When you’re exploring a new country or city, you’ve usually got a limited amount of time to see as many sights as possible. You could walk, but that would limit you to only your immediate locale. Plus, you’ll be getting around very slowly. You could try to navigate public transportation, but there’s always the chance of taking the wrong train or bus and getting lost. You could try a taxi, but who wants to be stuck in traffic? We believe one of the best ways to explore a new country or city is on two wheels. Scooters and mopeds give you the freedom to explore at your own speed without the hassle of a large vehicle.
Should I rent a scooter or a moped?
Although some people use these terms interchangeably, scooters and mopeds are actually quite different. The term “moped” traditionally refers to a motorized bike that can be pedaled. However, people often also use the term to refer to motorized bikes with small engines that can only get up to a limited speed. Scooters are more powerful than mopeds are with engines that are between 50cc and 250cc. Although they move faster than mopeds, they still aren’t as fast as motorcycles and are therefore usually considered to be safer. Both scooters and mopeds are easy to drive and are great choices for those wanting to zip around town.
How do I rent one?
If you’re looking to rent one in a foreign country, make sure you have your International Driver’s Permit, your driver’s license, and your passport. It’s also a good idea to have a photocopy of your passport along so in case the rental shop asks you to leave your passport as collateral for the scooter, you can ask to leave the photocopy instead. When you travel overseas, it’s always better to keep your passport on you in case of an emergency. If a passport photocopy isn’t enough, ask if you can make a cash deposit.
How do I inspect it?
Before you cruise off on an adventure, you need to expect your vehicle to ensure that nothing is malfunctioning. Take out your phone and take photos of the bike at all angles, especially of every scratch and dent so that you aren’t charged for damage you didn’t cause. With photos, you have a record of the original condition that the scooter was in and can prove that you weren’t the one breaking the mirror or scratching the paint.
After you’ve taken photos of the scooter’s original condition, inspect the bike. Take a look at the frame and body and make sure that it is secure. Make sure the tires have enough air and the treads aren’t worn out. Take the bike off the kickstand and test the brakes. Make sure that it can stop the bike in a relatively short amount of time. Turn the scooter on and make sure all the lights and indicators work properly.
How do I drive it?
Now, it’s time to actually drive it! If you’ve got experience driving a scooter, you may be able to skip this part.
Take the bike off its center stand or kickstand and start it. Practice powering it up until you’re comfortable doing so. Slowly turn the handle and accelerate. If you’ve never driven a scooter before, it may be a good idea to start off on the back of someone who has. This will allow you to get the feel of the scooter and gain the confidence to drive it on your own.
Is it safe?
Since scooters and mopeds are limited in power and speed, they’re often safer compared with many other vehicles such as motorcycles. That being said, you’re still exposed on the road so it’s still important for you to take measures to protect yourself. Make sure you wear visible clothing and protective gear and avoid driving on highways. Get used to driving in parking lots and quiet roads before heading out to the busier areas. As long as you’re careful, you can stay safe driving a scooter.
One of the best ways to explore a new country is on the back of a scooter. Consider giving it a try on your next vacation!