Renting vs. Owning Electric Scooters: What’s Right for You?

Renting vs. Owning Electric Scooters: What’s Right for You?

By now, you’re probably no stranger to electric scooters. While you may not own one, you’ve almost certainly seen the bright green, orange, and purple rental e-scooters milling around Australian cities. Whether they are being used, gently resting up a tree or unwillingly exploring the depths of Australian rivers, rental e-scooters are increasing in popularity across the country. 

But with more states legalising privately-owned electric scooters, more riders are moving away from rental scooter schemes to outright ownership. 

Yet, when it comes to making a crucial decision, you find yourself at a crossroads: should you stick with the convenience of renting e-scooters or take the bull by the handlebars and finally get your own?

Each option has its own perks. Some people relish in the carefree convenience of renting, while some believe investing in their own electric scooter gives them more control over their commutes and adventures.

If you can’t decide between the no-strings-attached nature of renting and the allure of owning your dream electric ride, let’s break it down for you and help you make an informed choice.

Navigating the Pros and Cons of Renting and Owning


Renting electric scooters is often cheaper than using other ride sharing services such as Uber, and shelling out for the occasional pay-as-you-go fee is definitely more affordable than buying your own electric scooter. Or is it?

If you are just curious about riding an e-scooter or, for instance, if you are planning to use it to tour a new city, then renting them might be a good option. 

However, if you need to use e-scooters regularly, renting stops being cost-effective. Whether the scooter is billed per minute or via a long-term scheme, the costs of renting add up – and it’s not practical for daily commutes over a long period of time. 

How much can you expect to pay for renting e-scooters? Here are the rates of Australia’s most popular e-scooter rental companies as of 2022:





Singular Use

$1 to unlock, $0.45 per minute afterwards

$1 to unlock, $0.45 per minute afterwards

$1 to unlock, $0.45 per minute afterwards

Daily Rate




Weekly Rate




Monthly Rate

No information available

$89 (Recipients of eligible government support programmes can avail themselves of the Concession Pass priced at $45)


Paying per minute or per day only works for one-time or occasional rides. Realistically, a regular commuter would most likely choose a weekly or monthly subscription, so let’s base our calculation on these schemes.

Assuming that there are 48 working weeks in a year (excluding four weeks of annual leave that you may or may not take), expect to shell out more than $1,430 annually on renting Beam scooters. 

Meanwhile, if you consider the other two providers’ monthly passes, you can look forward to paying around $1,060 per year for Neuron (if you are not eligible for a Concession Pass) or almost $1,200 per year for Lime. 

Note: E-scooter rental packages typically only cover rides of up to 90 minutes per day. Even if you purchase a weekly or a monthly subscription, your rides are still restricted to this daily limit, and going over it may result in additional charges.


Electric scooters, or at least the ones in our inventory, cost around $1,000 to $3,000 on average. Compared against rental fees, the upfront cost of buying an electric scooter does look steeper. 

But an electric scooter is a smart investment that pays off, especially if you are looking to use it regularly. This option proves to be more economical over time, as you no longer have to pay rental fees or surcharges. 

As a bonus, you have the freedom to ride your e-scooter whenever you need, whenever you please. 


Some riders prefer to rent electric scooters because it liberates them from worrying about maintenance and repairs. By letting rental companies take care of these concerns, users can concentrate on enjoying the ride.

That said, shared electric scooters are used by many people throughout the day, so they suffer from more wear and tear. This can potentially lead to maintenance issues, which can compromise some devices and make them unsafe for use.

Meanwhile, owning an electric scooter places the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep solely on your shoulders. Fortunately, based on our calculations, it shouldn’t cost you more than $200 per year for basic repairs and servicing.


If you prefer not to worry about repairs and maintenance, renting an electric scooter would be the ideal choice for you.

On the other hand, if you need more control over the upkeep of your ride, nothing beats the security of having your own electric scooter. Even if you shell out a bit on servicing, you’re guaranteed to have a well-maintained electric scooter that works well all the time.


Both privately owned and shared electric scooters are manoeuvrable and easy to use for navigating city streets, making them top choices for avoiding traffic jams and getting to your destination more quickly.

If you are looking to experience this benefit, you’ll find that shared electric scooters are usually available in big cities, allowing riders to rent and drop off without the burden of ownership. 

Still, it doesn’t replace the convenience of having your own electric scooter. Rental electric scooters are usually only available during specific hours of the day, and if there are no available e-scooters in your area, you might have to seek other forms of transportation – and this can ruin your budget and your schedule.

On the other hand, having your own electric scooter guarantees almost constant availability. You are not bound by ride availability or time restrictions, which gives you the freedom to hop on your e-scooter whenever you feel like doing so.


While helpful, rental e-scooters come with time and availability restrictions – limitations you can do away with by getting your own e-scooter. If you intend to make e-scooter commutes a regular part of your lifestyle, investing in your own electric scooter is the clear choice.


The legalities of using electric scooters in Australia is quite tricky, and this covers both private and shared e-scooter usage. 

There are states with lenient electric scooter laws, permitting the use and operation of both privately owned and hired e-scooters. On the other hand, there are still a few Australian states that permit the operation of approved sharing schemes but do not allow the use of privately owned e-scooters.


Privately-Owned E-Scooters

Hired E-Scooters



Allowed (Beam and Neuron)



Allowed (Beam and Neuron)



Allowed (Lime and Neuron)



Allowed (Beam and Neuron)



Allowed (Neuron and Bird)


Not allowed on public roads

Ongoing trials with Beam, Neuron, Lime, and Bird


Not allowed on public roads

Allowed (Neuron)

South Australia

Not allowed on public roads

Allowed (Beam and Neuron)


The benefits of riding your own electric scooter are endless, but only if you live in a state where privately-owned electric scooters are considered street-legal. 

Otherwise, embrace the benefits of e-scooters while complying with the law by opting for approved e-scooter rental companies. 

Speed Restrictions

The operation of privately-owned electric scooters is subject to state regulations, and these often include strictly implemented speed limits. If your intention is to use your e-scooter to commute or navigate city streets, we highly recommend choosing one with a top speed that complies with these restrictions.

On the other hand, despite being legal in most Australian states, you will find that rental electric scooters are even more limited when it comes to speed. 

Through geo-fencing, a kind of technology that uses GPS or RFID to create virtual geographical boundaries, the speeds of e-scooters will automatically drop depending on where you are.

The restrictions on rental e-scooters are often lower than the legal speed limit, and this can affect your entire day’s schedule, which can be pretty frustrating.


Legal speed limits affect both privately-owned and rental electric scooters, but the latter is further restricted by geo-fencing, which results in even lower speed limits. If you’d like to stay on top of your daily schedule, or even if you just prefer speedier rides, you’re better off with using your own electric scooter.


Speaking of geo-fencing, this is one of the biggest issues you could face if you utilise rental electric scooters. 

Through real-time location tracking, this technology helps rental companies monitor their units. However, this does raise some valid concerns among users, including worries about privacy arising from data collection practices. 

Furthermore, geo-fencing can be severely inconvenient. Since rental e-scooters are restricted to defined geographical boundaries, they will shut off if you attempt to venture out of these areas. Unlike using your own electric scooter, your movement with a rental e-scooter will be limited. 

And if you don’t live in or near a trial area, you won’t be able to use a rental electric scooter in the first place.


Geo-fencing poses significant issues and disadvantages that every user must consider before hopping on a rental electric scooter. These will hinder your mobility and your freedom to explore beyond designated zones. 

If these limitations don’t sit well with you, your best option is getting your own electric scooter.


While an e-scooter does not require a garage or an entire parking slot, it is a good idea to have a dedicated storage space if you own one. This ensures that the scooter stays secure, protected against theft and damages.

Casual users of rental electric scooters don’t have to concern themselves about storage since the e-scooters are just conveniently returned to designated rental spots after use.

Then again, opting for a weekly or a monthly pass may mean having to keep the e-scooter with you for a period of time, requiring you to place the device in a safe and appropriate location. Otherwise, you might put it at risk of theft or vandalism.

If you are a regular rider, whether you own or rent, you need to invest in a sturdy electric scooter lock that will keep your scooter safe and secure.


For some users, the ease of renting an electric scooter is a win, as they don’t need to arrange a dedicated storage space for it. But this only benefits casual renters. If you hire scooters regularly or long-term you will still need to ensure secure storage for your rented device.

If you already have a designated storage space for your rental scooter, why not consider utilising the same space for your own scooter? 


Major electric scooter rental companies are known to have different types of electric scooters and rides in their fleet. However, it’s still possible that none of them are tailored to suit your unique lifestyle. 

While good rental companies utilise decent and durable e-scooters, renters usually have little to no choice regarding their desired features.

If you prefer having an electric scooter designed to align with your specific preferences – superior top speed, extended range, better hill-climbing capabilities, and higher rider weight capacity, just to name a few – owning is the clear winner. 

By purchasing your own e-scooter, you can choose a model with features that are better suited for your style, comfort, and riding needs. 


Renting is fine if you are content with using standard electric scooters that will take you to your destination. 

But if you have highly particular preferences or if you have a distinct vision on how you intend to use your electric scooter, then you will definitely benefit from buying your own and choosing the perfect model that aligns with your needs and style.

To Rent or To Own? What’s Our Overall Verdict?

Renting is a carefree experience that absolves users of maintenance costs and all the responsibilities associated with e-scooter ownership. This makes rental e-scooters a fun option for occasional riders who simply want to ride without pressure.

Conversely, serious riders will immeasurably benefit from purchasing their own electric scooter. Those who are willing to make the initial investment will experience significant economic savings over time, the convenience of having a ride at your beck and call, and the freedom to choose any model that complements their lifestyle.

Embracing sustainable mobility is not a trend or a novelty. It is a way of life – a principle that demands consistency and unwavering commitment. 

And when viewed from this perspective, owning an e-scooter emerges as the clear winner of this debate.

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