Getting a scooter can be a great alternative to getting a car. The price saving benefits, in particular, can be huge. Scooters use less petrol than cars so you can travel further on a single tank and spend less money each time you go to the pump. If you opt for an electric scooter, it’s the same story – charging times are quicker than with electric cars and you can travel further on a single charge. They tend to be easier maintain and, of course, the total price of a scooter is significantly less than a car. If you live in a busy urban environment, driving around tight streets and finding somewhere to park is way less stressful. If you live alone and don’t have kids to worry about, scooters make for an incredibly attractive transport option.
If you’re convinced that scooters are the way to go, there are a three major routes to ownership – buying, leasing and financing. In this post we’ll cover financing as it’s the most affordable, especially since the average owner tends to be young. Let’s go over the basics.
What is scooter finance?
Rather than laying down one large lump-sum, getting a scooter on finance lets you spread the cost of the vehicle over a set period of monthly payments. The cost of these monthly payments depends on how much deposit you put down, how long your finance deal lasts, and your personal financial situation – how much you can afford to pay each month. Once the term is over and you’ve met all your monthly obligations, the scooter is yours.
Can I get scooter finance?
Before you apply for scooter finance, it’s worth finding out if you’re eligible or not. All you have to do is tick the following boxes – be at least 18 years old, have lived in the UK for 3 years, hold a scooter licence, and be free from bankruptcy. After that, you just need to prove that you can afford the monthly payments and you’re good to go. The only thing that may slow or stop the process is your credit history. If yours is bad, you may be denied scooter finance so it’s always wise to find out your credit score and work to improve it before you apply.
How do I improve my credit score?
Your credit score is simply a history of your bills and debts, and a record of your ability to pay them. Being late for payments or missing them completely will reduce your overall credit score. The reason this matters to finance companies is that it gives them an idea of how financially responsible you are – if you’ve been late for payments in the past, you may be too much of a risk for them in terms of a scooter finance deal. Find out your current score for free online by Googling one of the following companies – Experian, Equifax or Credit Karma.
To improve your score, simply pay all of your bills in full and in good time. Getting a credit card and paying the bill every month is a strong signal to finance companies that you will be reliable in the future. Another quick boost can be achieved by registering to vote – doing so makes it easier for finance companies to track you down and make sure your basic details are in order. To register, just Google ‘gov uk register to vote’. This only takes a few minutes but might be the difference between securing a scooter and having to get the bus instead.
How does scooter finance work?
The process starts with a simple online form and only takes a few minutes. Your details will be sent to a panel of lenders who will decide, based on your credit score and other factors, whether or not they can lend you the money for your scooter. If you get approved, which normally happens the same day as you applied, an expert will ring you to explain how everything works. After you’ve chosen the lender that matches you best, you’re free to start shopping for your scooter! Some finance companies hold their own vehicles and some work with certain scooter dealerships, but there are companies that allow you to source your own scooter from anywhere you want, as long as it’s a reputable dealership located in the UK. Choosing a company like that means you really aren’t limited, as long as the scooter you choose fits into your budget. You should always be careful that you really can afford to go ahead with the deal. You might want a top of the line Vesper, but it might be more realistic to settle for a more affordable scooter – if you end up missing payments on your finance deal, your credit score will be affected and you could end up in an even worse situation than you started.
Make the most of scooter finance
The main disadvantage of getting a scooter, or anything else, on finance is that you have to pay interest and you don’t own the product until the agreement is over. But there are ways of improving both – reducing the interest and owning your moped sooner. Other than simply choosing a cheaper scooter, the best thing you can do is put down a deposit. The bigger the deposit you put down, the lower the remaining balance. This means lower interest and a shorter term.
The hidden benefit of doing everything described above is that you’ll be improving your credit score along the way. That means that you could use your first financed scooter as a steppingstone to a better one, or even as a route to securing a motorbike or car.