Lime Scooter Price - is it increasing?

  • Read Time: 13 min

It was always going to happen, wasn't it? Once the electric scooter was invented, someone was always going to figure out a way to make them a viable option as a means of transport predominantly in the inner city areas for as many people as possible, here's one of them, Lime ScootersHowever, one of the most common questions lately seems to be about the lime scooter price.

Let's face it. We don't travel less. If ever, we travel more and more. Congestion and time loss when trying to get from A to B in any bigger city is cause for frustration that makes you turn into Michael Douglas character from the movie Falling Down quicker than you can say traffic jam (if you haven't seen the movie, a guy in his forties completely loses it when the bs of everyday life just gets to him, and he goes on the mother and father of a rampage out of frustration. In one scene he sits in a traffic jam and....well just watch the movie).

Lime Rental Scooters

So around three years ago they appeared. Like mushrooms sprung from the ground and sprawled out everywhere in a lot of cities. The dockless scooter rentals that you could use at convenience and leave pretty much at your destination. We've quickly gotten used to them by now and learned the names of the scooter companies that run them.

Lime is one such company. Started by two executives for a Chinese conglomerate, they expanded to electric scooters after having started with bike-sharing under the name Lime Bike. They seem to be everywhere you look around and people do use them.

Admittedly, in the beginning, they might have been perceived as more of a toy or gimmick than a viable alternative to an Uber or a commute to work. But now the "gimmick" phase seems to have passed and the scooter share option is definitely here to stay once the benefits of them have entered people's consciousness.

When you look into what types of electric scooters are available for purchase, the myriad of options, different performance figures, look and style, you will quickly change your perception of them. The scooter rentals look more like toys in comparison. Flimsy looking and not really built to last very long. But they don't need to, do they? They are there to do a job and need to be as cost-effective as possible for the scooter companies operating them.

Discover the Best Electric Scooters for Commuting

Lime Rental Scooters

There's is an unlocking fee of 1 USD or 1 Euro, and after that a variable rate per minute depending on location but initially started at 0.15 USD and has since been seen to go up to 0.30 USD. The different variable rates of lime scooter prices are not listed on their website but rather from the app. Most likely since lime prices vary from location to location. To find out you download an app (Lime app), provide your payment details and you are ready to take it for a spin.

On the app, all nearby available lime scooters are displayed. Once you find your nearest scooter, you scan a QR code to unlock it and then begin your journey and it will display the price to unlock and the cost per minute.

How Much Should an Electric Scooter Cost?

Lime Rental Scooters

Price to UnlockPrice Per Minute20 Minute RideMonthly Commute
$1$0.15$4.00$160
$1$0.23$5.60$224
$1$0.24$5.80$232
$1$0.30$7.00$280

Originally the lime scooter price cost was 0.15 USD per minute, but an increase in price to 0.25 USD recently is in fact, a 66% increase of the minute charge. Is the "honeymoon" period over? Will we see an increase in pricing similar to that of UBER? When first launched, UBER was all about better/cheaper than regular taxis.

But as is common with such enterprises, prices start to go up, ever so little to begin with but nevertheless creeping up. And before you know it, it is right up there competing with the usual taxifares. So what are your options? In short, like it or leave it - the rental scooter companies are not showing any sign of lowering the prices, and if I were a betting man I would be surprised if we saw "better" scooter models appear just like Uber did with their "Luxury" cars, at a higher cost of course.

Discover Scooters on Finance Deals

Lime Rental Scooters

Are rental scooters your favorite means of commuting to work nowadays? I can definitely see why, if my options are public transport or electric scooter I know which one I pick any day of the week. So how does the price increase affect you as a commuter using rental scooters?

Let's say you need to use the electric scooter every day for a 20-minute ride or commute to work. That will be 12 USD, (At current 0.25/minute rate and including two lockup fees) 5 times a week, which adds up to 60 dollars a week and 240 USD/month - thats closing in on 3000 USD per year! Considering there are very good electric scooters on the market at 500-1500 USD, and that offers financing, getting your own one will quickly become the smarter choice.

Check out what riders are saying about these scooters

Lime Rental Scooters

Discover The Best Electric Scooters for Urban Commuting

As of September 2019, Lime operated a fleet of 120 000 lime scooters in 120 cities, in more than 30 countries. One might call that a "boom". Micromobility has arrived and will be the name of the game for an increasing number of people in the future. Considering the practicality, mobility, cost-effectiveness, and how uncomplicated they are to operate, ever more people will eventually consider this as their main transport in urban areas.

If you're looking to find out if the scooters are available in your city and area you're best option is just to whip out your smartphone and download the app as the locations are constantly changing. Scooters might even disappear for a while and return as they did in Dubai while the laws were amended.

Lime Rental Scooters

The app will display where you can use it and once you are done, you must take a picture of it to make sure it's not parked in a Lime designated "red" zone area. If you do there will be a charge. Payment is drawn from your card immediately and any problems with the scooter can be reported through the app.

As Lime exists in so many different locations we advise riders to look up the laws for their country, state or even city to avoid fines and stay safe on the scooters. You are generally not allowed to ride on the sidewalks and not two persons at a time - and definitely not three (yes I've seen it with my own eyes, I actually felt bad for the poor scooter). Your over all best option when riding is to sticking to the Bike lanes.

Lime Rental Scooters

Discover The Fastest Electric Scooters

The top speed of a lime scooter is about 15 mph (24 kph) which is produced by the 250 watt engine. However due to the different law regarding electric scooter speed limits you might find that a lime scooter in your specific area is limited to for example 12 mph (20 kph).

Lime scooters have a report range between 12-25 miles and the varied range
is of course due to a lot of conditions such as weight of the rider, road conditions (hills etc) and last but not least - as these scooters are constantly being used the wear and tear takes its toll so you might have a different experience from one lime scooter to another.

Lime Rental Scooters

The scooter in use is manufactured by Segway under the name of Ninebot. It compares reasonably well with other similar lighter electric scooters within its price range. Solid tires to avoid flats will make for a slightly harder ride but it comes with suspension to soften the blows.

The clunky "box" at the upper part of the stem is an extra battery pack for longer range. The position of it makes the scooter slightly top heavier and scooter riders not used to that will have to adapt. Other manufacturers place theirs in a lower position.

Lime Rental Scooters

So are they safe to use? In general yes, and we would encourage people to use them! But incidents have been reported. In February 2019, Lime issued a safety update, announcing that some of its scooters could malfunction and their wheels could "lock up" at high speeds. The company was forced to temporarily withdraw its scooters from circulation in Auckland and Dunedin New Zealand, after injuries caused by irregular braking incidents.

Needless to say, the wear and tear of these scooter rentals will be bigger than if you have your own. One tends to be more careful with one's own property than something you don't own or have bought yourself. If you want to know more about electric scooter safety read our full article on how to stay safe on electric scooters here.

Discover Safety and Electric scooters - Everything You need to know

Lime Rental Scooters

Lime is definitely one of the most well known brands existing in a lot of countries both in the US and in the EU and have been leading the charge amongst the scooter-sharing companies. In the past few years there has been an upswing of start ups appearing both globally and in even down to specific countries. To mention a few:

BirdSkipScootVoi
TierRideBeamRaine
CircBolt

Lime Rental Scooters

Lime scooters are charged by, private contractors who sign up to become "Juicers", the company sends approved Juicers charging equipment, and pays them to charge scooters overnight then place them at designated "groves" throughout the company's service area in the morning. Juicing can become competitive, with Juicers in some markets using vans and other creative means to pick up scooters all over the city. You can apply to become a juicer if you're interested.

The amount of money that Lime gives the independent contractors for charging a particular scooter depends on how long the scooter has been sitting out on the street after being flagged for needing a charge and before the Juicer reflags the scooter in an app to claim the reward. This means that during night time your availability to use a Lime drops.

Lime Rental Scooters

Bird, which is the main competitor to Lime, are now offering a lease deal for those living in San Francisco, Miami, Washington and Barcelona. At a flat rate of 24.99 USD/month you can have your own scooter. This as an answer to some of the problems Lime and other scooter rental companies have encountered with the local authorities.

There have been issues within the question of permits to run these scooters in various municipalities. Lime received a cease-and-desist order from San Francisco amongst others, which claimed they had been operating without a permit. In January 2020, Lime announced that it was pulling away from 11 locations, including several US metropolitan areas such as Atlanta. Changes are happening fast and the mobile app is probably the quickest way to keep yourself updated on Lime access in your area.

There has been a lot of reviews from the lease deals and the majority of the reviews said they would happily pay twice the amount for a lease deal to get a better scooter. The benefit of using rentals is that you're constantly using different models and ones that break gets fixed or are replaced. When you have your own model you'll quickly start noticing flaws or when it breaks and the quality suddenly becomes something you think about.

If you're an avid scooter user and have tried or you are considering the lease deals our recommendation would be to go up a step in quality and buy a proper scooter or get one on finance - but don't just take our word for it check out the reviews!

Lime Rental Scooters

So for pros and cons of scooter rentals. When browsing the internet to see what users think of the various different companies out there competing in this market, there are varying opinions. The overall usability and simple access get great reviews and they all follow a similar startup procedure. Download an app, follow instructions etc etc.

Depending on where you are though, the riding experience might leave a lot left to desire. In LA f.e. it is illegal to ride an electric scooter on the sidewalks, but riding on the city streets will make Kamikaze piloting look like the better option to stay alive the longest. And riding on the sidewalks of LA will be bumpy. If you are in a place like Basel Switzerland or anywhere in Sweden, chances are you will have plenty of bike lanes that will be smooth as a pooltable. Here is where the rental scooter companies choice of smaller wheels and lighter scooters will be a compromise in comparison to owning your own. There are scooters out there that can tackle most of what is thrown at them. Of course they will be in a different price range than what Lime, Bird Spin, Jump by (UBER) or Lyft use. But as always, you get what you pay for.

One user reported the following when using Jump/ Uber in LA:" My scooter stopped working all of a sudden, I called C support and they replied: "The city prohibits electric scooters in the area you were riding in so as a result, we have blocked off that area to prevent violations."

"However, I encountered a rider on a functioning Bird scooter in the same zone where my Jump scooter stopped working. It turns out that while scooter apps do work with the city to enforce red zones, when and how they are enforced is not information that's readily available to riders. It is unclear and inconsistent whether red zones mean a scooter will stop working, or if scooters are simply not allowed to be parked in the area".

Also beware of accumulating costs as this review from a Lime user in Berlin wrote:
"My partner and I decided to take a ride on the very cool looking electric scooters in Berlin, used by many of the locals.
We spent a day scooting about and did the same the next day because it was so much fun BUT BEWARE!!!!
We've just received our bills. We probably spent three-four hours on the first day and similar on the second, getting off and on different scooters. So easy to pick them up and lock them when you leave them.
My partner's bill was £66, (76 USD) and mine an equally astronomical £72, (83 USD) so that's £138 (160 USD) for two people on scooters for two half days.
They are fun but a total rip off cost wise"


At the end of the day, it will be a question of how much you need to use your scooter and for what purposes. The accessibility and relatively simple procedure of unlocking a scooter, jump on, spin around and then park it without having to worry about where it goes afterwards, is convenient.

Pricewise, it is still relatively cheap but, as reported, prices are creeping up and if they keep doing so, then eventually potential customers might choose an UBER or use bike share, even if it will make them sweat more from the exercise of pedalling. The ride quality of the scooter rentals does not give the experience of e-scooters full justice in a similar way as a moped can't compete with a motorcycle. The size of the wheels, suspension, brakes and performance is not the pinnacle of electric scooter technology. And using them regularly will soon see a diminishing return on investment.

If you are interested in buying your own electric scooter there are companies out there that offer financing through companies like Affirm the option we use here at Fluidfreeride, if you don't feel like shelling out the whole sum at once. As low as around 35 USD /month for 12 months for a scooter at around 420 USD. This will quickly be the only viable option, economically as well as ride wise when considering you can choose a scooter that suits your taste and purposes.

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2019 WIDEWHEEL - Unique Design, Power and Comfort
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<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/418739398" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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ModelWideWheel Pro CityRiderHorizonMantisWolfWarrior
Top Speed26 Mph18 Mph
25 Mph40 Mph50 Mph
Motor1000watt300watt500watt2000watt2400watt
Range22 Miles10 Miles25 Miles45 Miles70 Miles
Weight54 lbs28.5 lbs42 lbs65 lbs101 lbs
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