One of the more expensive types of motorbike insurances are scooter and moped insurance. They come in all shapes and sizes but range between 49cc and 125cc engines. They are defined as having a step through frame and come with an automatic twist and go gearbox.
Scooters and Mopeds can be ridden on a Full car licence passed before 31st January 2001 up to 50cc, and on a CBT for everything up to a 125cc engine.
To ride a Moped or Scooter you will normally first need to pass the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), a simple day course teaching you all you need to know to ride your moped or scooter. You can normally obtain moped insurance to insure yourself on your own vehicle to pass this training, but normally use the test centres own scooters and mopeds.
The main problem with scooter and moped insurance, are thieves; these types of bike are the most likely to be stolen, which in turn increases the cost of insurance for everyone. Security on bikes can only do so much, but when the vehicle is lifted into a van, an alarm has no effect. In addition, a large majority of these vehicles have alternative starters, such as kick-starts, making the job for thieves even easier. This strengthens the importance of a brick built garage, and the discounts associated with your insurance.
Modifications can affect your insurance hugely due to the vehicles already being a high theft risk, a modified bike to either improve its looks or performance is only going to stand out to thieves even more than normal. A common modification is to de-restrict the bike, increasing its top speed from the manufacturers' original design; this can have large effects on your moped insurance, even causing many insurers to refuse cover.
Mopeds and scooters tend to appeal to the younger riders aged 16 and upwards, mainly as it is a cheap form of transport for them, that does not require any training and is a good road experience for when they move on to a car. However, due to their age, this increases the cost of their insurance. This is why many young riders opt for Third party only cover to reduce the cost.
Another common use for these vehicles are riders who are looking to complete the knowledge on London roads. This is due to the traffic conditions in London, using a scooter can make getting around a lot faster. Your insurance may be affected slightly due to the increased mileage on the policy but not for using the vehicle for that purpose. Moreover, these vehicles are very economical, making the cost of the miles for the knowledge a lot cheaper than in a car, even with the increasing fuel costs.
Since the London congestion charge came into force on 17th February 2003, there has been an increase in all motorcycle insurance as these types of vehicle are exempt from the congestion charge, saving you on average £40 a week. These vehicles are also excellent for commuting to and from work, whether it is city or country riding, they cut out the traffic and are very easy to park.
Although insurance seems cheaper due to the engine size of the scooter or moped, the risk of theft increases the insurance enough to make the policy more expensive than a normal motorcycle that may be faster on the road. However, the appeal comes from the fact that the training to ride a scooter is so cheap, and a lot quicker than a full test.