Imagine something that’s practical, eco-friendly, stylish and perhaps most important of all – fun to use.
Although the background to Tubby Tyre Scooters is very much rooted in the mainstream automotive sector, the Northampton-built range is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to motoring. With three models to choose from, two of which are fully road- legal, the scooters are an ideal way to cover those shorter journeys, particularly in towns and cities – catching the eye and grabbing the attention wherever they happen to be.
The company was founded in 2018 by Steve Mirfin, who was looking for a new challenge after 20 years in the automotive sector, working for some of the leading motoring manufacturers.
“I gave up my job with no idea what I was going to do next,” said Steve.
“I just knew I wanted to do something completely different and I gave myself six months to think about what that might be. During that time, I started noticing the number of electric scooters on the internet, and came up with the idea of developing something unique, desirable and that is fully roadworthy.”
Initially, Tubby Tyre Scooters found something of a niche with the motorhome sector, being the ideal option for those travelling and needing a form of transport they could take along with them on their trips.
Over the past couple of years, that appeal has widened somewhat and Steve has found that his potential customer base now includes to anyone from farmers and landowners, commuters, and town and city centre businesspeople.
The three models in the Tubby Tyre Scooters range are:
■ The No-Road One – designed for those who only want to use the scooter off-road
■ The Basic One – a fully UK road-legal scooter with lots of standard features
■ The Special One – for those looking for the coolest road-legal scooter, available in a bespoke design with a choice of nine frame colours
All the scooters are built by Steve in line with regulations determined by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the government agency responsible for assessing roadworthiness.
Once built, each scooter is individually tested to ensure compliance. Once the customer has placed an order, Steve starts the test application process and sets to work with the build. Careful planning means that customers shouldn’t wait longer than six to eight weeks from placing the order to taking delivery.
New scooters come with a 12-month warranty and Steve offers a repair and maintenance service, so any future work will be carried out by someone with the expertise to build the scooter in the first place.
“It takes around two weeks to build a scooter and it’s usually four to six weeks to get a test booked, so once the order is in, I book the test and get started on the build,” said Steve.
“The customer receives regular updates and photographs of how things are progressing, then when it’s ready, each scooter is tested, and once that’s done, it’s registered, a number plate issued and delivered to the customer’s door, so all they have to do is get it insured, grab a crash helmet, and they’re off.”
The scooters can be ridden by anyone over 16 with the correct type of driving licence, including provisional plus CBT. Classed as a moped, the 2,000 Watt motor delivers a maximum speed of 28 mph and, assuming a driver of average size and weight, the powerful battery gives a range of up to 30 miles. The battery can be charged on a normal household plug in around six hours.
“I’m currently building a scooter for a customer who owns a shop around five miles from his house,” said Steve. “It’s the ideal solution for him, he can commute both ways, doesn’t have to worry about parking it, or fuel costs.
“For anyone with a slightly longer journey, the battery can be removed from its housing and taken with you, so if you wanted to recharge it in an office, for instance, that’s no problem. I can see the benefits to businesses like estate agencies, just as an example, who have people going out to lots of local appointments. It’s an easy way to get around a town or city, and the scooters can be personalised with company colours or logos if required.
“And, having been out and about with a Tubby Tyre Scooter, I can guarantee that they draw an awful lot of attention, which means they’re a fantastic form of marketing.
“But ultimately, I think they appeal to the weekend market – ideal for casually turning up at your local coffee shop for breakfast, catching the eye of everyone you pass and looking very cool as you park your scooter and have fun enjoying a little bit of attention.”