Avoiding traffic jams, saving money on fuel, finding parking easily, driving along VAO and Bus lanes or contributing to less pollution are some of the advantages of replacing the car with a 2-wheeled vehicle, be it a motorcycle or moped.

Mopeds and motorcycles are not the same. They have a similar appearance and the advantages of moving in any of them are practically the same but there are certain details that make them completely different and it is necessary to take them into account when deciding to buy one or the other.

Mopeds and motorcycles, similar but not identical

The type of vehicle, the size of the engine, the maximum speed reached or the type of roads through which they can travel are some of the characteristics that support the premise, mentioned above, that a moped is not a motorcycle.

Vehicle type

The main difference between a motorcycle and a moped is that it refers to the type of vehicle. The Traffic, Motor Vehicles and Road Safety Law excludes mopeds from the group of motor vehicles, those provided with an engine for their propulsion. But the same does not happen with motorcycles, which are considered motor vehicles.

Displacement and speed

The next big difference comes from the hand of the displacement and the speed reached by these vehicles. The moped has an engine with a displacement of less than 50 cc that cannot exceed 45 kilometers per hour . As for the motorcycles, depending on their size and model they can have more or less displacement, always greater than 50 cc, and the same happens with the maximum speed that can be reached, which will depend on the type of motorcycle.

Current legislation establishes that a motorcycle has an engine with a displacement greater than 50 cc and a maximum construction speed exceeding 45 kilometers per hour . These characteristics also mark the limit between a moped and a motorcycle.

Driving age

The legal limit that establishes who may or may not drive a type of motorcycle is age . Until a few years ago, anyone who turned 14 was already allowed to take the moped card. But since September 1, 2010, the last reform of the General Driver Regulations raised the minimum age to 15 years and requires 18 to be able to transport a passenger. But not only that, legislative changes also influenced the driver’s license giving rise to the AM driving license , “effectively in the community space,” which replaced the old license to drive mopeds.

On the other hand, the minimum age to drive a motorcycle up to 125 cc is 16 years and it is necessary to be available for the A1 driving license . Driving motorcycles with higher displacement not only requires more age and other types of motorcycle license but also requires a minimum age in lower permits.


Mopeds are prohibited by law on motorways or motorways , they cannot even do so on their shoulders, except when they are passable and wide enough. Its area of ​​circulation is restricted to towns and conventional roads . This limitation does not have the motorcycles, which can circulate in any type of way.

Physical characteristics


But the best way to differentiate a motorcycle from a moped is considering its physical characteristics . Mopeds are smaller than motorcycles, even the smaller engine is larger than a moped. There is also usually a difference in the size of their tires since those of mopeds are usually smaller and lighter.

License plate color

A curious detail that also indicates what type of vehicle it is is the color of the license plate . While mopeds have an orange license plate, that of motorcycles can be distinguished from the rest by being white.

Mandatory insurance for motorcycles and mopeds

Despite all the characteristics that differentiate motorcycles from mopeds, there is something that unites them. Like cars, these vehicles have the obligation to pass the ITV and have a valid insurance . Both motorcycles and mopeds must have at least one Civil Liability insurance.

Although the Traffic, Motor Vehicles and Road Safety Law does not consider the moped to be a motor vehicle, it does consider the Criminal Code as such , which includes it in that group for the purposes of the responsibility of its drivers. All vehicles require mandatory insurance and mopeds are considered as such for legal purposes.

Since insurance is mandatory in both cases, when hiring a motorcycle insurance or moped insurance, the best way not to be wrong in the election. This will save time and money on your insurance


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