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Do you need a licence to drive a moped?

Mopeds are both practical and fun to ride. They’re appealing to young riders because they’re much cheaper to run than a car, and much cheaper to buy too. Perhaps the most useful thing is the amount of training required to legally ride a moped, which is much less than a car. This is mainly because of a moped’s smaller engine capacity and significantly lower top speed.

In short, you don’t need a licence to ride a moped. Technically, you do need to hold a provisional driving licence, but many people get one as soon as they turn 16. You don’t need to know how to drive a car; you simply need to hold a provisional licence. If you don’t already have one, they’re reasonably cheap to obtain from the DVLA and will serve as your most practical form of ID.

To ride a moped you need to pass a CBT test as the absolute minimum requirements. This is a one-day training course, and will usually be you and several other people all learning together. You’ll be taught by an experienced instructor who will provide you with all the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge you need to get on the road. This will allow you to ride a 50cc moped on public roads.

A CBT test consists of five overall parts, including both on-road and off-road training. The first half of the day is spent on a training site so you can get used to being in control of the moped, and then once the instructor is happy with your progress they’ll take you on to a public road. The instructor has to sign off on your theoretical and practical knowledge before you officially pass, although it is quite rare to fail.

A CBT does have its restrictions however. Firstly, it’s only valid for two years, meaning you either have to sit another CBT test or obtain your full driving licence. It also means you have to always display L-plates on the front and rear of your moped because you’re technically still a learner. The final thing to remember is that you’re not allowed to carry pillion passengers, again because you’re not a fully qualified road user.

It is possible to get a full moped licence, but the advantages aren’t that great. You can still only ride 50cc mopeds, as you need a different licence to ride anything more powerful. Having a full moped licence basically means you can remove the L-plates and carry passengers. Considering mopeds aren’t legally allowed on motorways, you don’t actually gain much by getting a full licence.

Not needing to complete months of training makes mopeds very appealing to young road users. It means you can get on the road quickly and gain real practical experience, which can be helpful if you want to obtain your full motorbike licence. A CBT test is very easy to pass, and is perfect for young riders with little experience.