How to prevent scooter theft

A downside to scooters is that they can be an easy target for theft. Fortunately, anything you do to make your scooter harder to steal can decrease the likelihood of a thief targeting you. A sound approach to theft protection includes strategic parking and multiple anti-theft measures like locks, alarms, and kill switches. Increase your chances of scooter theft prevention with some planning and security gear.

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Does scooter insurance cover theft?

Scooter insurance can cover theft, but it doesn't always. Generally, scooters with engines of at least 50cc must meet the same state insurance requirements as motorcycles for insurance coverage. The basic coverage that most states require is motorcycle liability, which covers damage you cause others. You can add optional coverages like motorcycle comprehensive coverage to cover events outside of your control, including theft.

Learn more about the factors that determine the cost of scooter and moped insurance, and about the differences between insuring a moped or scooter.

Tips for scooter theft protection

1. Avoid patterns

Many scooter thieves are opportunists who see an unattended scooter and decide to take it. However, others keep an eye out and plan their theft ahead of time. When you habitually park your scooter in the same spot at the same time of day, you make it easier for thieves to know when to strike. Vary your parking spot and the hours you leave the scooter in plain sight to make it harder for thieves to identify a pattern.

2. Pick your parking wisely

If you have access to a garage at work or home, use it. Getting your scooter out of sight makes it less likely to be targeted. If you need to park somewhere with no access to a closed garage, do the opposite. Park somewhere in plain sight, well-lit, and plenty of people around. The more likely that people will see the thief, the less likely they are to steal your scooter.

3. Get the right gear

Simple gear like good locks, an audible alarm, and GPS tracking are some of the best scooter theft prevention tools available. Chains should be made of heavy, hardened steel designed to resist bolt cutters and similar tools. You can also use solid D-locks to block the wheels. Use your scooter's steering column block, but it may not be strong enough. If you do not lock the scooter to something, thieves can pick it up, even if it has the steering block activated.

A kill switch can also deter theft because it would prevent your scooter from being turned on while you're away from it.

4. Consider customizing your ride

Engraving your scooter's vehicle identification number (VIN) on the major parts makes it less appealing to thieves. It's harder to sell or scrap a stolen scooter when anyone can easily trace its parts. Any custom work may make a scooter less appealing to thieves. Custom paint jobs and other personalization make your scooter stand out, and some thieves may decide it's not worth the risk of stealing an easily recognizable ride. If someone steals the scooter, custom details can help police identify and recover it.

How to lock up a scooter

Once you've got a good lock and a heavy-duty scooter chain, make the most of them by threading the chain through the back wheel and locking it to a solid object like a telephone pole. Make sure the object you choose is tall enough that a team of thieves can't lift the bike and slip the chain over the top of the object.

For added scooter theft protection, you can use a D-lock on the front wheel. Locking the front wheel shouldn't be your primary measure because you can easily remove it. Keep the keyhole of your locks pointed toward the ground to give thieves less space to work with picks. When you secure your bike with a chain or cable, pull it tight around the wheel and tight enough with the securing object that the chain doesn't lie on the ground. It's harder to cut when the chain is off the ground because thieves can't use their weight as leverage on the bolt cutters.

If you’re researching a new purchase, find out what to look for when buying a scooter or moped. Whether you're considering a moped or an e-scooter, consider how you'll use the vehicle as you think about how you will store it safely to prevent theft.

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