Safe to say, if you’ve invested in an e-scooter, the last thing you want is for it to be stolen. With the average electric scooter costing anywhere between £250 and £5000, as the popularity of this eco-friendly and enjoyable transportation method rises, unfortunately so does the threat of theft.
This is all very doom and gloom, but just as with a bicycle or e-bike, there are some simple ways to ensure your scooter doesn’t become a target for opportunistic thieves. Read on to find out The E-Scooter Co.’s top suggestions.
Safe storage at home
The easiest way to keep your electric scooter safe when at home is to store it in a secure location, such as in the house or a locked garage.
Keeping your e-scooter in your home
The best place to keep your e-scooter is inside the home, where it is out of view and behind locked doors.
Compact and foldable electric scooters are especially popular with those planning to store their scooter inside, as they can be easily and discreetly tucked away in a corner. If you're looking for an e-scooter you can keep indoors, be sure to look out for the folding mechanism feature – our list of great commuter e-scooters exclusively features folding options.
Keeping your e-scooter in your garage
If keeping your e-scooter inside isn’t an option, then storing it in the garage is the next best thing. Garages are often lockable and alarmed, which is usually deterrent enough for thieves.
What's more, with your scooter stowed away in the garage, it’s less likely that a thief would know it is there in the first place.
Security for when you’re on the move
The above suggestions are all-well-and-good when you’re at home, but what about when you’re actually using your electric scooter to get from A to B? At the moment, private electric scooters should only be used on private land but even so, it’s important to take all the precautions.
Perhaps the most obvious way to keep your e-scooter safe when out-and-about is to use a lock. While any lock will help keep your scooter secure and repel most opportunistic thieves looking for a joyride, it is often the case that the more you spend, the better quality (and thus greater security) you will get.
Since e-scooters came onto the market, locks have really evolved, with some almost unbreakable options now available. Since a lock is something you should only need to buy once, we really do suggest spending as much as you can to get one which is well-rated. Quality locks for electric scooters usually retail between £80-£140.
There are lots of lock types on the market, including cable locks, ring locks, disc locks, combination locks, chain locks, grip locks, D locks and U locks. Most of these are designed as standard bike locks, but can be used for electric scooters, e-bikes, mopeds and motorcycles too.
Best electric scooter locks
But which are the best locks for e-scooters? There are three main types of locks that we recommend:
- Chain locks
- U locks
- Fingerprint locks
This kind of lock is made up of lots of interlinked high-performance steel rings, which together form one long chain. The heavy-duty metal chain is typically encased in plastic or rubber, which stops metal-on-metal abrasion which could damage the paintwork on your scooter.
These interlinked chain locks can be heavy, but the weight correlates to sturdiness. The thicker the chains, the harder it is for a thief to break through with bolt cutters or wire cutters. While the weight of chain locks can be seen as a bit of a con, a definite pro is that the chain link design means that they are really flexible, and can be wrapped and looped around almost anything, giving you good flexibility when it comes to where you can and cannot lock your electric scooter.
Unlike chain locks, U locks are relatively lightweight. They get their name from their shape: the lock itself is a rigid, tight U-bend shape. These locks can be attached or looped around your scooter, and to the sturdy immovable object you want to lock it to.
Depending on the size of U lock you get, you may face some limitations with what you can lock your e-scooter to. For example, smaller U locks would struggle to fit around a lamp post. With that said, these locks are a great deterrent, and are very hard for thieves to interfere with.
Cutting-edge fingerprint locks, such as the Dualtron Fingerprint lock, are the high-tech option for your scooter’s security. These smart, high-security locks use fingerprint technology that only lets the owner unlock the scooter.
The obvious benefit of this lock type is that it is extremely discreet and small, which is a big bonus if you’re on the move and don’t want to carry a large, heavy lock around all day!
How to lock your electric scooter
It’s not just the electric scooter lock you choose that matters, it’s how you lock it. While a lock being present is a deterrent, a savvy thief will be able to quickly notice if the lock is easy to infiltrate.
When locking your e-scooter, you should:
- Lock the scooter to an immovable object - thieves will happily take whatever your scooter is locked to if it means they will be able to get your scooter. Make sure whatever you lock it to is not something they can pick up and get into the back of a van. A lamp post, bike rack or railing are all good choices.
- Attach your lock to a secure part of the scooter - handlebars and scooter wheels can be easily removed. Try to attach the lock to a part of the scooter which can't be removed or taken apart.
- Lock your chain as short as possible - if you’re using a chain lock, be sure to wrap it around your scooter as tightly as possible. Any looseness provides wriggle room which makes cutting the lock easier.
- Lock your scooter in the safest possible place - whether it be under a street light, in a bike store area, near a shop opening with CCTV, or on a busy street where there are lots of witnesses.
- Use more than one lock - If you can, use more than one lock. Having multiple locks to contend with will really go far in deterring opportunistic thieves.
Even if you lock your e-scooter, if someone is determined enough to steal it then there is a risk that locking alone may not be enough. This may feel very high-tech for scooter security, but we are in the 21st century after all, and GPS trackers for your electric scooter are now widely available.
There’s a wide range of GPS tracking devices designed specifically for electric scooters. They can be synced with your phone, and tell you the exact location of your scooter. These little gadgets are simply attached to your scooter where they’ll live discreetly until they’re needed.
Should you ever require it, the GPS will transmit a signal to your phone to tell you (or the relevant law enforcement) the exact location of your e-scooter.
In the unfortunate event that someone claims your electric scooter is actually their electric scooter, marking it with invisible coding is a great way to prove you are, in fact, the rightful owner. This security method isn’t just for electric scooters, it’s also very popular among bicycle owners, with the Bike Register database being used by every Police Force in the UK to search for stolen & recovered bikes.
The best thing about this is that it’s completely invisible to the naked eye, so it doesn’t affect the look of your sleek scooter. This security method involves transferring a unique QR code onto an area of your scooter, such as the stem, which can only be seen under UV light. It’s important to keep a record of the code printed in your possession too.
Then, if you ever need to prove your e-scooter belongs to you, you can declare that it is covertly marked, and the relevant authority can check for this. Or, if someone recovers your stolen scooter, it can easily be identified and returned to you. It’s easy to obtain these covert marking kits online or in most cycle shops.
Similarly to GPS tracking devices, alarms can be fitted to your scooter. Immobiliser alarms are a brilliant way to scare off thieves in the process of attempting to steal your beloved e-scooter.
How do e-scooter alarms work?
These alarm systems can be fitted to your scooter, and once connected work very similarly to a car alarm. You’ll have a key for your scooter, and when you lock it any movement of the scooter will cause an alarm to sound.
While this doesn’t prevent people from theft of e-scooters, it draws attention and certainly deters anyone in the act. We recommend that you use an alarm system in conjunction with a lock.
Whether you already own an electric scooter, or are in the process of buying one, it’s important that you do what you can to keep it safe. While these tips aren’t exhaustive, a combination of the above should be enough to keep your e-scooter safe so that you can continue to enjoy it day after day.