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Unagi starts eclectic scooter rental service for $34 a month

Unagi Model One rental
(Image credit: Unagi)

Unagi makes what we consider to be the best electric scooter overall, but there's a catch: Its scooter, the Unagi One, costs $990. In an effort to make its scooters more accessible, Unagi is launching a scooter rental service, which starts at $34 per month.

Unagi is launching its scooter-rental service in New York and Los Angeles; after signing up for the service (opens in new tab) ($34/month for an annual subscription, $39 for month-by-month, plus a $50 setup fee), a pre-assembled scooter will be hand-delivered to your door within 24 hours, and the representative will give you a short tutorial.

There's an $85 deductible for a lost, stolen, or damaged scooter, and a 24-hour turnaround to get a replacement unit. When your rental ends, someone will come to pick up the scooter. 

In our Unagi Model One review, we loved the scooter's sleek lines and light weight, which made it easy to carry up and down stairs. Its 500-Watt motor was also powerful enough to get us up hills at a reasonable speed, too. 

Unagi renters won't be able to choose the color of the scooter they rent, nor is there a guarantee that the scooter will be brand-new. However, a company representative said that most people who sign up at launch will get a brand-new scooter, as Unagi has amassed a stockpile in anticipation of launch. 

Unagi's rental program could be a good alternative to electric scooter ride-share programs such as Lime, Lyft, and Bird, which have their benefits, but also their share of detractors, as scooters are often strewn all over cities. And, given that ride-share programs aren't allowed in most of New York City, it looks to be a good option for those who don't want to take mass transportation, but don't want to shell out for an electric scooter.

Michael A. Prospero is the deputy editor at Tom’s Guide. He oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories, but also tests out the latest standing desks, webcams, drones, and electric scooters. He has worked at Tom's Guide for many a year; before that, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight or chagrin of his family.