By-the-Numbers: Scooting into Savings

Have you seen those little motorized scooters zipping around your city yet? Maybe you’ve dreamt of buying or renting one to obliterate your traffic woes. But not everyone’s a fan; many have attempted to have the scooters banned from major cities. 

Don’t drink the haterade, folks.

It won’t surprise you that we’re big fans of alternate modes of transportation — including scooters. Here’s why you should be, too.

Insurance costs

If you’re already a Metromile customer, you know that keeping your monthly mileage low is the way to keep your car insurance bill down. The fewer miles you drive, the more money you save. See where we’re going with this? In fact, people who switched and saved with Metromile saved $741 on average last year.

You could save some serious cash by switching to a scooter for your daily commute instead of driving. 

Gas costs

What has two wheels, handlebars, and is powered by electricity? An electric scooter, of course! You could majorly cut down on the cost to fill your gas tank by commuting to work with an electric scooter. They’re better for the environment, and for your wallet, too.

For example: if you switched to an electric scooter for your 8-mile round trip commute to and from the office, you’d be saving 40 miles per week — or about a gallon and a half of gas. If you have a longer commute or you idle in traffic during your commute, your savings could be even greater.

Parking costs

The beauty of electric scooters is that you can park them pretty much anywhere. How many scooter trips does it take to equal the cost of one day of city parking? Let’s crunch the numbers using our home city of San Francisco as an example

One day of San Francisco city parking ranges from about $25 to $40. An unlimited monthly pass for a Bird scooter currently goes for $25 in San Francisco. That’s a month of commuting costs for less than one day of city parking, a no brainer. Of course, not everyone lives in San Francisco, but most car commuters are familiar with parking headaches of one sort or another.

Environmental costs

Motorized scooters are 100% powered by electricity, which makes them clean(er) and green(er) than a gas-powered machine.

Take our 8-mile round trip commuter, for example. Their commute emits something like 130 lbs of CO2 every month, which is not to mention non-tailpipe emissions like brake dust. Imagine the environmental impact if lots of commuters chose scooters!

Car depreciation

Depreciation can be an overlooked expense of car ownership. On average, each mile driven costs 8 cents — not a ton on an individual level, but a large expense over the course of a year. Just look to your odometer to estimate the depreciation expense you’ve incurred during the last year.

The unquantifiable

Saving money is great, but it’s hard to put a price tag on the feeling of the wind whipping through your hair, the satisfaction of zooming past a traffic jam on a zippy little scooter, or the mental health benefits of feeling like a kid again during your otherwise grown-up day. We wouldn’t be surprised if swapping car time for scooter time just feels good!

Is zipping through traffic on your little motorized scooter looking pretty good right about now? We think scooters (and their close friends, bikes) are a key tool in the low-mileage driver’s toolkit. And of course, we’re around to insure the driving you can’t replace with a scooter.

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Julianne Sawyer is a freelance writer, app producer, and real-life Metromile customer living in the San Francisco Bay Area.