How to Ride a Scooter in 8 Easy Steps
At Rideto.com, we aim to make getting on 2 wheels as simple and easy as possible. Whether you have a full driving licence or have just turned 16 and want a CBT licence, this article should give you the basics of how to ride a scooter, and purchase one, in 8 easy steps.
1. Get the correct ‘paperwork’
Not very exciting, but quite important... Depending on your age, it will decide what paperwork you have. As a minimum, you need a provisional driving licence.
If you hold an EU driving licence you’ll need to check you are eligible and apply for a UK counterpart by completing a ‘D91’ from the DVLA here.
If you passed your driving test before 1st February 2001 then you are able to ride a 50cc moped without the need for a CBT. If you passed your driving test after this date then you are required to take a CBT before you can ride any sized moped or scooter.
2. Book your CBT training
Assuming you now have your provisional or full driving licence the next step is to book your training. If you do a small amount of research you’ll quickly find there are a large number of training schools offering CBT's at varying prices with different things included. We found this part of research very time consuming and hence gave birth to Rideto.com. Our advice is to compare reviews of actual customers and what's included in the quoted price - bike hire, insurance and equipment. A quick search with your postcode on our homepage and we'll do the job for you.
IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO GET ONTO TWO WHEELS BUT NOT SURE WHERE TO START, WHY NOT TAKE OUR GETTING STARTED SURVEY?
3. Get the gear
Personally, I recommend holding off until you’ve completed your CBT before splashing out on all the gear. You’ll learn a lot during your training day about the pros and cons of different gear and be able to talk to other riders about what purchases they’ve made. You’ll probably be hiring a bike which should come with helmet and gloves included. The reason I’ve put this 3rd though, is because it’s well worth ensuring you have a decent pair of strong jeans and jacket in advance of the day, as you’ll need these to be able to take the training.
4. How to ride a scooter - take your CBT training
Make sure you’re available for the entire day you plan to take your CBT training. Typical times are 9am start with 4 or 5pm finish with 30 minutes or so for lunch. I suggest checking if there are shops nearby and if not take a pack lunch!
There are 5 elements to the CBT Training day:
This is our basic rundown. If you want a more detailed outline of the day then read our 5 parts to a CBT article
- Introduction and eye test - You need to be able to read a number plate at 20 meters
- Onsite training - Teaching around the motorcycle, how the controls work, equipment, safety
- Onsite riding - On the bikes for training in how to handle the bike. Weaving through cones and mock road riding and scenarios. This is where the instructor will decide if you are safe to continue with the training and go on the roads.
- On-road training - Back to the whiteboard for more detail about riding on the roads, the highway code and what to expect from the route you’ll be taking
- On-road riding - 2 students per instructor, you'll be given earphone radios and will ride out on a variety of roads following close supervision and direction from your instructor. This should last for a minimum of 2 hours and sometimes more.
For a full guide on what to expect on the training day, you can also read our in depth beginner's guide to getting on 2 wheels.
5. Buying your first scooter or moped
You’re almost there, time for the expensive bit. Buying a scooter. This can be a tough thing to get right, so I recommend consulting a friend or someone with experience. It's also worth reading our article on 10 bikes you can ride on a CBT.
Brand new scooters or mopeds cost in the region of £2,000 - £3,000 but you can pick up a decent 2nd hand 50cc moped for around £500. It’s always worth spending a little bit more as better quality bikes will hold their value and costs you less in maintenance in the long run. There's some really stylish bikes such as the Vespa which are well worth a look. Don’t forget to factor for other costs including insurance, tax, fuel, servicing. Our costs calculator (coming soon) will help you to work these out.
6. Insurance for your moped or scooter
Comparison websites such as GoCompare, Money.co.uk and Compare The Market can be useful here. Also speak to other riders to gain their experience. Personally, when I started riding I spoke to a few people for recommended specialist insurers such as Lexham and Bennetts and then used price comparison sites to get the best deal. As a new rider without any riding no claims, expect to pay anything from £400 - £800 for your first year. This obviously depends massively on a number of factors. I paid £500 to insure my 125cc Vespa for my first year in London - compared to £300 which the lady I bought it off was paying.
7. Motorcycle Road Tax
When you buy a new motorbike/scooter/moped you have to renew the road tax as it can’t be transferred. Likewise, when you sell one ensure you claim a refund. For bikes under 125cc it’s not a big hit - £17 a year.
8. Get your motorcycle on the road!
So hopefully you’ve got your paperwork in order, a good bike and suitable equipment. Time to get out on the road! Be careful and really think about the lessons you learned during your training, they will really keep you safe. Enjoy the freedom and when you’re thinking about moving up motorcycle licence categories have a read of our other guides.
Still unsure? We love to talk bikes and scooters. Drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat.
If you're looking to get onto two wheels but not sure where to start, why not take our getting started survey