Contemplating a scooter
So I’ve been seriously contemplating buying a scooter in the spring of 2012 and insuring it for 6-months out of the year going forward. For those that are new around here, I had a scooter before – but sold it when I moved to Vancouver because it became impractical (where I needed to go was only accessible by highways). But now that my lifestyle has changed, and I live closer to the city, I am really beginning to see how having a scooter will positively impact my life.
I’m finding myself driving everywhere these days – to work, to field hockey, and to see friends, because the SkyTrain/bus isn’t practical. Taking public transportation takes too much time, and I’m just getting busier as each day passes with my freelancing work. I can’t be taking 3-4 hours of my day to commute round trip by transit to a field hockey game, or to practice. The Lower Mainland is huge, and traffic always sucks. When I go to Vancouver, that’s about a 30-45 min. commute each way from where I live.
While my car is pretty good on gas, a scooter is obviously way better on gas. Plus it’s fun to drive, and it’s easier to find parking. And, after the initial cost of the scooter, the insurance/repairs/gas is actually cheaper each month than a bus pass. When I had my scooter before and was riding it every single day, I think I was paying around $45/month for insurance and gas combined.
Clearly this is a want, not a need. I have a car already, so I don’t need another vehicle. But I can see myself using the scooter a lot during the warmer months to do those long commutes within the city, as well as to get to work. I go through about $150/month in gas right now, and a scooter would definitely cut that down significantly. That’s the drawback to living in the suburbs, I guess. :) Plus, I think it will also significantly cut down on the wear & tear of my car. And, let’s face it, scooters are awesome. The biggest reason why I want one is because, well, I want one. They’re super, super cool.
It’s a big commitment, and it’s a lot of money up front. In fact, I think it’d be probably around $5,000. First I’d need to do my research and buy a scooter (thinking a used Vespa). Then I’d have to get my motorcycle license, because I’ll probably want 125-150cc. My last scooter was 50cc (which goes a max of 63 km/hr when you take off the restrictors), and I had to put a race kit on it so that it would top at 80km just so I could keep up with traffic.
Anyway, we’ll see. I have bigger things to save up for at the moment, but the scooter is in the back of my mind.
Author: Krystal Yee
I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.