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Scooter and moped insurance

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Moped vs scooter: what's the difference?

The main difference is the engine size.

50cc or less is normally classed as a moped, while scooters tend to be between 50cc and 150cc.

This difference will affect your maximum speed. Mopeds have a maximum speed of 28 mph, so insurers might consider them to be a lower risk than scooters. You can’t ride a moped on the motorway either, due to their lower speed. So they tend to be cheaper to buy and insure than scooters.

Scooters and mopeds also have a step-through frame with a platform to put your feet on, which makes them different to motorbikes. They also tend to have smaller wheels than motorbikes.

Mopeds and scooters usually have low insurance costs and high fuel efficiency.

Although there are slight differences between mopeds and scooters, we’ll be using the terms interchangeably. For more information, check out our guides on 50cc motorbike insurance and 125cc motorbike insurance to see which is best for you.

Do you need insurance for a moped?

Yes, you legally have to have moped insurance if you’re riding on UK roads. Without it, you could face a fine and points on your licence.

The only time you won’t need it is if you’ve applied for a Statutory Off-Road Notice (SORN) for your moped because you’re no longer using it.

Find out how to SORN a bike in our handy guide.

Just like other motorbike insurance policies, moped and scooter insurance has three levels of cover:

  • Third party
  • Third party, fire and theft
  • Comprehensive
  • Third-party is the minimum amount of cover you’re legally required to have. You might may think this makes it the cheapest option, but that isn’t always the case. It covers other vehicles and people for any costs that come about after an accident. You’dYou would usually have to cover repair costs for your moped yourself.
  • Third-party, fire and theft offers the same benefits as third-party. You’re also covered if your scooter is stolen or suffers fire damage. While third-party is the minimum legal requirement, many riders consider TPFT as the minimum due to the high risk of motorcycle theft in the UK.
  • Comprehensive policies have the same benefits as TPFT cover, but they also cover repairs or replacement costs for your moped. This cover is in place even if the accident was your fault.

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Do I need a licence for a moped?

Yes, you need a valid licence to ride a scooter or moped on UK roads. There are two licence types, AM and A1:

  • For a moped with an engine size of 50cc or less you need either an AM or A1 licence

  • For a scooter with an engine size between 50cc and 125cc you need an A1 licence 


To get your licence, you’ll need to:

  • Do the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT).
  • Pass the motorcycle theory test.
  • Pass the motorcycle practical test.

For more information on how to get a motorbike licence, see our guide.

To ride on the roads, you’ll also need to register and tax your moped or scooter by paying Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). Scooters and mopeds come under the ‘less than 150cc’ tax band, which costs £21 per year.

You can get more information on motorbike tax bands on the GOV.UK website.

Can I ride a moped on a car licence?

Yes, you can. But it depends on when you got your car licence.

If you passed your driving test before 1 February 2001, you can ride a moped up to 50cc without needing L-plates.

If you passed your driving test after 1 February 2001, you have to complete a CBT course before you can hit the road.

In either case, you don’t need to take a moped test.  If you want to ride anything over 50cc, though, you'll have to complete the theory and practical tests.

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How old do I have to be to ride a moped?

You can ride a moped in the UK from the age of 16, as long as you pass the relevant tests.

You can start riding a scooter from the age of 17.

To get started, you’ll need to:

  • Apply for a provisional motorbike licence. They cost £34.
  • Complete a one-day CBT course, which gives you a rundown of basic riding skills. This costs around £150.
  • There’s no pass or fail with the CBT. Once you’ve finished the course, you can ride your moped or scooter with L-plates, or D-plates if you’re in Wales.

Once you’ve got your CBT, you have 2 years to progress to a full licence. To do that you need to:

  • Pass the motorcycle theory test, which costs £23.
  • Pass the motorbike practical test. This has two parts, on- and off-road, and costs around £90.

Could I save money by comparing scooter and moped insurance?

Comparing scooter and moped insurance quotes is one of the easiest ways to save money on your insurance.

It takes just a few minutes and you’re able to compare policies from dozens of providers.

Even if your renewal notice looks to be the same or a little bit cheaper than last year, it’s likely that there are still savings to be had.

What do I need to compare moped insurance quotes?

When you’re getting a scooter insurance quote, it helps to have these things to hand:

Moped or scooter details

  • The registration, make and model of the moped
  • The year it was manufactured
  • Any modifications that you’ve made
  • The approximate value of the bike
  • Any motorbike security measures you’ve taken

Personal details:

  • The type of licence you have and how long you’ve held it
  • How many miles you think you’ll ride in a year
  • Any claims or convictions from the past five years
  • How you plan on using your scooter e.g. social use only, commuting, business

What our motorbike insurance expert says

Scooters and mopeds make a lot of sense as our cities become more and more congested. But theft of mopeds and scooters continues to impact scooter insurance prices, so beefing up your security will help you keep your costs down in the long run.
Jack Cox motorbike insurance expert signature

Jack Cox

Motorbike insurance product manager

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