The Herbie the Love Bug cars are ready for departure at Robin Hood Rentals in the Siesta Key Village. (submitted photo)
By John Morton
“They only go as fast as about 35 mph, but you feel like you’re going 50 mph because they are so low to the ground.”
That’s how Billy Justice, manager of Robin Hood Rentals, describes the thrill of buzzing about Siesta Key in one of his shop’s Scoot Coupes.
“The reaction from renters is always positive. These little cars are a blast,” said Justice, whose shop is located at 5255 Ocean Blvd. in the Siesta Key Village. “We rent a lot of transportation items here, and the Scoot Coupe probably makes up at least a quarter of our business.”
The one- or two-seat scooter cars require that you be 18 with a valid driver’s license for operation and, although they are street legal, they can’t leave the Key. They come in a variety of styles at Robin Hood Rentals, including some that replicate Herbie the Love Bug.
“That’s for sure a favorite,” Justice said. “It’s fully loaded.”
With Spring Break crowds on Midnight Pass Road in full force, Justice recommends slowing down and hitting the side streets in a Scoot Coupe.
“They are the best way to see our neighborhoods, our canals, and all the beautiful houses,” he said. “It’s very peaceful.”
On the south end of the island, Ride & Paddle by Siesta Sports Rentals, located at 6551 Midnight Pass Rd., also rents scooter cars. There, 21 years of age is the requirement for the driver.
“That was relaxing,” said Debbie Richey as she ended her first-ever scoot on March 25 at the Ride & Paddle parking lot after a trip all the way to the south end of the Key. “I was a little nervous beforehand, but it turns out they are very easy to drive. I asked to be a passenger first on a test drive, so I was OK once I took the driver’s seat. That was nice of them.”
She was visiting from Benton, Arkansas with her 11-year-old grandson Landon Pelkey.
“Time flew by,” he said. “That was really fun.”