- Basic Cost: Lime charges $0.70–$1 to unlock scooters or bikes, plus a variable per-minute rate ranging from $0.30 to $0.52, depending on the city.
- Variable Rates by Location: Rates differ across cities; for instance, $1 to start and $0.42/min in the Bronx, $0.52/min in Orlando, and $0.30/min in Walker, Michigan.
- Reducing Fees: To lower costs, use promo codes, participate in referral programs for free credits, or apply for Lime Access for discounted rides.
- Leasing Alternatives: Lime doesn’t offer scooter leasing, but purchasing an electric scooter is an option for frequent users.
Lime, the world’s largest and most experienced micro-mobility operator, is pushing for a greener future by offering riders access to shared electric scooters and bikes.
These eco-friendly vehicles are readily available for rent via Lime’s mobile application and cost $0.70–$1 to unlock, plus a city-specific per-minute rate.
If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint or discover a more sustainable way to navigate urban areas, this article will provide a comprehensive guide for you.
We’ll explain how Lime works, what it offers, and its pricing structure.
- How Much Do Lime Vehicles Cost?
- How to Reduce Lime Ride Fees
- Alternative: Lease a Lime Scooter of Your Own
- Clarification: Different Lime Services
- How Can I Access Lime’s Rental Service?
- Which Vehicles Does Lime Offer?
- How Safe Are Lime’s Vehicles?
- What Are Some Alternatives to Lime?
- Wrapping Up
How Much Do Lime Vehicles Cost?
Starting a Lime vehicle typically costs around $1, but there are places where it can cost as little as $0.70, such as some cities in Michigan. Similarly, the per-minute rate can range from $0.30 to $0.52.
There’s no cost difference between picking an electric scooter and an electric bike, so pick whichever you find more fun.
The website doesn’t offer static figures or averages because this rate varies from one place to another. For example:
- The Bronx, New York: $1 to start and $0.42 per minute.
- Orlando, Florida: $1 to start and $0.52 per minute.
- Walker, Michigan: $1 to start and $0.30 per minute.
The unlock and per-minute rates for Lime vehicles, for the most part, depend on local regulations and the cost of living.
That’s why you’ll find that prices in Los Angeles are much higher compared to cities in Michigan.
Lime charges you for the duration of your ride; you’ll be billed per minute while driving. The timer starts as soon as you unlock the vehicle and stops when you end the ride in the application.
There is no Surge pricing for Lime Scooters. The Lime Scooter cost is fixed and does not change.
Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert
There is no doubt that Lime has raised the cost of their scooter rentals over the year.
I used to use them everywhere I went because they were so cheap, but now I rarely do because the costs have climbed so high.
With the costs rising, I question the cost-effectiveness of the service. You can usually get a ten-minute Uber ride – in a vehicle – for less than you can to rent a Lime scooter.
For example, in Los Angeles, a 10-minute Lime scooter ride costs around $6 with tax. Calling an Uber for the same distance would cost about the same.
I do understand that the economics of running a scooter-sharing service are difficult, and price hikes are unavoidable. But for the rate they have raised them, I question the long-term sustainability of the service.
However, I think the mass market for Lime scooters is tourists. Most locals buy their own scooter, and seasoned commuters walk, Uber, or use public transportation.
My Suggestion: If you’re renting a Lime simply for fun, rent away.
However, if you’re simply looking for a cheap method of transportation, check the rideshare apps first.
Open the Uber or Lyft app and get a price quote to your destination. Both offer very accurate price quotes.
Get a quote, compare it to the Lime Scooter price, and then pick the cheaper option. It’s not worth overpaying for an electric scooter – it just isn’t.
How to Reduce Lime Ride Fees
Vehicle rentals can quickly overwhelm your balance, especially if commuting is part of your routine.
Thankfully, there are a few ways to bring down the costs associated with Lime’s services.
- Promo Codes: Lime offers promo codes quite frequently. It often releases new codes during seasonal promotions, special events, and launches in new cities. When you enter the code in the “Promo” section, its value will automatically cover a part of your next ride’s costs.
- Referral Program: If you invite a friend to Lime and they start using it to find rides, both of you will get free unlock credits. All they have to do is apply your promo code, which you can find in the “Get free credits” tab in the app menu.
- Lime Access: This service aims to provide discounted rides to those who qualify. It’s uniquely available to riders participating in state- or federally-run assistance programs, such as Medicaid or California’s CARE.
The best way to stay in the loop is to follow Lime’s social media accounts, subscribe to its newsletter, and keep an eye on its official website.
Alternative: Lease a Lime Scooter of Your Own
In some people’s minds, leasing a Lime Scooter would be a great way to save money on rides.
Lime doesn’t appear to sell their scooters, a la rental car companies selling some of their older vehicles.
However, electric scooters are out there for purchase. If you really need your scooter to say “Lime” on it, you can probably find someone to paint it on there for you.
Clarification: Different Lime Services
LimeBike began in 2017 in San Francisco. Unsurprisingly, it dealt with bikes.
You could rent a bike where you found it, ride it, and then leave it wherever was convenient for you to do so.
As the company succeeded and expanded, it rented electric bikes, pedal bikes, even electric mopeds, and then Lime joined other scooter companies in offering electric rides or e-scooters.
Lime Scooters are electric, one-person rental scooters that zip you here and there over short distances.
They’re easy to operate (there’s a throttle and a brake, and that’s about it), and they go about 15 mph for about an hour of battery life on one full charge.
As you could with the LimeBikes, you rent a scooter with the smartphone app that provides Lime access, ride it where you want to go, and then leave it where you need to when you reach your destination.
How Can I Access Lime’s Rental Service?
The application itself is relatively lightweight, easy to set up, and user-friendly. Here’s a tutorial on how to use it:
Step 1: Sign Up
Once you download the app, you’ll need to create an account to access Lime’s services. You can use your Google account, Facebook account, phone number, or email, as shown below.
Step 2: Allow Access to Your Location
Lime needs to know where you are, so it’ll ask for permission to access your location. Immediately after this step, the app will begin scanning for e-scooters or e-bikes available near you.
Step 3: Set Up a Payment Method
Lime charges on a per-unlock and per-mile basis, so you need to have a reliable payment method set up in advance.
The app accepts a range of payment methods, including debit, credit, and prepaid cards, as well as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal in select locations. You can link a debit or credit card to your Lime account or preload Lime Cash into your wallet.
Both can be done through the “Payment” menu, which is accessible through the application’s main menu.
We recommend preloading Lime Cash to avoid frequent charges on your cards.
Multiple payment methods are possible, but you’ll have to set one of them as the default. If your ride’s charge exceeds your wallet funds, the rest will be deducted from your primary payment method.
Step 4: Find a Vehicle
Depending on your location, you might find anywhere from two to 100 Lime scooters and bikes in your vicinity. Your surroundings are automatically scanned, so rest assured that you’re always viewing the closest available shared vehicles.
Note that scooters are much more widespread than bikes are, as the image above shows.
Step 5: Rent a Vehicle
Clicking on a blip will give you more information about the vehicle’s battery range, cost to unlock, and per-mile rate.
Once you’ve made your decision, you can reserve it if necessary.
Reservations made up to 10 minutes in advance are free. During this period, only you can unlock the vehicle using your unique Lime account.
However, the reservation will expire if you don’t start your ride during those 10 minutes. There are no additional consequences to it, though.
You can unlock a vehicle by scanning the QR code on its handlebar display using your application.
Which Vehicles Does Lime Offer?
Here are the exact specifications of scooters and electric bikes that Lime currently offers
Gen4.1 E-Scooter builds on the fourth-generation scooter’s strong foundation. They’re relatively new, so you might not see them introduced to your city yet.
Still, Lime plans on rolling them out in more locations over time, so keep an eye out.
Riding a Gen4-series scooter is comfortable, reliable, and safe. As a rider, these features matter to you:
- Enhanced Suspension and Bigger Front Wheel: The bigger front wheel improves ride over cracks and warped pavements, while the enhanced suspension contributes to the ride’s overall comfort.
- High-Visibility Reflectors: For your safety, reflectors have been added to various parts of the scooter to make you more visible at night.
- Dual Kickstand: These prevent the scooters from being tipped over when parked, making sure that they don’t clutter sidewalks.
- Dual Handbrakes: These give the rider a faster braking response and more intuitive control.
Lime launched the Gen4 E-Bike in early 2022 in Washington, DC. The company has since broadened its availability. Some notable upgrades include:
- Increased Motor Power: This makes climbing hills a breeze.
- A Phone Holder: This allows easy access to your GPS — you no longer have to stop to check the map.
- Automatic Two-Speed Transmission: Eliminating the prior generation’s gears, this system makes accelerating and riding smoother.
How Safe Are Lime’s Vehicles?
Lime operates on a safety-first ideology that guides how it designs and upgrades its vehicles, as well as how it educates and trains its users.
The company is actively working with cities to prioritize people-centered traffic over cars.
It also collaborates with other companies, such as Bern and CosmoConnected, to provide riders with discounted helmets, and offers a training course to help beginners get used to riding scooters and electric bikes.
But riding safely is a shared responsibility. Please make sure that you:
- Are at least 18 years old
- Always check the vehicles before riding
- Follow local traffic rules
- Ensure that only one rider is on the vehicle at a time
- Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Avoid distractions while riding
- Exercise caution, especially while riding downhill or near potholes
- Ride at your own risk.
What Are Some Alternatives to Lime?
Lime isn’t the only company in the ridesharing scene. We’d like to point you to a few competitors to ensure you’re getting the best out of your buck.
Bird is another major player in the electric scooter rental market. It’s the closest alternative to Lime, operating toward the same goal of providing convenient, eco-friendly transportation options in urban areas.
Your main point of concern here is pricing differences, and in this aspect, Bird also has city-dependent unlock and per-minute rates that are competitive with Lime’s.
You can learn more about the company’s pricing structure in our Bird Scooters article.
Wheels Electric Bikes
Wheels offers pedal-less, fully motorized electric bikes for rent in major cities in the U.S.
The company requires you to sign up and share your delivery details to customize your shopping experience, after which you can use the dedicated application to track and control every aspect and feature of your electric bike.
Car owners have full control over their pricing, so plan adequately before a free-day trip to avoid frustration, and be sure you don’t exceed the mileage limits.
Lime’s dedication to a greener future is commendable, and the company is always innovating to meet all your transportation needs at an affordable price.
You can contribute to the movement toward a healthier urban environment by ditching cars and downloading the Lime app today.