If you’re looking to get in on the self balancing scooter craze then you may be wondering how much one will cost. Hoverboard price varies depending on a lot of factors but I usually don’t recommend paying more than about $400-$600 (max) for a good quality scooter – it’s not necessary to pay more than that, but if you find one for less then it’s unlikely to have the proper safety certification.
Let’s look at the different scooters available and what they cost. First of all the expensive ones:
How much is a hoverboard at the top end of the market?
IO Hawk – $1299 | IO Hawk 2 – $1799 |Phunkeeduck – $1499
At the high end we’ve got products like the IO Hawk and the Phunkeeduck. Costing approximately $1200-$1800 for the IO Hawk or $1500 for the Phunkeeduck, these are obviously popular with celebrities, athletes, and with those who’ve got money to burn! They’re exactly the same as the cheaper models, look mostly the same, and have no extra features at all – you’re only paying for the name. Is it really that important to have the same model as Justin Bieber or Wiz Khalifa? That’s up to you.
- Big name brand so you’ll look ‘celebrity cool’
- Individual battery cells in battery packs and chargers of the Phunkeeduck are UL certified. IO Hawk do NOT state whether theirs are UL certified or not (so I guess we have to assume they’re not). IO Hawk do say that they use a Samsung battery which being a good brand shouldn’t cause trouble, but personally I’d opt for a product with certified components over one that doesn’t say either way.
- Quality components and workmanship.
- I haven’t heard any stories of Phunkeeduck or IO Hawk going on fire – it would probably be well reported in the media if someone paid that much for a self balancing scooter only for it to go up in flames.
- None of the high end hoverboards are UL 2272 certified (this is the new Underwriter Laboratories certification for next generation self balancing scooters)
- Hoverboard price is high for what you get – a product like the Swagtron is virtually the same (actually it’s better because it IS UL approved) but costs just $400.
Can I get a hoverboard for sale cheap?
Generic Chinese models – $180 – $300
Although you don’t need to go for high hoverboard prices like $1000+, I also don’t recommend buying one that’s too cheap. You CAN get a hoverboard on sale for as little as $200 if you shop in the Chinese marketplaces like Aliexpress or Alibaba. These are usually shipped straight from their manufacturing factory in China and most will ship worldwide (sometimes for a fee). Depending on what country you’re in you may, or may not have to pay import fees (you don’t in the US). In a country like the UK your scooter might even get held at customs. Over 15,000 scooters have been confiscated by UK officials at customs due to safety concerns.
If you’re buying from China, of course you save money, but what if something goes wrong with your scooter? It can be difficult to get a fix or replacement, especially if you have to ship it back to China at your own expense.
A hoverboard for sale at a cheap price is also unlikely to have the necessary safety certification. It costs money to get safety certified so if the price of hoverboard is ridiculously cheap, its probably not as safe as you’d like it to be. Remember all those stories about hoverboard fires and explosions? They’re all real, and unfortunately much damage has been caused. All because of cheaply made, inferior products with unsafe components. Cheap generic lithium ion batteries that overheated, badly made chargers and many more problems. Today we know that if we want a safe hoverboard that won’t go on fire, we need to buy one with proper UL certification. These usually cost in the region of $400-$500.
At the time of writing (June 2016) there are only two hoverboards that are completely safety certified, although there are some more that contain UL certified batteries and chargers so should be quite safe too (the batteries and chargers were what mainly caused the fires).
How much for a hoverboard that is UL certified?
Nobody wants to buy a product that is at risk of going on fire. It kind of takes the fun out of it pretty quickly if you have to babysit your scooter every time you need to charge it. Unfortunately around the world there have been approximately 60 fire-related incidences so far, and that number will probably grow if people continue to use uncertified boards that haven’t been properly safety tested. However, there is some good news – the industry is changing for the better.
Underwriter Laboratories or UL (the safety testing and certification company) have introduced a new fire safety testing certification specifically for hoverboards called UL 2272. This evaluates the safety of the electrical system and the battery and charger system combinations. If a device is UL 2272 approved and has the UL holographic label it is deemed safe to use and is not a fire hazard. At the time of writing (June 2016) there are only 2 products certified so far:
The Segway Minipro This is more expensive than the mid range self balancing scooters, and although it’s going to be popular, it might not be for everyone as it includes a knee bar.
The Swagtron T1 ( visit the link for up to date hoverboard price) This one is more like the traditional 2 wheel self balancing scooters that we’re used to.
- World’s 1st UL 2272 approved self balancing scooter
- Available for sale on major online marketplaces – Amazon, eBay, Best Buy etc.
- Very affordable price
- Swagtron T3 coming soon with even more bells and whistles – bluetooth, app etc.
- Only available in the US
As I’m sure you already know, Amazon banned the sale of hoverboards until sellers could prove their product met certain safety standards and requirements. At the time ALL scooters were pulled from the marketplace. Now the above two products are available for sale after being UL 2272 approved. If you wanted a hoverboard but were holding back because you were worried about potential fire safety, now you can buy with confidence.
Hoverboard price – the bottom line
Now that you’ve seen how much hoverboards cost, feel free to read some of our reviews to find out more. As I already mentioned, there are still just two with the proper certification, but I’m sure in the next few months more manufacturers will be producing better quality products that meet applicable safety guidelines.
A number of companies have already submitted their boards to UL to have them tested, so by Christmas 2016 there should be more to choose from than there is today. If you want a hoverboard right now though, the Swagtron T1 is your best bet.
Just remember the most expensive scooter isn’t necessarily the safest. A mid range, properly tested and certified scooter is a much better option than an expensive one that isn’t. Safety should be your main concern when choosing, rather than hoverboard price.