or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Help me decide if a moped is worth it
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help me decide if a moped is worth it

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

We are a one car family and it is HARD. DH recently said he wants a moped and I said no way in hell! then he elaborated and it seems to makes sense financially. What do you think?


1. Our LIMIT would be $400 for the moped

2. In our state it does not need to be registered or insured

3. Will probably get 100 MPG which will save us big on gas

4. It will be DH's primary mode of transportation to work which would leave me with the car


It is hard b/c in my head I am saying I don't want to spend $400 on a moped! We can't find one cheaper. We could use some of our tax money to get it and be alright (we only got $2400 back this year and need $1700 for our car ins. for the year).

post #2 of 13

If you can afford the initial purchase, I think it's a great deal.  Most of Europe and Asia uses them as a primary mode of transportation.  It makes a lot of frugal sense, especially as gas prices are not likely to come down significantly ever again.

post #3 of 13

The only thing I would caution against is safety. Mopeds generally can not keep up with the speed of cars or motorcycles, so they can hold up traffic or get into situations where you are getting passed or tailgated. Also, check into whether riding on the shoulder is safe or even legal....and no highways. So consider the route and traffic speed and volume of his commute.


I'd be more inclined to see about getting a motorcycle if you could swing it financially.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

It would strictly be for DH and he will only use it to get to work which is all back roads. You have to pay to register and insure motorcycles i my state.

post #5 of 13

My perspective comes as a mother of a son with a 49cc scooter.  The pros are that they are really fun to ride, the gas savings are huge! - his tank only holds 2 gallons and he only fills up about once every 7-8 weeks.  His scooter does have to be insured, but the cost is only $185 for the entire year.


The cons:  The weather has to be pretty nice in order for it to be a comfortable ride.  Anything under about 50 degrees and he doesn't want to use it, even when he is bundled up.  It is not a pleasant ride if you get an unexpected rain shower, and he says the scooter does not really feel secure on wet pavement.  He worked a construction job over the summer, and he couldn't take his lunch with him (he needed a cooler and lots of water).  30 mph is pretty much the top speed - it can get up to 40, but can't sustain it.  Evasive maneuvers are kind of dangerous, like if a kid darts out from between parked cars or someone opens a car door into your path.  There are also the same safety concerns that motorcyclists and bicyclists have - motorists often just don't see you.


In our experience, the scooter is a fun "toy" but can't  be counted on as a mode of everyday transportation.  Quick errands, yes.  Can you pick him up and drop him off at work the next day if it rains/snows/is too windy on any given day?  Does he have to take anything every day that won't fit in a backpack?


post #6 of 13

Wow, what timing! I just got back from the shop with my Vespa that I haven't ridden since the start of my pregnancy in 2008!  The ride home was fun... :)


My family has a few scooters, and I know just a little about them, so I'll share what I have.  Gas mileage- can't be beat!  Registration, insurance, motorcycle license- in most states not required if 50cc or under. You can buy insurance if you want it- I think my dad has collision and it's like $50/ year. The 50cc scooters don't go very fast though, I have a 2 stroke and top speed is about 45 downhill. 4 strokes are slower.


I'd definitely be concerned with where he would be driving- when you say back roads do you mean windy and hilly roads?  If so, probably not a good idea, because of the potential for another driver to hit him.


We mostly use our scooters for short rides around the neighborhood- not more than 10 or so miles away from our house, and try not to drive on any roads where the speed limit is above 35-40.  Also, depending on your state, it might be illegal to drive on a state highway without a licensed vehicle.


They are super-fun to ride, though, and if your husband's commute is short and the weather is nice, I say go for it!





post #7 of 13
I LOVED mine for commuting. You don't want to use one in really cruddy weather, but on nice days with no ice, frost, or really hard rain they are super handy. I liked how cheap mine was compared to a car, the 100mpg, that I could go places that would be too difficult one a bike...

Yes, i had to stick to roads that were under 35 MPH, and it wasn't amazing for adverse weather. But I absolutely found it convienent, inexpensive, and a fun way to get around.
post #8 of 13

we live down a gravel road, only maybe a quarter mile of gravel, then its pavement.  Would a scooter be ok on that amount of gravel?


post #9 of 13
A scooter is tricky on gravel, for sure. 1/4 mile of slow driving would be fine, though.
post #10 of 13

We got our car about a year ago (shortly before our son was born), and before that we relied on our trusty scooter!  It is 149cc, and although you do have to register it and get a motorcycle license, I think it is much preferable to a 49cc scooter; it has a LOT more power and more importantly, can handle two people riding on it.  I am a big fan of our little scooter, but we live in the middle of a large city (Chicago).  I don't know that I would want to use it for really long trips, but we don't take too many of those.  Now that we have a kid, my husband using it to commute to work when it's warm and when he doesn't ride his bike.  We also like to take it on the occasional date night, as it is fun to ride and easy to park!  So, anyway, I would say that it has been worth it for us, although we did pay about 900 for it.  I don't know that you could find a 149cc for under 400.  

post #11 of 13

We're a car/scooter family and yes, the weather is a concern. My DP has spent at least as much on cold and rain gear as he did on the scoot. It's something to be aware of as well as the cost of a helmet, gloves, etc. He rides it year round in all weather and, for him, it's a necessity rather than an alternative.  He keeps tools on hand, knows how to work on it and is otherwise experienced with motorcycle riding and safety issues. 

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well we might be getting one on freecycle love.gif.


DH said he wants an older model, a 50CC. He knows a few guys at work that have the and drive to work. On days he can't take it he would just take the car. As of right now he always takes the car, we can't afford the extra gas of me dropping him off and having the car.

post #13 of 13
I loved having a scooter, until I was hit by a car. Not I have a shoulder injury that I will have foe the rest of my life. Cars.always pass scooters because they go slower, but they pass too close. I feel safer on a bike because the cars stay farther away.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Frugality & Finances
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Help me decide if a moped is worth it