Breaking down the Moped Vs Scooter Debate

People think moped and scooter are one and the same. Little that they realize that, although the look almost the same, from a legal standpoint, they are completely different. Moped Vs scooter is a long-standing debate. It is easy to mix up a moped with a scooter. Both are two-wheeled, smaller sized motorized vehicles. However, the similarity does end there. Hope this article will shed some light on the whole thing.

Moped Vs Scooter: the basics:


At first, let us consider what a Moped is. The term Moped is a term made up using to words ‘motor’ and ‘pedal’. To put it in simple words, mopeds are a lot like bicycles. They can be considered as a motorized vehicle that also has pedaling power. The design of a Moped includes pedals as well as low-powered motor. At first, the rider needs to use the pedals that in turn helps to start the engines. In most states, legal authorities consider a two-wheeled vehicle with an engine power lower than 49 cc as a Moped.
Now, let us focus on SCOOTERS.



Scooters can be easily distinguished from Mopeds if you know why. They have step-through chassis as well as a footrest platform. They run on a small motor, the engine power of which ranges from 50 to 650 cc. Another easily distinguishable aspect is the wheels. Scooters have wheels with a ten-inch wheel which is much smaller than the wheels that Mopeds have.

Technical differences between Moped and Scooter:


Before going into the differences, let us go through the similarities at first. Both vehicles use smaller size motors for the purpose of propulsion. Moreover, both of them run on two wheels. Technically, this is the only similarity between them.

Moped’s motor need assistance from the rider. He or she has to pedal and provide at least some kinetic energy. In the case of a scooter, the motor provides all the required kinetic energy. There are a few electric scooters that use the charging system. Although, some Mopeds may be equipped with the basic electrical system.

The engine power of a Moped is at most 49cc where as the lowest engine power of scooter is 50cc. So, that is another big difference between the two.


The final difference between these two vehicles lies in the wheels. Mopeds have small or large diameter wheels. Most commonly, it is a 36-inch bicycle wheel. However, the scooters use smaller 10 to 12-inch diameter wheels.

Legal differences between them:


In most states, Mopeds are classified as motorized bicycles. Their rider requires a driver license, but there is no need to register the vehicle.

But, Scooters do.

They are classified as motorcycles, which means they require both a driver’s license as well as motorcycle-endorsement license. In some states, insurance is also a must.

All in all, the similarities between a Moped and a scooter, ends in their design. They look the same but in other respects completely different. There is also a price difference between them. Mopeds are usually less costly than scooters. But in respect of power, speed and efficacy scooters are a better choice than Mopeds.

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