Best Electric Scooters Under $400 (Budget Electric Scooters)
Electric scooters in this price range offer one of the best returns on investments out there and are becoming increasingly popular among commuters and beginner riders who need a reliable way of getting around traffic without breaking their budget.
Unfortunately, due to their low cost, some manufacturers may cut corners and produce models that lack certain features or aren’t as reliable as they should be.
But all hope is not lost! There are still some gems out there.
We know that $400 is not an insignificant amount for many people, so we have carefully selected only those models that offer excellent performance without majorly compromising on features or reliability. In other words, our goal is to help you find the unicorn(that rare combination of great value and quality) in this price category.
Best Electric Scooters Under $400 (Budget Electric Scooters)
But don’t expect too much – when shopping on a budget, you will have to make some compromises in terms of performance and power. You’ll likely find that the features offered tend to be functional but not especially fancy. However, you’ll still be able to get around just fine – perfect if all you need is something utilitarian and affordable.
That said, this is what you will typically expect from an electric scooter that costs that much:
- Equipped with 250W-350W rated motors suitable for riding on flat surfaces.
- Maximum Rider Weight less than or equal to 220 lbs.
- Most models deliver up to 10.0 mi of range per charge, allowing for convenient one-way trips in most daily commutes(carry a charger with you).
- The top speed is usually around 15.0 mph, enough to keep up with - other vehicles in the bicycle lane.
- Braking is usually accomplished with a single mechanical brake (disc, drum, or foot brake) in combination with regenerative braking.
- Tire size is usually below 10.0 in, making them suitable for smooth paved roads only.
- Most also have either no suspension or just a basic setup.
- Basic lighting and reflectors (though some models might lack rear lights).
- They are also lightweight (weighing less than 40.0 lbs) and compact, making them very portable and easy to handle, but this can also come at the expense of reduced deck size.
- IPX4 water rating
Cheapest You Can Go
GOTRAX GXL Commuter v2
The GOTRAX GXL Commuter V2 is currently the cheapest electric scooter in the adult electric scooter market, that offers genuine features and specifications.
For just $349 (even less with discounts applied), you get the perfect starter model, equipped with air-filled tires, disc brakes, a sleek design, and superior build quality; it truly covers all the bases.
Besides its competitive pricing, GOTRAX also provides some peace of mind with their proven reliability. They have been known to produce cheap and dependable electric scooters for years, making them a safe choice for commuters.
The GOTRAX GXL Commuter V2 boasts a 250W motor that can handle a rider weight of up to 220.0 lbs. However, it’s important to note that this motor struggles with hills(common for electric scooters in this class). While the electric scooter can tackle small hills, riders should be prepared for a slow and laborious climb.
While it may struggle with hills, it truly shines on flat surfaces under ideal conditions. With these factors in play, the scooter can reach a top speed of up to 13.5 mph without much effort. Additionally, its front regenerative braking combined with its rear disc brake make it more than capable of coming to acomplete stop from that speed within just 16.7 ft.
Equipped with a 36V 5.2aH Lithium-ion Battery (187.2Wh), the GOTRAX GXL Commuter V2 has a tested range of 10.1 miles. Again, while this may be considered relatively low, it’s important to note that it’s expected at this price point.
Despite not having the longest range we’ve seen on electric scooters, it still outperforms more expensive models such as the Segway Ninebot Air T15, Swagtron Swagger 5, Hiboy MAX V, and the Segway Ninebot ES.
Additionally, the battery can be fully charged within just 4 hours, making it easy to carry around a charger and mitigate any potential issues while on the go.
The GOTRAX GXL Commuter V2 excels in ride quality despite not having a suspension system. Its 8.5-inch pneumatic tires are large enough to roll over common road obstacles effectively and offer moderate damping for street ruts. On the ergonomics front, the handlebar sits comfortably at 37.2 inches high from the deck, which measures 18.6 inches x6.0 inches and is rubberized for improved grip. Although not the largest, these dimensions still offer ample room for riders to maneuver, favoring those with a smaller stature.
In terms of usability, the GOTRAX GXL Commuter V2 doesn’t have many bells and whistles; it only has minimal controls, which makes it perfect for riders just getting started with electric scooters or those who don’t want anything too complicated or overwhelming to use.
The electric scooter features a sleek and durable frame made of Aluminum alloy A6061, with the signature black and white color scheme that GOTRAX is known for. The design has minimal cabling, with only one visible cable running from the handlebar to the rear disc brake, giving it an overall clean and uncluttered look.
With its lightweight aluminum frame, the GOTRAX GXL Commuter V2 weighs in at a mere 26.0 lbs, making it one of the lightest electric scooters available. The electric scooter folds down quickly and locks into a compact size of 39.0 inches by 17.0 inches by 14.0 inches for effortless transport and storage when not in use. However, carrying the scooter may be awkward for some users due to the fat stem that houses the battery.
But there are some other nice extras thrown in, like a cruise control feature, 2-speed riding modes, and a high-mounted headlight and bell for added safety.
All this is backed up by GOTRAX’s standard 1-year warranty in case something goes wrong while using the scooter.
Overall, you won’t find another entry-level electric scooter as good as this one at such an affordable price point; sure you might miss out on tail lights, zero start option as well as long range, but you will still be able to cover your daily commute without any trouble.
That said, if you’re loyal to the GOTRAX brand and want more performance features at an affordable price point, you may want to check out their other entry-level electric scooters like the GOTRAX G3 PLus ,GOTRAX XR Elite or GOTRAX XR Ultra. These models come with larger pneumatic tires, motors, batteries and additional features for optimal performance but do require an extra investment of $50–$100.
Best Overall Performer
While the Hiboy electric scooter may not be priced under $400, it’s worth noting that the company does offer occasional discounts that bring it close to or even below that mark.
The Hiboy scooter is more expensive than the other scooters on this list, but you can’t ignore its great performance numbers, which are an outlier in the overall budget category. When analyzing speed, acceleration, and range alone, the Hiboy stands out as a top-performing choice, making it one of the best electric scooter for performance per dollar.
It has a top speed of 18.6 mph, a 270 Wh battery which gives it a range of 12.7 miles, and a powerful motor( 350 Watts) that provides superior acceleration and power compared to other entry-level electric scooters or shared scooters. It also has a dual braking system(regenerative+disc ), an impressive load capacity of 265.0 lbs, and an optional seat for greater comfort.
Now, the Hiboy electric scooter undoubtedly impresses with its power and performance. But, on the other hand, its ride quality leaves much to be desired. Despite featuring dual rear shock absorbers, the 8.5-inch honeycomb (solid) tires prevent a smooth ride, making it necessary to stick to well-maintained roads and pavements.
Unfortunately, the suspensions are basic and feel stiff, failing to absorb even the tiniest road imperfections. This means you’ll have to rely on the solid rubber tires to do most of the work, which is not their strong suit. On the positive side, solid tires eliminate the risk of occasional punctures, reducing the scooter’s maintenance needs. It’s also worth noting that the fender tends to rattle during rides which can add an extra layer of discomfort.
Shifting back to its strengths; the Hiboy S2 scooter is incredibly portable, thanks to its lightweight design of only 31.9 lbs. It’s one of the lightest electric scooter in the Hiboy range. Additionally, its compact folded footprint of 44.9 inches long by 16.1 inches wide by 18.9 inches high makes it easy to store and transport. The rear dashboard also features a hook that conveniently latches onto a clasp on the rear fender when folded, making it even easier to carry around.
Even more impressive is the weight this budget entry-level electric scooter can handle. With a weight capacity of 265.0 lbs, it can support heavier riders compared to most other scooters in its category, which mostly hold up to 220.0 lbs riders. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking for an affordable yet sturdy option that can cater to their high-weight requirements while still being easily portable.
Other noteworthy features include an app that allows users to customize speed, turn cruise control on or off, select a riding mode, and adjust acceleration and braking response. A 3-light system (LED headlight, rear light, and sidelight) that ensures visibility in low light conditions and a loud bell for added safety.
However, What sets the S2 apart is the possibility to add an optional seat at an extra cost of $50, all this while still maintaining a retail price close to $400. This is remarkable considering that seated electric scooters are typically much more expensive, costing over $700 (with some exceptions like the GOTRAX Flex and certain Razor models).
The Hiboy S2 is a solid entry-level electric scooter with a good balance of power, acceleration, range, speed, and basic features typically found in mid-range commuter electric scooters. The optional seat is also a nice addition for those who prefer a seated riding position. However, the narrow solid tires and stiff suspension may make for a rough ride on uneven surfaces, potentially causing discomfort to your body.
All in all, it still offers excellent value for its price point. However, there may be better options if you prioritize ride comfort above all else.
GOTRAX GXL V2 Alternative/Upgrade)
If you’re looking for a reliable electric scooter with more features than the GOTRAX GXL V2, consider upgrading to the GOTRAX Apex for just $50 more. This model has better range, improved speed, enhanced stability, larger deck space and better handling, as well as an upgraded LCD display and lighting system.
However, what really sets the Apex apart from other GOTRAX entry-level electric scooters is its battery placement. Unlike other GOTRAX models that house the battery in the stem, the Apex has it built into the deck. This seemingly small design change has a big impact on ride quality–it lowers the center of gravityof the electric scooter, making it more stable and easier to maneuver.
The Apex also has a larger capacity battery than its predecessor, with the manufacturer claiming it can cover up to 15.5 miles on a single charge. However, our real-world testing showed that the 216 Wh battery could only deliver a range of 10.9 miles, which is a little of an improvement from the GXL V2. That said, if you ride conservatively, you’ll surely get more miles out of it.
The GOTRAX Apex is equipped with the same 250W motor as the GXL V2 but can reach a tested top speed of 15.0 mph – faster than the GXL V2’s 13.5 mph. However, the acceleration on the Apex is relatively slow, and in our hill climb ability test, we found that the GXL V2 actually outperformed it.
While the small frame and motor can support riders up to 220.0 lbs, you may notice a slight lag in performance as you lean closer to the weight limit – especially when it comes to acceleration and hill climbing.
In terms of braking, the Apex comes with a standard combination of front electric brake and rear disc brake. This combo stops the scooter in around 18.0 ft from its top speed. Surprisingly, the GXL V2 performed better than the Apex in this area too – but it’s expected since its braking distance was measured from a lower speed of 13.5 mph.
For portability, the GOTRAX Apex has a tidy and quick folding mechanism, allowing it to be folded down to a compact size of 43.5 inches by 19.0 inches by 16.3 inches – perfect for those last-mile commutes. The scooter weighs 32.0 lbs and boasts a thinner stem compared to other GOTRAX models, making it easier to carry around. However, it is worth noting that the Apex weighs more than the GXL V2.
The Apex offers a great ride quality thanks to its battery placement, which lowers center of gravity and improves handling. However this placement does come at a cost: the scooter only has around 2.8 inches of ground clearance, which means it may easily scrape on obstacles.
On the other hand the electric scooter does not have any suspension but the 8.5 inch pneumatic tires do a good job at absorbing bumps and cracks as best they can. That said, it’s best ridden on smoother surfaces.
The GOTRAX Apex has the same durable and sleek aluminum alloy A6061frame as the other scooters in the line , giving riders a reliable and sturdy base for their rides.While the design remains classic, users can still enjoy some variety with their color choices. The Apex offers two distinct options: a stylish red and white scheme or the classic black and cyan color scheme. Despite these variations, the Apex still maintains the timeless look that has become synonymous with all GOTRAX electric scooters.
For safety, there is an improved headlight as well as a rear tail light that blinks when brakes are applied. This is a significant upgrade from the basic light setup of previous models like the GXL V2 which relied on just a headlight and reflectors.
Finally, the GOTRAX Apex also comes with a range of additional features that enhance its overall performance and user experience. These include the convenience of cruise control, which automatically engages to maintain your desired speed, although some users may find it a bit intrusive; and the larger and improved LCD Display, which provides essential ride information but can be difficult to read in direct sunlight. It also has an IP54 water-resistance rating, providing added peace of mind when riding in wet conditions. And finally, the electric scooter comes with an impressive one-year warranty, for any potential issues that may arise.
The GOTRAX Apex is a worthy upgrade from the GXL V2, particularly in terms of its impressive performance capabilities such as increased speed and range, higher battery power, and improved ride quality. The addition of a rear light and enhanced display are also noteworthy improvements that make the Apex even more attractive.
However, it’s essential to consider that there are some areas where the GXL V2 outperforms the Apex. For example, the GXL V2 has better hill-climbing abilities, greater portability, and better ground clearance. Additionally, the GXL V2 is more budget-friendly than the Apex.
Ultimately, choosing between these two models will depend on your specific needs and priorities. If you prioritize performance and better handling over portability and budget-friendliness, then the Apex may be the right choice for you.
But if you value portability and affordability above all else, then the GXL V2 might be a better fit.
Whether you go with the Apex or GXL V2, you won’t feel much of a difference in terms of overall value. So, regardless of which one you choose, you can rest assured that you’ll get a high-quality electric scooter that will meet your needs.
Best Build and Ride Quality
GOTRAX G3 Plus
But, let’s get back to the basics of the GOTRAX G3 Plus. At a retail price of $399, you’ll receive a 300W motor electric scooter that can support riders up to 220.0 lbs and reach a tested top speed of 18.1 mph. It also features a 36V 6Ah battery that gives you a tested range of 9.8 miles.
The G3 Plus features standard brakes, with regenerative braking on the front and a disc brake on the back. While they’re not incredibly strong and won’t stop on a dime, they still provide adequate performance and feel safe for riding in general. For added safety, the electric scooter has somewhat good lighting, which includes a high-mounted upgraded headlightand a fender-mounted tail light that doubles as a brake light. There are also six reflectorson either side of the electric scooter to improve visibility. Additionally, it comes equipped with a bell perfect for warning pedestrians.
The G3 Plus scooter weighs a manageable 34.5 lbs and features a lightning-fast unique one-step folding system that folds the electric scooter to a compact size. However, the built-in cable lock on the stem that was present in earlier G3 models has been removed, which may be missed by some users as it added an extra level of security when parking the electric scooter for short periods outside.
That aside, the G3 Plus still comes with standard cruise control and an upgraded LED display that shows the usual metrics speed, battery life, modes, and mileage. It also boasts an IP rating of IPX5 – a step up from previous models – which means it is highly resistant to water ingress.
Best of all, there’s a standard 1-year limited warranty on defects to give you peace of mind.
GOTRAX has truly outdone itself with the G3 Plus redesign. This reliable electric scooter not only performs well, but it also looks great while doing it. With above-average build quality, the largest pneumatic tires in its class, an upgraded LCD display, and impressive performance at a below-average cost, there is little to fault it for.
In fact, the G3 Plus is probably the best entry-level electric scooter we can recommend from GOTRAX’s lineup.
It excels in almost every aspect that matters to riders(quality construction and ride quality)and is an excellent option for those seeking a solid, no-nonsense electric scooter that can easily handle most urban environments and, of course, at an affordable price.
Honorable Mention (Just Speed)
Swagtron Swagger 5 Elite
The Swagger 5, also known as the Swagger 5 Elite, was Swagtron’s top offering in 2019, during a time when the Xiaomi m365 was dominating the electric scooter market. The Swagger 5 borrowed inspiration from the Xiaomi electric scooter and ended up looking almost identical to it. While it is an okay scooter with impressive stats and two or three notable features, it doesn’t do anything exceptional overall and has several drawbacks that we will discuss.
The Swagger 5 comes equipped with a 250W front hub motor that can propel the electric scooter to an impressive top speed of 18.0 mph. However, riders may experience difficulty and reduced performance on steeper inclines due to the motor’s limited hill-climbing.
Still on the motor, while the manufacturer claims it can support riders up to 320.0 lbs, we shy against recommending it for those above 220.0 lbs as the motor and frame may experience significant strain, which could cause damage. For heavier riders seeking a more robust option, the Hiboy S2 or GOTRAX G3 Plus are an excellent alternative as they feature powerful motors and stronger frames that can easily handle the extra weight.
The Swagger 5 has a range of 8.6 miles, which may be underwhelming considering it has a larger battery capacity(216Wh) compared to other scooters on the list, such as the Gotrax GXL V2, which can deliver a tested range of 10.1 miles with its smaller 187Wh battery. However, this difference in range can be attributed to the Swagger 5’s higher top speed, which can drain the battery faster. On the bright side, the Swagger 5’s battery has a quick charging time of only 3.5 hours, making it convenient.
The scooter’s braking system combines electronic brakes on the front and a disc brake on the rear, which is a popular setup. However, riders may find that Swagtron’s setup doesn’t provide the most satisfying experience due to its cheap construction and delayed braking response. The brakes may require some adjustment, and cable routing could be improved for optimal performance. Another issue is that the brakes tend to make some noise when in use. Overall, while the dual braking system does get the job done, it may not provide the smoothest experience for riders.
The scooter offers a generally decent ride quality, but it’s important to note that it’s best suited for roads that are in good to moderate condition. This is because the electric scooter runs on relatively small tires (measuring only 8.0 inches by 2.0 inches) and lacks suspension.
The combination of an air-filled tire at the front and a solid tire at the backsurprisingly provides a smooth ride. While solid tires are generally not favored for their impact on ride quality, this Swagtron’s rear wheel has an internal polyurethane honeycomb structure that provides improved shock absorption.
Swagtron opted for this unique tire configuration because rear wheels are more prone to flats, making it a practical trade-off between performance and maintenance. However, it’s worth noting that due to the small size of the tires and low ground clearance, navigating over obstacles can be slightly more challenging.
The Swagger 5 electric scooter is also highly portable, weighing only 26.0 lbsand folding down to a compact size of 45.0 inches by 17.0 inches by 19.0 inches. This makes it easy to store ,transport and fit comfortably into most cars’ trunks.
But don’t be fooled by its lightweight design though–the scooter’s overall build quality is still surprisingly commendable. Admittedly, some components may feel a bit cheap, but this is to be expected from a budget electric scooter. Despite this, the critical parts like the frame, folding mechanism, motor, and stem all feel solid and well-built, which significantly contributes to a more confidence-inspiring ride.
In addition, the electric scooter also comes equipped with a variety of features, including three different speed modes, a mobile app that allows you to control and customize various settings on your scooter, a high-mounted headlight and brake light for increased visibility and a large built-in display that provides real-time data on important metrics such as speed and battery life.
While this electric scooter has some impressive stats, such as its speed, we can’t overlook its drawbacks that reduce it to an average option at best. We’re referring to the fact that the ride can be bumpy due to its small tires and lack of suspension, and the range may not meet some riders’ needs. Additionally, the braking system may require basic maintenance skills to operate reliably.
Winners in Each Category (Best Under $400)
Winner: GOTRAX GXL V2
Runners Up: Swagtron Swagger 5
Winner: Hiboy S2
Runners Up: GOTRAX Apex (10.9 mi).
Speed & Acceleration
Winner: Hiboy s2
Runners Up: GOTRAX G3 Plus (18.1 mph)
Power & Hill Climb
Winner : Hiboy S2
Runners Up: G3 Plus
Additionally, the scooter houses its battery in the deck, unlike other GOTRAX models, which greatly improves balance and stability. The G3 Plus also comes with cruise control as standard, allowing you to take a much-needed break during your rides, and it has a sizeable rubberized deck that provides more foot room for a comfortable ride.
On the other hand, Hiboy has basic suspensions but still falls behind in providing good ride quality due to its solid tyres; similarly, Swagger 5’s 8.0 in wheels do not offer any better experience either.
Winner: GOTRAX G3 Plus
Runners Up: GOTRAX GXL V2
Out of all the models listed, the GOTRAX GXLV2 is the lightest at just 27.4 lbs and folds down to a compact size of 39.0 in by 17.0 in by 14.0 in, making it the most portable electric scooter in this group. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that this scooter has a large stem, which may make it difficult for some people to get their hands all the way around when carrying it.
Winner: GOTRAX GXL V2
Runners Up: Swagtron Swagger 5 (28.0 lbs, 45.0 in by 17.0 in by 19.0 in)
With a weight capacity of ), the G3 Plus will still accommodate the different rider weights. It’s also rated at IPX5, which is the highest among all electric scooters listed here, meaning it can withstand light rain without encountering major issues.
Another standout feature of the G3 Plus is its neat cable management system. Cables are routed through both the stem and deck, keeping brake cables from being exposed and improving safety. This attention to detail speaks to the level of craftsmanship that went into designing this electric scooter.
Winner: GOTRAX G3 Plus
The GOTRAX models stand out with their pneumatic tires, which provide better traction and help keep the scooters from sliding when braking or taking sharp turns in wet conditions.
Each scooter has a high-mounted headlight, rear fender light (except for GXL V2), and multiple reflectors for maximum visibility while riding at night. Every model also includes a bell for notifying pedestrians when you’re approaching, ensuring safer navigation through crowded areas.
Overall, these electric scooters offer adequate safety features that ensure safe riding experiences for users of all levels.
You can either end up with extremely low-quality electric scooters from generic brands that prioritize meeting the low price range over quality or good-quality ones from reputable brands that aim to provide affordable transportation for a specific class of customers.
We strongly advise customers to stick to reputable brands when buying electric scooters in this category, as they offer better quality and reliability.
The Hiboy S2, GOTRAX G3 Plus, and GOTRAX GXL V2 are three standout models worth considering.
If price is your main concern, there’s no better option than the GXL V2. It’s also incredibly portable and provides relatively good ride quality. It however, has a relatively low speed and range.
For those who prioritize performance above all else, the Hiboy S2 is your best choice. It has impressive speed and range capabilities and can easily conquer gentle hills. However, it <>sacrifices ride quality and is also the most expensive option on our list.
The GOTRAX G3 Plus strikes a perfect balance between performance, ride quality, and portability while also offering great build quality and aesthetics.
While they may lack certain features found in more expensive models, they’re still fantastic options for: beginner riders who need something more manageable without overwhelming power or handling, those who want to test whether scooting is right for them before investing in an expensive model and finally, for commuters seeking an affordable last-mile solution since they’re highly portable and can easily fit into buses or shared rides.