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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.

When it comes to insurance, they're both classed as a type of motorbike so you'll need motorbike insurance to cover them.

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 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 you need a license for a moped?

To start riding you'll need a provisional driving licence and to have passed a CBT course.

Once you’ve taken the CBT, you’ll be able to ride a moped up to 50cc if you’re 16 or over. If you’re 17 or over, you’ll be able to ride a motorcycle up to 125cc. In both cases, you’d have to display L plates.

Once you’ve got your CBT, you have two years to pass your test for a full licence. If you don't get a full licence after the two years, you'll need to take another CBT test or stop riding.

If you already have a full car driving licence, you can ride a moped up to 50cc without displaying L plates. If you passed before 1st February 2001, you won’t need to take a CBT course either. If you passed after this date, you will.

To ride a scooter above 50cc without L plates, you’ll need to get a motorbike licence.

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

Do you need to tax a moped or scooter?

To ride on the roads, you’ll 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 £22 per year. This increases to £101 for bikes with engines of more than 600cc.

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 CBT test.

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

You can ride a moped up to 50c in the UK from the age of 16, as long as you pass the relevant tests.

You can start riding a scooter up to 125cc 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

We compare up to 37 trusted insurance companies to get you our cheapest deal

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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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