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What Licence Do I Need to Ride a Scooter?

What Licence Do I Need to Ride a Scooter?

The main benefit of scooters compared to other road vehicles is the training required. To drive a car, you need weeks (sometimes months) of lessons, along with the theory and practical tests. This can add up to an expensive time, and this is before you've even bought a car and insurance. However, when it comes to riding a scooter, most people are unsure what type of licence and training they need.

In order to ride both 50cc and 125cc scooters, you need to pass Compulsory Basic Training. This can be done from the age of 16 onwards, and the certificate is valid for two years. This allows you to gain experience on the road, and makes transitioning to a full motorcycle licence very easy. A CBT can be obtained with a learner driver's licence, which is what makes it so suitable for young people.

The CBT is separate from your car driving licence, and will not be affected if you pass your driving test while holding a CBT certificate. Once your CBT certificate expires, you'll either need to pass your full motorcycle test or take another CBT. You will still need to take a CBT if you hold a full driving licence, as this does not entitle you to ride a motorbike without training anymore.

However, you won't need to take a CBT in the following circumstances:

  • If you passed your driving test before 01/02/2001, and only want to ride a 50cc scooter.
  • If you have a full, valid moped licence from passing a test since 01/12/1990.
  • If you have a full, valid motorcycle licence and are just looking to switch to a different category of bike.

The main thing to note about riding a scooter is that, while easy compared to other vehicles, it does still require knowledge of the vehicle and road. This is why it's useful to take a CBT. In the past, you could ride certain scooters and motorbikes on a full driving licence, but this was deemed to be too risky and the law was changed. Now you can ride a scooter, either 50cc or 125cc, on both a learner and full driving licence.

If you're riding on a provisional licence (with a CBT) you're restricted to 50cc scooters if 16, and 125cc scooters if 17 and over. You also have to display L-plates on your scooter, and you're not allowed to carry pillion passengers. These rules are in place because a CBT does not provide you with full safety training for things like carrying a passenger. Also, because you haven't officially passed a full test, you're technically still a learner. If you're caught breaking these rules, you can be fined and banned from the road.

The main thing to remember is that you're able to ride scooters on both full and provisional licences. However, you're restricted to certain engine sizes and required to complete a CBT. The only way to ride bigger motorbikes is to pass your full motorcycle test.