Watch out for moped and scooter drivers

CBT test

Many people may not be aware of this but in the United Kingdom, you do NOT need a full driving licence to ride a moped or scooter (up to 50cc).

The speed of these vehicles is supposed to be capped at 45 kilometres per hour. You may have spotted more mopeds and scooters on the roads recently as many fast food restaurants are choosing to deliver food this way.

Mopeds and scooters are more commonly seen being used by pizza powerhouses such as Pizza Hut and Papa Johns. These have been joined more recently by the new kids on the block: Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

No test needed to ride a moped or scooter

To ride a moped or scooter on the road in the UK, you must:

  1. Be at least 17 years old or 16 years old for a moped with a speed range of 25 kph to 45 kph
  2. Have a provisional driving licence with motorcycle entitlement.
  3. Have completed the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)
  4. Have L plates clearly displayed if you do not hold a full motorcycle licence.

Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) is not a ‘test’ and cannot be ‘failed’ by riders. However, the motorcycle instructor would have to be satisfied that the trainee rider can ride safely on the roads – seen by some as a grown up version of the cycling proficiency course many of us undertook as youngsters.

The CBT course is split into five parts and is often completed in one day, costing between £100 - £130. Once the trainee has completed all five parts of this course, they are provided with DL169 certificate and will be permitted to ride a moped or scooter on the road. 

The five parts of the CBT course are:

  1. Introduction to CBT and eyesight test;
  2. Learning the controls of the motorcycle;
  3. Practical off road riding. This is on a safe off-road area, where trainees learn basics such as driving in a straight line, changing gear and emergency stops;
  4. Road briefing and safety talk. This is a 45 minute classroom session, where trainees will learn elements of the Highway Code and will be provided with further information how to ride safely; and
  5. Practical on road training. This is where the trainees have radio control with their instructor. Trainees are taken on a variety of different roads.

CBT restrictions 

The only restrictions are that riders without a full licences cannot:

  1. Ride on motorways;
  2. Carry a pillion passenger; or
  3. Ride without clearly displaying L plates

Be mindful of scooter and moped drivers

Riders of these vehicles are often young and inexperienced.

Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians should be mindful of this when navigating the roads. The rider of the moped delivering someone’s pizza or kebab may be a 17 year old who has only recently completed their CBT. Extra space and patience should be given to these riders to avoid unnecessary accidents on the road.

Inexperience riders should also be aware of their limitations. They should ride the bikes within their means. Mopeds and scooters are small and nimble for navigating through busy cities. However, that also means they don’t offer a great deal of protection for riders. Motorcyclists, including moped and scooter riders are vulnerable road users.

Unfortunately, accidents on mopeds will, and do, happen. Motorcyclists are more likely to be seriously injured than road users in cars. At Digby Brown, we see many road accidents that could have been prevented with a bit of extra care and attention.