What's the difference between a scooter and a moped?

Scooters and mopeds are both two-wheeled vehicles that look similar, but there are a few key differences that set them apart:


Scooters are vehicles with an engine size between 50cc and 250cc. Mopeds are less powerful and have engines smaller than 50cc.


Scooters can reach speeds up to about 60 to 70 mph, while mopeds reach maximum speeds of around 30 to 40 mph. Mopeds generally aren't allowed on highways, while scooters are allowed on the highway in certain states.


Scooters have a step-through design with a platform for the rider to rest their feet while driving. Some mopeds share this design, but they typically feature pedals.

While these are the standard traits for scooters and mopeds, definitions can change slightly from state-to-state. Verify whether your state considers your vehicle a scooter or moped to ensure you're getting the proper insurance coverage.

Do you need insurance to drive a scooter?

Scooters fall under the same umbrella as motorcycle insurance, and most states require some form of insurance for any scooters with an engine of 50cc or higher. Bodily injury and property damage liability coverage is typically the minimum requirement and this form of insurance will help cover property damage and injuries to others when you're considered at fault in the event of an accident.

You may need to purchase additional coverage such as comprehensive coverage and collision coverage if you're leasing or renting your scooter, as lenders often want to provide extra security for their property.

Do you need insurance for a scooter in every state?

Scooter insurance is a requirement in most states. And even if your state doesn’t generally require scooter insurance, you may need to purchase a minimum of liability insurance if you're leasing your vehicle or have been involved in a previous accident.

Even if scooter insurance isn't a legal requirement where you live, you may consider purchasing it. If you're ever involved in an accident and found to be at fault, you'll be financially responsible for covering injuries and damages. Without a liability insurance policy, you'll have to pay these expenses out of pocket. Note that you may also need to register your scooter with the state even if you aren't legally required to purchase an insurance policy.

Do you need insurance on a moped?

Most states don't legally require moped owners to have insurance. However, if you're renting or leasing your moped, your lender may want you to be insured even if it's not mandated in your state.

Like scooters, mopeds typically fall under the category of motorcycle insurance. When insurance is necessary, liability coverage is the minimum required, but additional motorcycle insurance coverages are available if you'd like extra protection for your moped and belongings.

Do you need insurance for a moped in every state?

Liability coverage for mopeds is mandatory in about half the states. In some states, moped insurance may only be required for vehicles whose maximum speed exceeds a certain limit. Always check the specific laws for your state before going out on the road. You may also need to register your moped in each state – regardless whether or not you have insurance.

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