The word "moped" is derived from the words "motor" and "pedal". Some, but not all, mopeds have a foot-powered pedal that powers the vehicle without the use of the engine. A motor scooter is more like a miniature motorcycle. Two of the biggest differences between mopeds and motor scooters are power and licensing requirements.
Since mopeds are not usually over 50 CCs of engine power, the licensing requirements in most places are more lax than for motor scooters, which have between 50 and 150 CCs of engine power. Most mopeds are legal for use on public roads, but are limited on highways. Mopeds have an automatic transmission. The benefits of owning a moped are that they are very environmentally friendly and, in many places, kids aged 14 or 15 can legally drive them on most public roadways.
A motor scooter has less power than a motorcycle, and many people choose scooters because they are more economical to drive and are not as intimidating as a full-power motorcycle can be. Mopeds, on the other hand, are more popular with young people. In areas where a motorized vehicle would not be allowed, such as a sidewalk or on a college campus, they are able to petal the moped and still get around.
Unlike a bicycle, the moped's engine allows users to get around at speeds up to almost 50 miles per hour. For adult commuters who want to save on fuel costs, a motor scooter is one option. For any commuter wanting to save the environment and get around in a stylish fashion, the moped just cannot be beat.
Some states classify mopeds according to their engine size, and others make the classification based on top speed. If you are considering a moped for transportation, check your state's specific regulations regarding the classification of the vehicle and the licensing requirements. Some states allow mopeds to be driven on public roads at the age of 14. In most states, 15 is the minimum age requirement. Motor scooters are usually classified as motorcycles, and the minimum age for driving on public roads is 16.
For high school and college students who need to travel relatively short distances at relatively low speeds, a moped is an excellent fuel saver. The small size is as easy to manage as a bicycle, but you do not have many of the limitations or hassles, such as pedaling up steep hills without assistance or getting out into the flow of 40 mile-per-hour traffic without the necessary power.
Adult commuters with relatively short, low-speed commutes also enjoy the money saving moped. Mopeds are also more environmentally friendly because they consume far less fossil fuel and have lower emissions.