Scooters: Four answers to help you find your bearings

2 min.

Scooter, moped, vespa: these three words say it all when it comes to young (or even the not so young!) people’s ride of choice.

There are, however, some specific rules you should be aware of. Here’s a little guide to discussing the subject with the future new scooterist.

1. How do I broach the scooter subject with my teenager?
Is your teen moped obsessed? If you think they’re mature enough to be responsible, it may be time to have the talk. Tell them that you can help them become a responsible driver and that you’re ready to give them more freedom as they progressively improve their road skills.

As the old saying goes: “Spoken words fly away; written words remain.” So put your agreement to paper and sign a family contract! So, ready for a first ride?

2. Who can ride a scooter?
Anyone of at least 14 years of age and who has a class 6D licence has the green light to cruise around on a moped. Parental authorization is, however, required if the person is still a minor. The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) (Quebec automobile insurance corporation) provides a form for this purpose.

The future scooterist must of course take the six-hour Road safety education program – driving a moped or scooter course and pass the SAAQ’s knowledge and vision tests beforehand.

Holders or probationary holders of any other class of driver’s licence (except class 8, reserved for farm tractors) can also ride a moped. So, if you have a motorcycle licence (classes 6A, 6B and 6C) or the licence to drive an automobile (class 5), the joys of a scooter are in your reach!

There’s no denying the popularity of motorized scooters: in 2022, the number of licenced scooterists rose by approximately 20% in the previous five years, according to data from the SAAQ.

3. What are the rules applicable to riding a scooter?
As is always the case, a driver must have their licence, registration and proof of insurance with them at all times.

There are many rules to follow when riding. You and your passenger are required to wear an approved helmet, and a visor is strongly recommended. But remember, scooterists under the age of 16 are not allowed to carry a passenger—unless they’re looking for a $100 fine.

And no matter their driving experience, the scooterist must follow the zero alcohol rule until they turn 22. In that vein, the number of allowed demerit points varies according to driving experience and age. For example, if you have less than five years of driving experience with a class 6D licence, you must have less than four demerit points on your driving record at all times.

As you can see, there are some particularities when it comes to riding a motorized scooter. Modifying your scooter to increase its maximum power or speed, for example, is also prohibited. And driving on the highway is not allowed! Here are a few more points that are covered in the course: always stay seated while driving, never let go of the handlebars and ride in a staggered formation when travelling in the same lane as a group.

4. Do you need insurance to ride a scooter?
In Quebec, vehicles with two or three wheels, a motor of 50cc or under, an automatic transmission and which cannot exceed 70km/h and are considered scooters. Unlike with a motorcycle, civil liability insurance is not mandatory in this case.

However, even if it’s not required by law, you should always have the coverage needed to protect you against civil liability and damage to your scooter. This decision will allow you to ride with peace of mind. Civil liability insurance covers the material damage suffered to your vehicle in the event of a collision that takes place in Quebec and for which you are not responsible.

You can simply add this coverage to your, or even to your parents’, current auto insurance policy. Scooter insurance gives you the same civil liability coverage as with your car. Additional coverage can further improve your insurance policy: all perils coverage, collision and upset coverage, or coverage against certain specific risks, such as fire or theft. Now you’re better informed about what’s involved in using this popular machine. So, are you ready for a ride?


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