achieving financial freedom one lazy step at a time

Buying a vespa 125cc

Two weeks ago I bought myself a Vespa GTI 125cc

If I am totally honest about it, I bought it because I wanted one. They’re great looking scooters and even driving it around our block I was immediately transported back to my youth. I had some of the best moments of my life being 16, 17 years old. Totally worry free and just cruising the scooter I had back then (a Honda Camino 50cc that legally only could go 45 km/h but i off course had it souped up to around 75 km/h, yes I was that type of guy …). I still remember one summer where Belgium had one of our rare heat waves of + 30 degrees celcius, cruising down the streets of my home town to meet up with some friends and then go swimming in a fishing pond my parents rented. The fact that a few nice looking girls decided to join us for a swim was a fact that made those days all the more enjoyable for my teenage self …

The frugal part

But was it also a frugal purchase? In some ways it was.

I bought it second hand for 2.750 euro and it was very well taken care of, with less than 11.000 km of use. New they cost around 4.300 to 4.800 euro’s.

It’s a 125cc, which means that I can drive it with the my current driver license. When you have a car driver license for over a year you can drive motorcycles up to 125 cc in Belgium (this apparently does not apply for the Netherlands).

Insurance is very cheap since we can add it to our car insurance: it will only cost 93 euro for one year.

The fuel economy is a lot better than our car (we have a Opel Combo) so I will probably save more than the insurance cost on car fuel.

It will avoid us from needing a second car with all the costs that entails while still giving us a lot more mobility options: I am in the centre of Leuven (20 km distance) in about 30 minutes. Going to the swimming pool only takes 10 minutes and no more worrying about parking space.

A friend of mine has the exact same one, he is a trained mechanic and is part of a Vespa Scooter club: maintenance will be cheap.

The not so frugal part

We already own an excellent electric bicycle. I could use that. I did use that bicycle to go to my temp work for about 9 months (distance also around 20 km). But I did also use the car when the girlfriend did not have to work. Not having to go to work with the bicycle every single day was really, really nice. Having to cycle home, after swimming was really, really annoying. I am just not in good enough shape for that!

Continuing to use the electric bicycle would have saved me all of the money.

I could have bought a cheaper model. You can find nice, good running 125 cc scooters for 1.500 euro or even less. Most other Vespa models are even cheaper than this one. I definitely could have saved 1.000 euro on the purchase price and gotten all the same advantages of owning a 125cc scooter I have now. I went for the nicest model.


I know my most hard core frugal days are behind me. I am getting soft in my old age. And there even is a pattern to detect. I didn’t own a bed until I was 38 years old. But when I bought one, I bought a very nice full oak one. It’s fantastic! In the dilemma between buy cheap or buy once for the rest of your life I usually advocate for buying cheap so you can get more of your money working for you. But one some things I appear to fall in the buy once for the rest of your life. I will probably never buy another scooter in my life. And I know for a fact I will never buy another bed in my life time. And I wanted a nice looking, great scooter for the rest of my life!

It is also only around 1% of my stash, so for the young people reading this and still building their stash: use your bicycle or buy a cheap scooter and use it until it falls apart and build your stash! And then buy a nice scooter!!

Ps. For those of you wondering, yes that is my drive way and no, the building in the back is not my house. It’s a barn (which we don’t really use). And yes, to the right there is an old green house (we don’t use that either).  I’ll do a post or two about our house in the future. Not buying it would have brought me really close to FI right about now, so the house probably added about 5 years of working. Well worth it in my opinion.


  1. ambertreeleaves

    Great buy!

    We used to have one ourselves, for the same reasons: avoid a second car. Now, with kids, we have a second car as it is apperantly dangerous to put 2 of them on the back seat!

    Buying cheap is not always the best. Buy good and for once, is often better. Our bed was quite expensive when we bought it 10 years ago. And still looks brand new!

    We are looking into an electric bike for the wife to go to work. It is 10k. Just a little to far by regular bike.

    • finan112_wp

      I loved going to work with the electric bicycle. Good for the body, relaxing for the mind and that taxfree 0.22 eur per km does add up!! And our society is way to safety conscience!! Just strap one to the front and one to the back and they will be fine!

  2. MustardSeedMoney

    Great buy especially if you love it. You have to enjoy the journey along the way. Sounds like you are going to have a blast on the vespa and get lots of great use out of it.

    • finan112_wp

      I do love it! Learning to enjoy the little things in life …

  3. When Do You Retire?

    Cool buy! Along the journey there should still be time and room for pleasure. Whether you die with 253k or 256k stash, it’s not gonna make any difference. However it was a wise decision to wait until the stash is big enough, now it can be enjoyed without any worries.

    • finan112_wp

      Once the stash is big enough the main thing is not to touch the stash and let it grow. If invested it will take care of future growth all by itself and one can indeed be a bit less hardcore with the money you work for. And it is a lot of fun!

  4. Troy

    I’ve always wanted to buy a motorcycle, but never decided to. I heard that the accident rate in motorcycles vs cars is 30x higher. As my friend said, “when you ride a bike, your body is the car’s she’ll”

    • finan112_wp

      Well, it is a scooter and the country roads here are mostly empty…

  5. Team CF

    Enjoy puttering round on your new depreciating asset. Can imagine it’s great fun reliving some of your childhood memories. Relatively cost effective way to get about too, although it’s not going to beat the bicycle.

    • finan112_wp

      O nothing beats a bicycle! Like I said, it seems my most hardcore days are behind me. And in all honesty, 8 km biking, then swimming and then biking back (with some steep hills in between): being realistic, this would not happen a lot. At least now, I started working on my health!

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