Scooters and motorcycles have become increasingly popular modes of transportation in the UK. These two-wheeled vehicles are popular in cities and towns as they offer a safe, fast, and convenient way to cut through traffic. However, before hitting the road on a scooter, it’s essential to understand the licencing requirements to ensure you are legally allowed to operate the vehicle. In the UK, the licence requirements for driving a scooter depend on the engine size and the maximum speed of the vehicle. Let’s delve into the details.
Why Have Scooters and Motorcycles Become So Popular in the UK?
Scooters and motorcycles are becoming increasingly popular in the UK for numerous reasons:
- They offer a practical solution for commuting in busy urban areas. With their slender build, scooters can easily navigate through traffic, saving time and reducing stress.
- These vehicles are fuel-efficient, providing a cost-effective alternative to cars. They are also environmentally friendly, emitting fewer pollutants compared to larger vehicles.
- The sense of liberation and thrill that comes with riding a scooter or motorcycle is another attractive aspect for many people.
What Licence Do You Need to Drive a 50cc Scooter?
If you are looking to drive a 50cc scooter in the UK, you can do so with a standard driving licence. A category AM licence, which is automatically included in a full car licence obtained before 2001, allows you to ride a 50cc scooter without any additional requirements. What a 50cc scooter is, in short, is a vehicle that can only reach a maximum speed of up to 45km/h, like the Aprilia SXR 50 that’s available at your local Aprilia dealer in Richmond.
However, it’s important to note that the AM licence only applies to scooters with a restricted top speed. Some 50cc scooters can be boosted to exceed that speed limit, at which point you would need a different licence to drive it.
What Licence Do You Need to Drive a Scooter Over 50cc?
To ride a scooter or motorcycle over 50cc in the UK, you will need to obtain a category A1, A2, or A licence, depending on the engine size and power output of the vehicle. The licence requirements are as follows:
· Category A1 Licence
This licence lets you ride scooters or, more likely, a motorcycle with an engine capacity of up to 125cc. To obtain an A1 licence, you must be at least 17 years old and then pass a motorcycle theory test as well as a practical riding test. This licence enables you to ride more powerful scooters and motorcycles while being restricted to certain engine sizes.
· Category A2 Licence
The A2 licence permits you to ride motorcycles with a maximum power output of up to 35 kW (47 bhp). To acquire an A2 licence, you must be at least 19 years old and pass both the theory and practical tests. This licence offers more flexibility in terms of the motorcycles you can ride.
· Category A Licence
The Category A licence is the highest level licence and allows you to ride motorcycles of any size or power output. To obtain a category A licence, you must be at least 24 years old or have had your A2 licence for at least two years. The licence requires you to pass the theory and practical tests, including a more advanced riding exam.
It’s worth noting that regardless of the licence category, new riders are subject to certain restrictions, such as displaying L plates, adhering to specific speed limits, and being prohibited from carrying passengers until they pass a full motorcycle test.