Mopeds and Scooters are two wheels. They both serve similar purposes—get you from point A to B—but they are very different vehicles.

Scooters share some traits with motorcycles. The term “motorcycle” has become somewhat outdated these days. People who ride them prefer calling them scooters or motorized bicycles. There are also electric scooters, becoming more common, especially in urban areas.

Mopeds typically take shorter trips, and scooters are often more extended range. And although they’re both two-wheeled vehicles, they’ve got a massive difference in their design and construction.

Differences between scooter and moped 

Understanding the basics 


A scooter features the same step-through frame as a moped but a more extensive, 250cc engine. Scooters have a faster peak speed and a poorer gas mileage than motorcycles. A 150cc scooter,for example, can reach 60 mph and get up to 70 mpg, whereas a 250cc scooter can exceed 75 mph but only get around 60 mpg. However, you may not be permitted to ride a scooter on the highway; verify your size of the engine and horsepower requirements. 

Automatic and manual gearboxes are available on scooters. However, the CVT is the most popular choice among newer models due to its simplicity of operation. They’re light, fuel-efficient, and easy to manage, and unlike mopeds, most scooters have powerful motors that can withstand everyday travel.


Today’s mopeds feature a step-through frame that includes or excludes a pedal. It has a 50cc or a small motor. They were first termed because they were a bicycle with a motor. 

Mopeds have a peak speed of 40 mph and can get triple-digit gas mileage.

License required 

Mopeds don’t require a license to operate. However, if you want to drive one legally, you must pass an exam. If you choose to go this route, make sure you do so at least six months before you plan to drive.

Your state sets the conditions. Check local restrictions; they may differ from one location to the next, and the age and criteria for a scooter licence may differ from the age and requirements for a moped licence. Your state may offer a 2-wheeler education course plus a skill test.

Rules of the road 

Because of their slower speeds, mopeds are not permitted to go on highways and are best suited to short excursions within the town on low-speed routes.

However, scooters can move quicker and engage in highway traffic depending on engine power, but it’s advisable to confine them to small distances. Upon that highway, you’d be sharing the roadway with much larger cars capable of travelling far quicker than you.


While scooters and mopeds get excellent fuel efficiency, their emissions aren’t always so significant. According to a study, motorbike emissions are higher than passenger vehicles in the United States. Carbon monoxide emissions are about five times greater, methane emissions are three times higher, and nitric oxide emissions are 45 times higher. A motorbike emits somewhat less carbon dioxide than a car. If you care about emissions, make sure you inquire before you buy.

Size and Weight 

A scooter is a motorbike that is lighter than a motorcycle. A scooter appears to be far wider than a moped on the surface. In addition, a scooter has a platform on which the operator’s feet can rest.

The mopeds of the style of bicycle feature a built-in motor. They have a maximum displacement of 49 cubic centimetres. However, there may be some fluctuation in these figures from nation to country. The word is applied to three-wheeled equipment with similar technical specifications to a motorbike in specific locations. Its engine generates fewer than 2 gross brake horsepower.

The Bottom Line 

Mopeds and scooters are two very similar types of vehicles. They both have a high seat, low frame, and handlebars. Both also come in various sizes, shapes and colors. But despite all these similarities, they are each designed for different purposes. Scooters tend to be longer, bigger, heavier and more powerful, whereas mopeds are smaller, lighter and more maneuverable. Another thing you should know is that mopeds are not street legal. They are only allowed to be ridden on private property.