Getting an automobile in Germany is the first thought for most of the people, who make Germany their new home. But as soon as you check the process/cost of getting a driving license (especially for newbies), insurance price and maintenance cost, that thought takes a back seat for some of us.
Luckily there is an option for you, which is cheap, have a low maintenance cost, negligible insurance price and have several other advantages. This option is a 50cc scooter (better known as moped/mofa in Germany). Don’t worry, you can get some really trendy models in this category and yes, two people are allowed to ride on it.
Before you further read this article, I would like to clarify that I consider that a 50cc scooter is complementary to a car and is not at all a replacement for it.
- Parking is super easy: In my opinion, this is the greatest advantage of a 50cc scooter (actually any two-wheeler). Generally, you get a free parking place for two-wheelers in many cities and that’s too near the main shopping area.
- Mileage: Needless to say that 50cc scooters offer a great mileage of 40-50 km per liter.
- Cheap: If you are not fancy to buy big brand name then, you can easily get a used 50cc scooter under 400€. Even, a new model is also not too expensive and costs around 900-1500€ (buy it from Real, ATU etc).
- Great mobility option in cities: The speed limit in cities is usually 30-60kmph so, a 50cc scooter is no way slower in city traffic (it’s actually a faster option during peak traffic hours).
- Easy and cheap to get a license: Where a class-B license for cars may easily cost you more than 2000€, the class-M license for 50cc costs less than half to it.
- If you don’t have a garage then, you have to park it on the road, which is easy but becomes problematic during winters.
- Since the top speed of a 50cc scooter is 50kmph so, you are not allowed to drive it at Autobahn (highways) and Landestraße (Motorways ).
- There is no navigation map, which works perfectly for 50cc scooters. Read further to know my workaround for this problem.
- If you already have a class-B license in Germany then, you don’t need a special license for it(since license class-B already includes class-M). In this case, you can directly go to buy a scooter, take insurance and start driving it.
- If you don’t have any license and find it a difficult/lengthy/costly process to get a class-B driving license for cars then, you can try to get a class-M license, which costs around 700€. I would suggest choosing this path if you are absolutely sure that you are not going to get a class-B driving license for at least for one year.
- You can check out this official TÜV-SÜD webpage (in English) to further understand the allowed categories of vehicles for each license type.
Insurance and registration:
One more good news!!! You don’t have to do these two processes separately for 50cc scooters and you don’t have to visit a transportation authority for its registration at all. For a 50cc scooter, the insurance and registration are done together by having a registration number plate. To get this registration number plate, you have two options:
- If you are going to buy the scooter from a dealer like ATU then, you can directly purchase the registration number plate (Kennzeichnen) from them. It costs around 60€.
- Cheaper Option: Visit any insurance company’s office (I visited HUK-Coburg) and get the registration number plate from them. It usually costs around 40€.
Important: The registration plate is issued for 1 year (from February to February) and you have to buy a new one every year.
Since the top speed of a 50cc scooter is 45-50kmph so, it is not allowed to drive it on highways and motorways. And, till date, there is no map service, which can search directions, that are suitable for a 50cc scooter.
You might think that you can search for directions that are suitable for cycles (because a cycle is slower than scooter)…never ever do it!!! Many highways and motorways either have dedicated cycle lanes or have parallel cycle paths (which are not directly at the highway/motorway). Since 55cc moped is a motorized vehicle so, you are not allowed to drive on the cycleway as well.
Basically, you can’t drive a 50cc scooter at:
- Cycle paths
How to find directions in Google maps for a 50cc scooter?
- Set in Google maps to avoid highways. This would avoid highways when you search for direction but will still include motorways.
- Honestly, you wouldn’t like to go for hundreds of kilometers on a 50cc scooter so, I assume that your destinations must be within a range of 100 km. Now divide your route into small sections. For example, if I want to go to Memmingen from Munich then, I divide the whole route into small sub-routes and finally create a route in Google maps by adding those sections as stops.