Mopeds & Scooters - an alternative for you?
If you have a second car - do you really need it? If your partner is working and you have school runs and your own business to pursue, you probably do.
But if the second car is mainly parked in the garage, used just to pop down to the shops, visit the dentist or run small errands, perhaps the cheap alternative of a moped or scooter is the answer for you.
Even if you have only one car, but the kids have left home, there's a good Public Transport system and you have an easy commute consider, "Do I really need that car?".
If you're just doing a small amount of driving to places which may be just a little too far to walk, think of the money you are spending to keep that car going. Probably second hand needing an MOT every year, the insurance, the Road Tax and the devaluation.
Don't forget the 'green' aspect as well. It's pretty obvious that a 50cc moped or 125cc scooter will use a lot less fuel than any car and it's cost less in environmental terms as well as cash to manufacture. A typical moped consumes between 55% and 81% less fuel than a car for the same journey. 100 miles to the gallon is common.
Why not consider a Moped. If you get a 50cc model, you can use your existing full car driving licence (if issued before 2001) without passing any tests and the Road Tax will cost just £15 per year (at time of writing).
Naturally, with 50cc, you're not going to burn tarmac and most of these models have a European restriction of 50kph (31mph). The manufacturer sets the machine up so that is the maximum speed.
Over 50cc you will be required to take a Compulsory Basic Training test (CBT). For full licence holders before 2001, this isn't necessary, but recommended - you can buy the moped and drive away. For Licence Holders after 2001, the CBT will be compulsory and it would be illegal for you to ride it on the road, even with 'L' plates.
Chinese mopeds are becoming very popular. You can buy a brand new 50cc model under £500.00 nowadays, which means you're on the road for less than £500 with no MOT for 3 years!.
The main manufacturers of Chinese Motorbikes and Chinese Mopeds are Baotian, Himo and Lifan. They're all surprisingly reliable but if you need spares then you can find them cheaply online with a bit of googling.
Motorbike Accessories (Helmets, Clothing etc)
For essential accessories such as Helmets etc., search the Internet. You can find them brand new on auction sites from about £25 - just make sure they conform to the European ECER2205 Standard.
Obviously, safety is an issue and you should be sure of your own confidence and wear suitable clothing. Maybe not altogether fashionable, but High Vis Jackets and over trousers are excellant for the dark and will keep you dry as well.
Other Advantages of Mopeds and Scooters
Other advantages of having a Moped are that most Town Centre Car Parks don't charge you to park, it's far easier to make those 'door to door' journeys and you're not throwing too much horrible stuff into the atmosphere.
If you're thinking about getting a moped or scooter you can find out the legal information on the government website: Riding motorcycles and mopeds
Money & Finance