What scooter you can ride.
What scooter can I ride?
A moped has a maximum design speed not exceeding 50 kilometres per hour (approximately 31 miles per hour). It has an engine up to 50 cubic centimetres (cc). A learner motorcycle has an engine up to 125 cc and a power output not exceeding 11 kilowatt (kw)
Changes to moped, motorcycle and tricycle driving license rules
From 19 January 2013, driving license rules will be changing for moped, motorcycle and tricycle riders. To find out more about the changes, follow the link below.
Full motorcycle license
The practical test must be taken on a bike of between 75 cc and 125 cc. There are two types of full motorcycle license:
- a light motorcycle license (A1), which restricts riders to any bike up to 125 cc and a power output of 11 kw
- a standard motorcycle license (A), is obtained if the practical test is taken on a bike of over 120 cc but not more than 125 cc and capable of at least 100 kilometres per hour (km/h)
After passing the standard motorcycle practical test, you will be restricted for two years to riding a bike of up to 25 kw and a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.16 kw/kg. After this you may ride any size of bike.
The BMW C1 motorcycle is not a suitable machine for a practical test.
Direct and accelerated access
Riders age 21 or over, or those who reach 21 before their two year restriction ends, have other options.
After taking Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) and the theory test, the practical test may be taken on a motorcycle with a power output of at least 35 kw. A pass allows you to ride any size of bike. All or part of the CBT course may be taken on either a learner bike or a large bike. To practice for the practical test on bikes larger than the learner bike specification you must:
- be accompanied at all times by an approved instructor on another bike and in radio contact
- wear fluorescent or reflective clothing
- follow all other provisional license restrictions
Riders who reach the age of 21, while still within the two year period where they are restricted to maximum 25 kw machines, but who wish to ride larger bikes need to pass a further test on a motorcycle of at least 35 kw. They may practice on bikes over 25 kw under the same practice conditions for direct access riders. You will revert to learner status while practicing (on a motorcycle greater than 25 kw) although test failure will not affect your existing license.
Learners who wish to ride with a sidecar can practice on a combination with a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.16 kiloWatt/kilogram. On obtaining a standard license, you will be restricted to a combination with the same power/weight ratio for two years. At age 21 learners may, only within direct or accelerated access, practice on a larger combination, but the test must be taken on a solo bike (although physically disabled riders can use a combination).
New driving license rules for mopeds, motorcycles and tricycles
New driving license rules for motorcyclists and moped riders come into force on 19 January 2013. The new rules will affect you if you pass your test after this date, or you apply to renew or replace your driving license. Find out how these changes could affect you.
Existing driving license holders with moped entitlement
Driving entitlements gained before 19 January 2013 won't be affected
If you already have the entitlement to ride a moped - you won't lose it. Currently your entitlement is shown on your driving license as category P and covers you to ride mopeds with:
- an engine size up to 50 cylinder capacity (cc)
- a maximum speed up to 50 kilometres per hour (km/h)
From 19 January 2013, new European rules will apply. You won't lose your entitlement but it will show differently on any driving licenses issued to you from that date.
Your entitlement will show as:
- category AM (the European category) - lets you ride mopeds with a maximum design speed over 25 km/h but not more than 45 km/h, small three wheelers (up to 50 cc and below 4 Kilowatt (kW)), and light quadricycles (unladen mass less than 350 kilograms (kg) and up to 45 km/h)
- category P - extending the above to include two or three wheeled mopeds with a higher maximum speed of up to 50 km/h (to retain your existing entitlement)
- category Q - extending the above to include two or three wheeled mopeds with a maximum speed up to 25 km/h (to retain your existing entitlement)
You won't need to do anything – your existing entitlement is still valid.
Existing motorcycle or tricycle riders
If you already have motorcycle entitlement, it won't change under the new rules. However, if you want to ride bigger bikes, you'll need to follow the rules for new riders below.
Your entitlement to ride tricycles is currently shown on your license as category B1 (trikes and quads) or B (cars). When you replace or renew your license after 19 January 2013, it will be shown as B1 and A (limited to tricycles).
New riders from 19 January 2013
From 19 January 2013, the following new rules will apply.
Passing your driving test for a moped after 19 January 2013
The minimum age to ride these vehicles will still be 16 years, and you’ll still need to pass your:
- compulsory basic training (CBT)
- theory test
- practical test
Once you've passed your tests, your entitlement will be shown on your driving license as:
- category AM (the European category)
- category Q
If you pass your car test first, you'll receive the entitlement to drive mopeds as well. However, you will need to pass your CBT to ride them on the road (as now). Your moped entitlement will be shown as above (categories AM and Q).
Category A1 (small motorcycles up to 11kW - 125 cc)
Category A1 covers small bikes with:
- a cylinder capacity not more than 125 cc
- power output not more than 11 kW and a power to weight ratio not more than 0.1 kW per kg
- motor tricycles with a power output not more than 15 kW
The minimum age limit for category A1 will still be 17 years.
You'll have to pass theory and practical driving tests to get this entitlement.
Category A2 (medium motorcycles up to 35 kW)
Category A2 covers medium sized bikes, with or without a sidecar, which have:
- an engine power output not more than 35 kW
- a power to weight ratio not more than 0.2 kW per kg - the bike must also not be derived from a vehicle of more than double its power
The minimum age for category A2 is 19 years.
There are two ways to get this entitlement.
If you you're aged 19 or over, you can take a theory and a practical test.
If you're aged 19 or over and you have two years' experience on an A1 motorcycle, you only need to take a further practical test.
Category A covers machines unlimited in size and power, with or without a sidecar, and motor tricycles with a power output of more than 15 kW. There are two ways to get this entitlement.
If you don't have two years' experience, you'll have to be aged 24 years or over. You'll also need to pass the theory and practical tests.
You can get this category from age 21 if you have two years' experience on an A2 motorcycle and you take a further practical test.
You'll need to follow the same rules if you want to ride a tricycle that falls within these categories.
Please note that tests for mopeds with three or four wheels, A1 tricycles and A tricycles will only be offered to the physically disabled.