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[1] Correct as of December 2023.

Comparing moped and scooter  insurance

Riding is a way of life. Whether you're a Lambretta or Vespa fan, we're here to help you get a great-value motorcycle insurance policy.

The Mods subculture made scooters cool in the 60s and the two-wheeled phenomenon is still going strong. In the UK, these 50cc bikes can be the perfect intro to driving at 16, or for beating the traffic on the morning commute.

Compare moped and scooter insurance quotes with us to get the right deal for you.

What is the difference between a moped and a scooter?

The big difference between mopeds and scooters is the engine size and speed. Mopeds have an engine size up to 50cc and a top speed of around 25mph. Scooter engine sizes vary from 50cc to 150cc, so at the top end they can go much faster.

What do I need to legally ride a moped?

It’s illegal to ride your moped or scooter on the road without insurance. If you don’t ride your moped or scooter and don’t want to insure it, you must apply for a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

Riding your moped or scooter without at least third-party insurance could result in a criminal conviction. At the very least you could get a fixed penalty fine of £300 and six points on your licence. If your moped or scooter is kept off the road and you don’t declare it as SORN, you could get a fixed penalty of £100 or a fine of up to £1,000 if you’re taken to court.

To drive a moped legally, you’ll also need to either already have a full car driving licence, or a provisional licence. If you passed your car driving test before 1 February 2001, you can ride a 50cc moped legally already. If you passed your driving test after 1 February 2001, you’ll need to complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) before you can ride a moped.

Other than your licences, you’ll also need to tax and insure your moped or scooter, before you can drive it legally on public roads. Don’t forget this, as the penalties for driving without insurance are no joke.

Is there a difference between moped and scooter insurance?

Mopeds are generally cheaper than scooters to insure because they have a smaller engine and a slower maximum speed. This means they’re seen as less of a risk on the roads. Because they only have a top speed of 25mph, mopeds can’t be ridden on the motorway, so it’s very unlikely they’ll be ridden on longer journeys. From an insurance provider’s point of view, shorter journeys mean less risk. Because of this, moped insurance will typically be cheaper.

Cover for both is still cost-effective though, and you might be surprised to see how low your scooter insurance quote is.

How much does moped and scooter insurance cost?

50cc moped insurance for less than
a year[2]

125cc scooter insurance for less than
a year[3]

Young rider bike insurance for less than
a year[4]

Your age, experience and claims history will also be taken into account when calculating the cost of your premium.

[2] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £527.73 for their 50cc bike insurance in December 2023.

[3] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £699.81 for their 125cc bike insurance in December 2023.

[4] 51% of our young riders between 16-17 years old were quoted less than £1,147.66 for their bike insurance in December 2023.

How much is moped insurance?

Based on the most recent Compare the Market data, insurance for a 50cc moped could cost less than £586 a year[2].

However, the difference between a young rider’s insurance and that of an older, more experienced rider can vary greatly. Younger riders will typically pay more for moped insurance. Their lack of experience means they’re a higher risk than older road users, and this is likely to be reflected in the cost of their premium.

You may be able to save on your moped insurance by adding security features to better protect your bike. Things like chains, anchors and disc locks are all examples of ways you can improve your moped’s security and deter thieves.

How much is scooter insurance?

Generally, the larger the engine size, the more you’ll pay for your bike insurance. Not only is there more risk associated with more powerful engines, but repair costs also tend to be higher. These will be factored in when insurance providers calculate the cost of your premium.

Based on the most recent Compare the Market data, insurance for a 125cc scooter could cost less than £700 a year[3]. Again, your age, experience and claims history will also be taken into account when calculating the cost of your premium.

Levels of moped and scooter insurance

Just like car insurance, there are three levels of moped and scooter insurance to choose from:

  • Third party only – the most basic level of cover and a legal requirement. It will cover compensation and legal costs if you injure someone else or damage their property. It won’t cover injury to you or repair costs if your moped or scooter is damaged.
  • Third party, fire and theft – the same protection as third party with the added benefit of cover for your moped or scooter if it’s stolen or damaged in a fire.
  • Fully comprehensive – the highest level of cover available. It offers the same level of protection as above but will also cover the costs of repairing your moped or scooter if it’s damaged in an accident

What additional upgrades or cover are available?

Just like with other types of car and motorbike insurance, there are quite a few add-ons you can take out with a moped or scooter policy. Here are some examples:

  • Breakdown cover – if you’re out and about and break down, you’ll definitely wish you’d taken out breakdown cover, which provides roadside assistance to get your back on the road as soon as possible.
  • Pillion cover – this type of insurance allows you to ride with passengers on the back of your moped or scooter, insuring them if they are injured while you’re driving.
  • Multi-bike cover – if you have more than one moped or scooter, you can insure them with the same provider and usually get a discount.
  • Personal accident cover – if you’re injured or even killed while driving, this will pay compensation.
  • Legal expenses – if someone makes a claim against you after an accident, this will help cover the legal costs.
  • Helmet and leathers – if your riding gear is lost, stolen or damaged, this can help cover the cost of replacing them.
  • Key cover – if you lose your keys, you can claim for a replacement set.
  • Wrong fuel cover – if you make the mistake of topping up with the wrong fuel type, this will cover any costs of draining the tank and fixing the problem.
  • Modification – if you’re into modding your moped or scooter, you’ll need to take out specialist cover to insure the modifications you’ve made. Just remember, some modifications are illegal, so make sure you know what you’re doing.
  • European cover – if you’re a keen traveller who likes to ride abroad, European cover will insure you on the continent.

What do I need to get a quote?

Give us a few details about you and your moped or scooter, including:

  • make, model and year of manufacture
  • any modifications
  • value
  • how long you’ve had your licence
  • any claims or convictions
  • any security devices you’ve had fitted
  • your age, address and employment details

We’ll show you a list of quotes to compare so you can find the right moped or scooter insurance for you.

Author image Julie Daniels

What our expert says...

“With low running costs and cheaper premiums compared to car insurance, it’s easy to see why mopeds and scooters are so popular with young riders. Easy to park and ride, smaller, lighter bikes are ideal in busy city traffic and on short commutes. Cheap insurance costs and great fuel efficiency also offer older, more experienced riders an incredibly cost-effective alternative to larger vehicles.” 

- Julie Daniels, Motor insurance expert

Why use Compare the Market?

We compare prices for 27 bike insurance products[1]

Rated 4.8/5 on Trustpilot[5]

[1] Correct as of December 2023.

[5] As of January 2024, Compare the Market had an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 from 38,330 people who left a review on Trustpilot. The score 4.8 corresponds to the Star Label ‘Excellent’.

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Frequently asked questions

Do you need a licence to drive a scooter or moped?

If you don’t already have a licence to drive a car, you should first get your provisional licence. This allows you to start learning to drive a car, or drive a moped, scooter or motorbike. Once you’ve got your provisional licence, you’ll need to complete Compulsory Basic Training (commonly called CBT). Getting your CBT doesn’t involve taking a test, you simply complete the training and you’ll be legally allowed to drive a moped or scooter up to 50cc in power from the age of 16. If you’re 17 or over, you’ll be able to ride a motorbike up to 125cc in power. However, you’ll need to use L plates.

If you’ve already passed a car driving test before 1 February 2001, you can ride a 50cc moped without having to display L-plates or complete the CBT. If you passed your car driving test after 1 February 2001, you’ll need to complete the CBT before you can ride.

If you passed your full driving test on or after 1 February 2001, you’ll still need to complete a CBT course to drive a scooter or moped, up to 50cc, without L plates, but you won’t need to take a full moped test.

Does the type of licence I have affect my insurance cost?

If you don't have a car licence, as long as you're 16 or over and have completed the CBT, you can ride a moped up to 50cc with L plates for up to two years, on a provisional moped licence. You'll be able to get motorbike insurance and potentially rack up a couple of years of no-claims discounts. But you'll probably get a better insurance price if you get an AM, A1 or A2 licence by passing your theory and practical tests.

(After two years on a provisional moped licence, you’d have to take your CBT again, unless you pass your full moped or motorbike test in that time.)

Licences available:

  • AM – this will allow you to ride a moped with L plates at a maximum speed of 28mph
  • A1 – this will allow you to ride a scooter or light motorbike up to 125cc without L plates. You must be 17 to get an A1 licence.
  • A2 – a standard motorcycle licence needed for bikes of at least 395cc with an engine power between 20-35kW. You must be 19 to get an A2 licence.

Insurance providers look at how competent you are, and having a full licence shows that you've been officially recognised as a skilled rider. 

How else can I get cheaper moped and scooter insurance?

There’s a few things you could do that might make your moped or scooter insurance policy cheaper:

  • Fit an approved security device to your moped or scooter – but check with the provider first as the cost of the device might outweigh the discount in premium
  • Park it in a locked garage
  • Increase your voluntary excess – this is what you'll pay if you have to make a claim so make sure you can afford it first

Make sure you're as accurate as possible when telling us the current market price of your moped or scooter. If it's wrong, you'll be underinsured and won't be covered for the full value of your bike. Make sure you understand all the details of your insurance before you buy it, so that you have the right cover in place.

If my moped or scooter is written off, can I get a replacement?

If you have a comprehensive policy and your moped or scooter is declared as written off, you should get a pay-out in compensation from your insurance provider. Be aware though, that this is usually the current market value of your moped or scooter, not what you originally paid for it

In some cases, if your scooter is less than six months old, you may be offered a new replacement. However, this can vary between insurance providers, so it’s important to read the terms and conditions of your policy.

Will my insurance cover me for additional passengers?

Not necessarily. Some insurance policies won’t cover additional passengers, so make sure you check the terms and conditions before carrying a pillion passenger.

Also, be aware that you can’t take pillion passengers if you have a provisional licence. You can only carry passengers once you’ve passed your test and have a full licence.

Can I get a no claims bonus for moped and scooter insurance?

Yes, you can get a no-claims bonus. Most insurance providers will reward you with a no-claims discount, just as you’d get with car insurance. The longer you go without making a claim, the more you can build up your no-claims bonus. This could help reduce the cost of your moped or scooter premium.