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WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 09, 2012, 06:58 PM

Drivers switching to scooters as gas prices rise

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - As the cost climbs close to $4 in the area, a lot of people are looking for ways to cut back. Six months ago, gas was about fifty cents a gallon less than it is right now. The jump is making some people turn to scooters for their spring transportation.

As the cost climbs close to $4 in the area, a lot of people are looking for ways to cut back. Six months ago, gas was about fifty cents a gallon less than it is right now. The jump is making some people turn to scooters for their spring transportation.

Sales of scooters are soaring right now. It's easy to understand why. With about a one gallon tank it takes less than $6 to fill up.

Emily McMahon says a scooter was one of her best investments.

Emily McMahon – Rides a Scooter: "Probably drive it around Fargo for at least two weeks without filling it up, and that's four dollars to fill up the tank."

U Motors Inc, who's selling these scooters, says the savings is substantial.

Cale Arneson – U Motors Inc.: "It's just cheap to operate, change the oil once a year."

We broke down the cost of driving a new Ford 150 truck and compared it to a new Yamaha Scooter. Gas is right about 3.70 right now, so we calculated the cost to fill up each tank. That's a big difference. It's about $85 less to fill up a scooter.

Cale Arneson: "Everybody keeps talking about gas being four dollars, its budget minded."

So does the up-front cost of a scooter pay off in the long run? We added up the cost of fuel and State Farm Insurance for six months. The truck will cost you $2,240. The scooter will cost you $536. So to park your truck and rev up a scooter you'd save about $1,700. That’s $1,000 shy of the cost of a new scooter.

Emily McMahon: "It's great for Fargo, the furthest you have to go to get around on a scooter, there are probably only two streets in Fargo where you aren't able to drive.”

No matter if you decide to ride a scooter only in the summer or all year round, it takes about 9 months for the savings to pay for the full retail value of one of these.

With the surge in scooters on the road, it's important to stay focused while driving. Police say it's easy to miss seeing a scooter. One could be in your blind spot while changing lanes or at a stop sign.

Police say people on scooters need to drive defensively to keep themselves safe, and most importantly, wear a helmet.

Lt. Joel Vettel – Fargo Police: "One of the number one reasons that people die from these types of crashes is head trauma, nd it doesn't take a significant impact.”

Police say drivers are more likely to take risks on scooters like driving too fast.

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