five out of five rating, praising it for its reliability, battery interchangeability, sleek design, and easy setup. However, bear in mind that because it is Segway, it's going to be a little pricier for what it's offering. If you want a trusted brand, get it. But if you want a better value for your money, we recommend checking out the other options on this list. 

Levy Plus at a park overlooking Los Angeles

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

5. Levy Plus

Mid-range electric scooter that can handle loose soil

Specifications

Top speed: : 20 mph
Maximum range: up to 20 miles
Charge time: 4 hrs
Weight: 30 lbs (13.6 kg)

Reasons to buy

+
Snappy performance
+
Powerful front brake
+
Smooth ride over gravel

Reasons to avoid

-
Deck not very spacious
-
Scratch magnet

We have yet to write our full review of the Levy Plus, but this deserves a shout on this list as well for its impressive performance and sleek design. We have finished testing this electric scooter, and while it may be one of the more expensive entries on this list, sitting in the mid-range rather than the budget market, there are several reasons why this is a great investment for your college kids.

We appreciate that it picks up pace very quickly whatever mode you're on without needing a kickstart and that its front brakes are snappy and powerful, meaning that it will help save your child's life in times when it'll matter. But what we love most about this e-scooter is that it is a darn smooth ride, its big 10-inch pneumatic tires doing such a fantastic job of handling gravel paths and looser soil with their impressive traction.

And kids who are concerned about aesthetics will love its cute look and baby blue or mint green trimmings. The folding mechanism is a tad cumbersome, and the deck isn't all that spacious. But we think the rest of it - the kickstand, the dash, the interchangeable battery - more than make up for those.

Michelle Rae Uy
Contributor

Michelle Rae Uy is the former Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.