What to know before buying a moped or scooter

Before buying a new or used moped or scooter, there are several factors to consider. Among these are your transportation needs, the cost of the vehicle, and gas mileage. Additional considerations might include battery range, storage, size, and features. Make sure you feel comfortable riding a moped or scooter. Check state and local rules since some require licensing, registration, and insurance depending on the vehicle type.

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What to look for when buying a moped or scooter

Before you buy a moped or scooter, consider several factors. First, you should feel comfortable riding this type of vehicle. Two-wheelers with larger engines and higher speeds can pose safety risks. Another important consideration is how you'll use the vehicle. Will you be commuting? Are you riding for recreation? Or do you need off-road capabilities?

The moped or scooter should be a size and weight you can handle. It must also accommodate the weight you put on it — just you and your belongings or you plus a passenger. If you're planning to get a lightweight scooter for commuting, make sure you can safely lift and carry it. You'll need a safe place to store it no matter the vehicle size.

Another consideration is the cost. The cost of a moped hinges on aspects such as the vehicle's performance, design, and features. For example, features like storage compartments can increase the price. Include fuel in your calculations for a gas-powered moped or scooter. Don't forget about purchasing safety gear such as a helmet and goggles or eye protection. As with any vehicle, you'll need insurance to protect yourself on the road. Learn more about the difference between mopeds and scooters and about scooter and moped insurance.

What to look for when buying an electric scooter

Electric scooters, also called e-scooters, have motors with ratings from 200 watts to more than 6,000 watts. In addition to price, top speed, weight, and maximum load, evaluate the electric scooter's battery range, motor power, braking system, and tires. If you're going to be commuting by scooter, look for one that's at least 250 watts. Experts recommend pneumatic (i.e. air-filled) tires over solid ones for better rides.

Tips for buying a moped or scooter

The process for buying a scooter or moped include:

  • Set your budget
  • Do your research
  • Determine the model that best fits your needs
  • Negotiate the price

If you are buying a used moped or used scooter you'll want to evaluate the vehicle's age and mileage, take precautions to avoid purchasing an unsafe or stolen ride, ask the owner why they're selling and request to see the original purchase paperwork and service or repair records.

Do I need a license, registration, and insurance for a moped?

Licensing, registration, and insurance requirements for mopeds and scooters vary by state. Check the state and local rules for your vehicle type. Your state might also have minimum age and helmet requirements. You'll be required in most states to have liability coverage for engines 50cc and above, but you might consider additional coverages like comprehensive, collision, and carried contents and belongings. Learn more about if you need scooter and moped insurance and see more motorcycle insurance coverages for your scooter or moped.

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