After testing the top-performing budget electric scooters, I’ve selected the 4 best models under $500.
Not all cheap electric scooters are made equal, and because of this, they can vary wildly in performance. Some outperform their budget price tags while others can be poorly built, rickety, and unreliable.
To ensure that each scooter featured in this list is worthy of its place, I made sure to only include the models that deliver the highest levels of performance across ride and build quality, as well as speed, range, and braking.
Take a closer look at my recommendations by viewing the scooters by category below.
Or, if you'd rather view the scooters by performance (e.g. top speed, range, braking, etc), or by type (e.g. for heavy adults, portability, etc), click on either of the below.
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GoTrax GXL V2
The GoTrax GXL V2 is quite simply the best scooter under $350. It’s also our Best Electric Scooter of the Year for Students and Teens – quite the roll call for a model that will barely leave a blemish on your bank account.
Sturdy, zippy, and admired for its well-rounded ride quality, the GXL is perfect for budget-conscious beginners.
Whether you’re looking for a portable commuter scooter, something to get you around campus, or simply want to jazz up your weekend excursions, we’d wager that the GXL is just the ticket.
Why We Recommend It:
Invariably, the first thing that’s seducing about the GXL is its price. Rolling in at a knee-slappingly affordable $349, this spirited mule delivers value for money by the bucket load.
Cheap it may be – but, tacky, it is not. The 250W motor delivers a top speed of 15.5 mph, which is quite the pace for its cost. The caveat here is – like most budget models – it requires a kick-start to reach the 2 mph threshold that will activate the motor. This, however, is a benefit if you’re new to electric scooters. There will be no sudden, jerky movements, and no careening into Gillian’s fence next door.
As an extra layer of safety and control, you have two speed settings. Speed 1 will take you up to 10 mph, and speed 2 lets the GXL off its leash.
Accompanying this plucky motor is a 36V 5.2Ah battery that has enough juice for a maximum range of 12 miles (or 8 miles when ridden in its fastest setting). While this isn’t a huge distance, it’s enough for most commutes and weekend forays. What’s more, with a charge time of just 4 to 5 hours, you can glide into the office, recharge on your employer’s electricity, and be fully stocked up again for the journey home.
One of the GLX V2’s biggest triumphs – and there are a few – is its dual-braking system. While most scooters at this price rely solely on mechanical or even stomp brakes, the GXL has a rear mechanical disc brake and front electronic braking. With both working together, you’ll find that the V2 is significantly more responsive than many other less well-equipped budget models.
Another highlight is its build quality. While some cheap scooters keep the price low with flimsy frames and tacky trimmings, the GXL V2 – if you haven’t realized already – is not one of them. This is a GoTrax model, so you can be assured of a durable construction made from aerospace-grade aluminum alloy and handlebars that, though basic, earn rave reviews for their ergonomic, functional design.
Thankfully, the GXL is also relatively kind on the backs of most riders. Extending 38 inches above the deck, the handlebars are well suited for riding without having to curl over in an awkward hunched position. However, if you are taller than 6 feet then I recommend opting for the Turboant X7 Max with its 41-inch deck-to-handlebar height. The deck, on the other hand, is coated in a grippy rubber and provides ample space for your feet – even if you have size 12 shoes.
One word of caution, though, is that due to its ground clearance, you’ll need to steer clear of curbs. With just 4 inches of clearance, the deck and battery are vulnerable to being scrapped and hit by mounting surfaces, so stick to flat, smooth roads.
The deck’s design does lend itself to a low center of gravity, though, and this aids its overall handling.
The GXL’s handling is further bolstered by its tires. Unfortunately, the vast majority of cheap models come equipped with solid rubber tires that offer no shock absorption. The GXL, however, deviates from this trend with a pair of plush pneumatic tires that absorb imperfections thrown up by roads and sidewalks. As a result, it achieves best-in-class ride quality.
Let’s shift our attention to the cockpit. Here, you’ll find the thumb throttle. Hold it down for 10 seconds and cruise control – yes, the GXL has cruise control – will take over. On the left, you’ll find a single lever that operates both brakes simultaneously. Above it is a simple bicycle bell; it’s not as loud as a horn, but it’s a compromise I’m willing to make given the generous serving of extra features that, quite honestly, have no right being on a sub-$350 scooter.
The LED display is basic, but nevertheless, it charts your speed, mileage, and battery life, which is all anyone can ask of a model that costs less than a bicycle.
So, speed? Check. Stamina? Check. Durability? Check. Safety? Check. What about portability? Well, weighing just 26.4 lbs, the GXL V2 is the joint-second lightest scooter I’ve ever tested. Compared to the Unagi Model One – which costs three times more – the V2 brings just 0.4 lbs of extra weight to the scale.
With a clean and simple folding mechanism in tow, it’s one of the best scooters in any price bracket when it comes to car trunks and flights of stairs. And what’s even more impressive is that despite its lightweight profile, this scooter has a load-bearing capacity of 220 lbs.
Surely, the GXL V2 must have a weak spot? The answer is… not really.
If there was one area that GoTrax skimped on, it was the lighting rig. The headlight could do with some additional support, but it does a good job in well-lit areas. You’ll need to purchase a taillight, though, because it’s completely void of one.
But hey, you can’t have it all. Perhaps the IP54 water-resistance rating – which protects the scooter from sprays in any direction – will soften this small blow.
And anyway, let’s not split hairs. The GXL V2 is the perfect scooter if you have a limited budget, want to commute around a well-maintained urban environment or hang out with friends. It punches well above its weight in every category.
The GoTrax Apex is true to its name. After all, it's our Budget Electric Scooter of the Year.
The GLX V2’s bigger brother costs just $10 more; with it, you get an upgraded display, improved battery, longer range, and a responsive taillight. Encapsulating everything that makes GoTrax such an admirable brand, the Apex is an excellent entry-level scooter with features that make a mockery of its $359 price tag.
Why We Recommend It:
Peruse the scooters in this guide and you’ll notice that GoTrax has a lot to shout about. Its scooters dominate the budget market with their clean lines, sturdy frames, and smorgasbord of extra features. The Apex is one of its flagship models; it’s a gateway for riders who are not quite ready for the added power of commuter-style scooters but want an everyday set of wheels that hints at bigger things.
Perhaps the most noticeable improvement on the Apex – compared to the GXL V2 – is its upgraded battery. It features a 36V 6Ah unit that delivers a maximum range of 15 miles – a 25% increase on its predecessor. Granted, under realistic conditions, you can expect closer to 9 miles, but this is still adequate for most daily rides.
It’s also worth mentioning at this point that the battery is protected by a built-in battery management system to ensure it works at optimum levels by protecting it against power surges and over-discharging. This is a feather that you won’t find in the caps of most scooters that hover around this price range. The result is a long-lasting battery that boosts efficiency.
Elsewhere, the 250W motor isn’t going to blast you up any large hills, but it does deliver more than enough chutzpah to reach a smile-mongering top speed of 15.5 mph. This is around the same pace as the INOKIM Mini 2 and Ninebot Air T15, which cost $599 and $749 respectively. Put that in your throttle and smoke it.
One of the ways that GoTrax has managed to keep the price down is to forgo traditional suspension in favor of 8.5-inch air-filled tires. Although this means that the Apex is best on smooth urban roads and sidewalks, it still manages to provide the best ride quality of all similarly-priced scooters that I’ve tested. This is down to the cushion of air and thick rubber exterior.
Other features that help maintain control when riding the Apex are its rock-solid stem and wide handlebars. However, the deck-to-handlebar height is the shortest I’ve come across, meaning that tall riders need to crouch. As for the deck, it’s covered in a grippy layer of rubber and there’s enough room for both feet.
Besides the features I’ve mentioned so far, one of the most important areas of the scooter is its new and improved cockpit. This is where you’ll find the scooter's controls and central display. How a cockpit is designed can make a huge difference to a scooter; if poorly designed, it can turn your riding experience from enjoyable to something full of annoyance. Luckily, GoTrax has applied the same minimalist design that you’ll find elsewhere on the Apex.
The display – which has been re-jigged based on customer feedback – is bigger, brighter, and clearer. Plus, it's angled slightly down to limit glare as much as possible. It gives you access to all your vitals, including speed and battery use, whilst also letting you turn the lights on or off, and notifying you if you’ve activated cruise control.
Along the handlebars there are very few buttons and dials to bother with besides the screen, a bell, the brake lever, and a simple thumb throttle. All are easy to reach and work intuitively, meaning beginners quickly pick up how to use them.
The brake lever activates the front electromagnetic and rear mechanical disc brakes simultaneously. Because the stopping power is spread across both wheels, they are a massive improvement on the simple systems that direct all the brakes to one wheel. What’s even more exciting is that the taillight is responsive, meaning that whenever the brake is pulled, it flashes to let other road users know that you’re slowing down.
Weighing in at 32 lbs and coming with an impressive load capacity of 220 lbs, the Apex is lightweight, portable, and accessible, too. It folds down quickly and is easily compact enough to be stored under a desk or in a car trunk.
Bring all of its many strengths into the equation and you’re left with a scooter that’s ideal for commuters, students, or just about anyone who wants to get out and have some fun – without breaking the bank.
Ladies and gentlemen, join me as I now wax lyrical about our Best Commuter Scooter of the Year: the Turboant M10.
With a fizzing top speed, large air-filled tires, and three riding modes, the M10 excels in both ride comfort and performance. This lightweight, super portable scooter has a bite that exceeds its bark.
Whether you’re a first-timer, a commuter, or someone looking to up your scootering game, this little howitzer has enough under its hood to keep you smiling every time you step foot on it.
Why We Recommend It:
Offering incredible value for money, the M10 packs heaps of fun into its $450 price tag. By combining a 350W motor with 10-inch air-filled tires and an overall weight of 29.8 lbs, Turboant has been able to create a scooter that handles exceptionally well.
Its 20 mph top speed is as fast as you can go for under $450. It’s only the Horizon 10.4 – which costs $799 and has a larger 500W motor – that’s the next scooter along the price scale that can beat its top speed. This impressive performance is largely the result of the motor being positioned in the rear wheel hub. This gives it an advantage when it comes to traction and allows it to leave scooters with front-mounted motors – like the GoTrax GXL V2 – in the dust.
The M10’s speed can also be modulated via three riding modes: eco, comfort, and sport. This lets you cap your speed and conserve battery life, depending on your needs.
This impressive power is also useful on hills, where it’s a significantly better hill climber than the two GoTrax scooters on this list. However, it’s still not a massively accomplished hill climber and will tap out on any moderate-to-steep inclines.
Similar to the GoTrax Apex, the M10 keeps its 36V 7.5Ah battery in the deck, lowering its center of gravity and increasing your stability as you carve from side to side. This large battery provides up to 18 miles of range and can be fully charged in just 5 hours. Be aware, however, that to reach that mileage you need to ride in eco mode.
Still, its impressive range and quick charging time are two of the key features that make the M10 so versatile. Whether you want to spend a few hours outside at the weekend or embark on your daily commute, the battery means you can do so safely in the knowledge that you’ll get home long before the lights go out.
The central hub of the M10 is its 17.7-inch handlebars. Not only are these wide-spanning, but they feature a slightly swept-back design to promote ergonomic use that gives you maintained control when nudging top speeds. As with most scooters in this price range, the cockpit is simple and easy to master.
The screen has been stretched to fit alongside the central portion of the handlebars and is flanked by two buttons that control your riding mode and lights. The presentation of key stats is basic, making it easy to see how fast you’re going, how much power is left in the battery, what riding mode you’re in, and if your lights are on or off, but it could benefit from being brighter.
To the right of the display is a finger throttle, and to the left is a bell and brake lever. Pulling the lever simultaneously activates the rear disc brake and front electronic brake. If you’re traveling at 15 mph, you can expect to come to a complete stop in 4.9 meters. This is an average stopping distance for an electric scooter of its price.
The only problem I had was that the position of the brake lever makes it difficult to pull without bending your wrist up. On most other scooters, you could easily adjust this, but with the M10, the lever is built into the handlebars so it can’t be moved up or down. However, this is only an issue for tall riders over 6 feet.
One area of the M10’s design that promise comfort no matter how tall, short, heavy, or light you are, is its big plush 10-inch air-filled tires. Sporting a profile that’s 18% larger than both the GoTrax models that came before it on this list, they do a great job of cushioning the ride. You’ll quickly notice the satisfyingly smooth ride quality on paved sidewalks and streets.
Continuing its best-in-class performance is its portability credentials. The M10’s 29.8 lbs mass and quick one-click folding mechanism are a gift from the scooter gods. The M10 can be quickly collapsed and carried in one hand with ease. And despite its feather-like frame, it’s a robust scooter capable of handling the wear and tear of everyday use.
If you’re looking for a cheap electric scooter that delivers unbeatable performance for its price, the Turboant M10 might just be the ideal model for you.
Turboant X7 Max
This titan of the budget scooter world is a welcome remake of the ever-popular X7 Pro – and a testament to acting on customer feedback.
While the Pro was celebrated for its removable battery and general all-around functionality, the Max has stolen the show by combining its successes with lots of exciting new features. You still get the detachable battery, but now it comes with a key lock, a new interface, an improved folding mechanism, a slightly larger frame, a taller stem, and better overall performance.
Why We Recommend It:
While some people may think that choosing a budget scooter means compromising on quality, the Max is proof that they’re wrong. It’s quite simply a tour de force in design and function.
Take, for example, its detachable 36V 10Ah battery. It’s one of the Max’s key USPs. There are very few scooters with removable packs, which is a shame because they’re absolute game-changers. Not only does it give you the option to extend the scooter’s already impressive maximum range of 32 miles to 64 miles (or 18 to 36 miles when ridden in its fastest settings) with a spare; but it also means you can recharge it anywhere.
One potential drawback of having a detachable battery, of course, is that it may be vulnerable to theft. Well, the X7 Max now comes with a key lock to ensure that you’re the only one who can remove the unit.
Another difference to the X7 Pro that could be easily overlooked is the update to the drivetrain software and hardware. This simple change has made the entire system more efficient; it’s the main reason why the X7 Pro and X7 Max have the same battery, yet the Max can reach 32 miles, whereas the Pro will stop at 30.
While the battery is a central element of the X7 Max’s appeal, it’s not the only thing it has to offer. This firecracker is one of the top performers in its price bracket when it comes to speed and acceleration. It shares its 20 mph top speed with three other models, but the only scooters capable of beating its acceleration of 0-15 mph in 6.9 seconds are the Turboant V8 and Horizon 10.4, both of which are almost $200 more expensive and come with larger motors.
It’s also worth noting that not only does the Max perform well; the general improvements to the frame, such as its refined shape, tapered deck, and new aluminum-magnesium alloy shell serve to improve how this scooter feels when you reach top speed. There’s no rattling, meaning you feel secure at all times.
The handlebars are also now 2.5 inches taller and the frame is 2.7 inches longer, giving you a little extra room to get comfortable. In addition, the deck reaches a maximum width of 6.7 inches; it’s not the biggest I’ve seen, but you still have plenty of space for both feet. Taller riders and those edging toward the Max’s 275 lbs load capacity will find these upgrades particularly pleasing.
At either end of the deck, you’ll find its 10-inch air-filled tires. I found them exceptionally comfortable and surprisingly versatile. I was also delighted to find that the sidewalls of the wheels are thicker, reducing the risk of punctures and protecting against pinch flats (caused when the inner tube is squeezed).
On each wheel you also get some serious stopping power: an electric brake is at the front, and a disc brake is at the rear. By spreading the braking power across both wheels, the X7 Max achieves an impressive stopping distance of just 3.0 meters from 15 mph. This is significantly better than the rest of the scooters on this list, with its next closest competitor being the Turboant M10 with a much longer distance of 4.9 meters. I put the X7 Max’s braking performance down to better-calibrated brake pads that grip the disc for enhanced stopping force.
Another great feature is that the brake cables are expertly tucked away, improving the appearance and preventing the scooter from getting tangled. While this may not seem like a big deal, many budget scooters can be covered in rogue cables that upset the aesthetic and can get caught on obstacles as your ride.
Moving on to the handlebars, at first glance the setup looks identical to the X7 Pro. You get the same thumb throttle, power button, light button, brake lever, and stem-mounted display.
On closer inspection, however, you’ll notice that the interface used for the display screen has been significantly improved. It still shows your battery use, speed, and riding mode, but the icons and numbers are larger, brighter, and much easier to read.
As with the X7 Pro and M10, you also get three riding modes (eco, comfort, and sport), a high-mounted headlight, and a taillight. As part of the general style updates, the taillight has been changed and now protrudes proudly out of the rear fender which, in turn, has been reinforced and strengthened.
Predictably for a larger scooter, the Max weighs slightly more than the rest of the models featured at 34 lbs. However, it’s still easy to lift and incredibly portable. The folding mechanism has been improved and the stem can now be collapsed in mere seconds thanks to its one-click motion. When the stem is folded, it hooks into the rear fender for easier lifting.
With everything it has to offer, it's no surprise why the Turboant X7 Max is so popular. It’s harnessed everything we loved about the X7 Pro and upped the ante, delivering a powerful and reliable budget scooter that riders will fall in love with.
Top Picks by Speed
Ordered from fastest to slowest.
|Turboant X7 Max||$500||20 MPH|
|Turboant M10||$450||20 MPH|
|GoTrax Apex||$359||15.5 MPH|
|GoTrax GXL V2||$349||15.5 MPH|
Top Picks by Acceleration to 15 MPH
Ordered from fastest to slowest.
|Scooter||Price||0-15 MPH (Seconds)|
|Turboant X7 Max||$500||6.9 s|
|Turboant M10||$450||7.6 s|
|GoTrax Apex||$359||7.7 s|
|GoTrax GXL V2||$349||10.0 s|
Top Picks by Maximum Range (Riding at Slowest Speed)
Ordered from longest to shortest.
|Turboant X7 Max||$500||32 Miles|
|Turboant M10||$450||18 Miles|
|GoTrax Apex||$359||15 Miles|
|GoTrax GXL V2||$349||12 Miles|
Top Picks by Realistic Range (Riding at Top Speed)
Ordered from longest to shortest.
|Turboant X7 Max||$500||18 Miles|
|Turboant M10||$450||13 Miles|
|GoTrax Apex||$359||9 Miles|
|GoTrax GXL V2||$349||8 Miles|
Top Picks by Braking Performance
Ordered from shortest to longest stopping distance.
|Scooter||Price||Braking From 15 MPH|
|Turboant X7 Max||$500||3.0 meters|
|Turboant M10||$450||4.9 meters|
|GoTrax Apex||$359||5.0 meters|
|GoTrax GXL V2||$349||5.0 meters|
Cheapest by Type
Turboant X7 Max – Supports riders up to 275 lbs.
Turboant X7 Max – 20 mph.
Turboant X7 Max – 32 miles (18 miles when ridden fast).
Turboant M10 – 10 inches.
Turboant M10 – 29.8 lbs and simple folding mechanism.
Turboant X7 Max – Light, portable, and well-balanced speed and range.
Turboant X7 Max – Gradual inclines.
Turboant M10 – IP54 water-resistance rating.
Optional Seat Attachment: