Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Before buying a bargain scooter, ask the dealer these questions

High gasoline prices have people looking at scooters again.  Before jumping on the bandwagon, are you really knowledgeable about scooters, scooter maintenance, and scooter repair?

Before buying a scooter, ask questions about the scooter, the seller, the dealer, and the local scooter repair shops.

Where is the scooter made?  If it's in Taiwan, Japan, India, or Italy, it's probably a reliable scooter.  If it's made in mainland China, you're probably going to have a nice yard decoration soon or a large repair bill.

Does the dealer repair the scooter if it breaks?  Not all dealers repair the scooters they sell.  You wouldn't take a Volkswagen to get repaired at a Toyota dealership.

What is the shop hourly repair rate?  If you're rich, I guess that doesn't really matter.  Most scooter owners are looking to save some money. 

What is the general turn-around time for repairs?  While spring and summer are the worst times to have scooter repair done due to overload, find out what common times are - a few hours or a few weeks.

Does the dealer offer free parts and labor for three years on their mainland Chinese scooter models they sell?  Do they give out loaner scooters while your mainland Chinese scooter is being repaired?  Mainland Chinese scooters break down alot.   Make sure you're not paying for the repairs or parts.  Other local scooter repair shops often refuse to repair mainland Chinese scooters due to their overall poor quality. The metal can literally just fall apart.

Does the shop offer scooter pickup service?  If you don't own a scooter hauling trailer, you'll need this service.  Ask what the fee is for pickup and delivery.  How long does it usually take to get it picked up?

Does the dealer or local scooter shops stock parts for the scooter?  Like a car or motorcycle, a scooter can't be repaired if parts aren't available.  Repair takes even longer if parts are always backordered. The shop can't control backordered parts - that's a problem with the manufacturer.  This can be an issue in the motorcycle industry too.

Does the dealer offer any guarantees or lemon law?  Even reliable scooter manufacturers have the rare lemon.  Find out the terms and get them in writing.

Is the dealer fully insured?  That might come in handy for you or your heirs if the front wheel falls off your scooter at 55 mph.

 What maintenance needs to be performed regularly and what is the cost?  Like cars - scooters need oil changes, filter changes, new tires, new belts and rollers, transmission & brake fluid changes, bulbs, batteries, lines, cables, etc.

If you are properly prepared for scooter ownership you'll be much more satisfied.  If not, you'll be blaming the wrong person for your poor choices.

© 2012 G. Kunkel and Colorado Scooters. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to G. Kunkel and Colorado Scooters with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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