Many drivers are trading in their cars for scooters

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High gas prices are leading to big business for some companies. They are selling vehicles which are getting close to 80 miles per gallon.

They are scooters imported from China, and they are selling fast.

Steve Vawdrey sold his car last week and bought a scooter. He went from 22 mpg in his car to 70 mpg on his scooter.

He says, "We actually bought it to save a little money each month. We were spending quite a bit on gas in my sedan. Between that and the payment and insurance, we figure we are saving about $500 a month."

In fact, when he filled up his tank, he spent just $8.45.

Many drivers are trading in their cars for scooters

Fuel efficiency is what scooter dealers believe keep customers coming in. Scooter dealer Rory Burke says, "Gas, gas, gas, I get a lot of people who are just mad about it and doing this to get back at it."

According to, Utah drivers are paying an average of $4.16 a gallon, that's an increase of $1.17 from this time last year. Nationwide, drivers are paying $4.08.

A dealership in American Fork sold 500 scooters last month and averaged about 15 scooter sales a day. Burke says, "We sell to teens, to retired people for their RVs, to people with very expensive cars driving in and everything in between.

"In theory, versus a motorcycle, a scooter is safer because you are not dealing with a foot shifter, a foot brake and a clutch, it is just gas and go."

With these small vehicles, safety is a concern for scooter owners, who tend to stay off of the freeways and highways in favor of surface streets. Vawdrey says, "The trade-off is probably safety. I hope I'm safe enough. There is a rider education course that I plan on taking that should help."

He went on to say, "I haven't missed the car yet. I might miss it when it gets cold, but once it gets cold, we'll put this in the garage and drive another car."

While a scooter is not a motorcycle, state law requires those who ride a scooter to have their motorcycle endorsement on their driver's license. And the dealer also encourages riders to take a safety course.


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Sam Penrod


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