I decided to brave out this fear, and after a careful selection of the Chinese scooters available on the market went for a UK Chinese Import scooter supplier called DirectBikes. From the start, the purchase was fraught with issues, from the stress of the initial phonecall to the self assembly the bike needed when it arrived in a packing crate.
A few things needed to be adjusted before I could go ahead and ride the moped- the battery had to be charged and the mirrors attached, but this was pretty simple stuff- and I’d been informed of this prior to purchase. The bike had no number plate however, because the Direct Bikes folk are cheap and make you pay to register it themselves. That isn’t their excuse though as they laughably say,
“By registering the scooter before the scooter is sold makes the scooter second hand, you become the second owner. This significantly reduces the value of your scooter. We only sell new scooters where you are the first owner.”
Yeah, bollocks. If there’s 0 miles on the clock you’re the first owner. Online it says that the number plate ordering process can take 4-6 weeks for you to get a number plate and that you have to provide insurance documents to get it. Hmm. So you’re paying for insurance on a scooter you can’t ride yet? Grreat.
One issue I had with the moped was when the indicators suddenly stopped working. Cue scary driving, and the bike not leaving the house. The issue was the ‘indicator relay lights’, and the parts were cheap when I checked on eBay. As I have a year warranty for parts however, I rang DirectBikes up and asked for a new part….only to be fobbed off with,
“You need a service! Call Greg on 0777xx to arrange this and he’ll sort it out.” When asked how much that was they said, “You’ll have to negotiate it.” Hmm, suspicious.
Was it all worth it in the end, or was the cheap Chinese moped more trouble than I needed?