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Underwater Scooters vs. Dive Propulsion Vehicles: What's the Difference?

All About Underwater Scooters

By Yatin AroraPublished 8 months ago 3 min read
Underwater Scooters vs. Dive Propulsion Vehicles: What's the Difference?
Photo by Espen Bierud on Unsplash

Underwater scooters, also known as underwater propulsion vehicles (UPVs) and dive propulsion vehicles (DPVs), are both types of underwater transportation devices used by scuba divers to move through the water more efficiently and with less physical effort.

Underwater scooters are also sometimes referred to as a dive propulsion vehicles (DPVs). On the other hand, there are several significant distinctions between the two.

  • Design and Size
  • Underwater scooters are often tiny, hand-held devices driven by batteries and meant for use by snorkelers and recreational scuba divers. They may be propelled forward and backward through the water. They are simple to use and, in most cases, do not require specialized training or certification.

On the other hand, drive propulsion vehicles are far more significant and influential equipment intended for use by professional scuba divers who have earned their certifications.

Batteries or tiny gasoline engines may drive them, and they are designed for use in situations that are deeper and more difficult to navigate underwater. DPVs often have higher operating costs and have specific training in addition to certification to be operated safely.

  • Both Velocity and Distance
  • The speed and the range are significant aspects that set these two apart from one another. Underwater scooters typically attain their maximum speed of two to four miles per hour and may be used continuously for thirty to sixty minutes. Their range is also somewhat restricted. Dive propulsion vehicles, on the other hand, can reach speeds of up to 5 – 6 miles per hour and may operate continuously for up to two hours at a time.

    • Capabilities in Depth
    • The depth capacity is another point of differentiation. Unlike dive propulsion vehicles, which may be utilized at depths of up to 100 feet or more, underwater scooters are usually not certified for depths more than 30 feet. However, dive propulsion (DP) vehicles can.

      • Safety

      If not used following the manufacturer's instructions, both underwater scooters and dive propulsion devices have the potential for harm. Both of these things may be utilized to move at incredible speeds. If they are not handled appropriately, they can cause significant injury or damage to the scuba diver and the environment.

      Scuba divers need to have a thorough understanding of the hazards connected with this equipment's usage and to do so safely and responsibly.

      • Maintenance

      Underwater scooters are low-maintenance, requiring just periodic cleaning and battery replacement. On the other hand, dive propulsion (DP) vehicles have a higher maintenance burden and may need expert servicing. This includes keeping it clean, changing the battery, and maintaining it with fresh oil.

      • Cost

      The cost of underwater scooters is often much less compared to dive propulsion vehicles. Dive propulsion (DP) devices may cost $1,000 to $5,000 or more, whereas underwater scooters can cost $500 to $1,500. That's why underwater scooters are a great low - cost alternative for recreational scuba divers interested in trying out the advantages of underwater propulsion.


      Scuba divers use underwater scooters and dive propulsion vehicles, both of which are types of underwater transportation systems, to travel through the water more practically and with less need for them to exert themselves physically. There are, however, several significant distinctions between the two, including design and size, speed and range, the capacity of depth, features, and safety.

      Dive propulsion vehicles are more powerful and complex equipment for usage in more profound and demanding underwater conditions than underwater scooters. Underwater scooters are often smaller and simpler to use than dive propulsion vehicles. Scuba divers need to have a thorough understanding of the hazards connected with this equipment's usage and to do so safely and responsibly.

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