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How We Save $1,000 Per Year By Riding a Moped

Guest post from Allie

My husband and I have been married for almost four years, and have been a one-car family the whole time. Our surprising secret to making this work?

A Scooter!

I drive the car, he takes the scooter. We have figured that our trusty little Moped saves us at least $1,000 a year. How so?

Upfront Costs

It was cheaper for us to buy a Moped (a nice, used one with cash) than to pay for a year of auto insurance on a car. Combine that with the fact that a Moped is obviously much less expensive to buy than a car and you have significant savings.


My husband fills up the gallon tank once a week for whatever the price of a gallon of a gas is that week. His scooter gets 70 miles per gallon!

Auto Insurance

Our insurance for a scooter is significantly less than a car.

Maintenance Costs

The scooter requires little maintenance, and if there is a repair to be done, my husband can usually do it himself.

Overall, having a Moped and car has been a huge blessing for us. We are on a tight budget, and the extra wiggle room has been wonderful.

If you are wondering if you should forgo a second car and get a Moped, here are some things you should think through:

What’s the weather like?

We live near Denver, where it is pretty mild all year long. My husband can use his scooter even during most winter days because it doesn’t snow all that much. Even when it does snow, it clears within one or two days. As long as the roads are clear and you don’t mind the cold, you can even make it work even in winter.

Where do you need to go?

My husband has a 3-mile radius to his life–home, work/grad school, church, and various spots around our little town. His routes require no major roads or high speeds, so he can safely get everywhere he needs to go during the typical workday. (FYI: A moped can go up to about 40 miles per hour.)

What’s your back-up plan?

On the days where my husband can’t take his scooter due to snow/ice/rain, we need a back-up plan. Since we live about two miles from school/work, I either drop him off before I head to work, or he can hitch a ride with friends.

Having a scooter has certainly been a unique way for us to save money, and though it is not always the most convenient option, the savings are more than worth it!

P.S. Check with your state for laws about scooter use. In our state, a helmet and eye protection is required and it is only for one rider.

Allie is a wife to Tim and brand new momma to baby Hudson. She works part-time and spends the rest of her time home with the babe, volunteering at church and enjoying life in Colorado!

photo source

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  • Elizabeth H. says:

    Yah, my husband swore a moped was going to save us money…it did not (just like I said) and he ended up selling it a year later and we definitely lost money on the whole experiment.

    • amy k says:

      Would you mind sharing why it didn’t save money? We have been considering this lately but would like any cons people have had to help us decide better! Thank you!

  • Danielle says:

    We did this in my family for a while. We had three adults who needed to go to work/school in different directions and only two cars. This saves on gas, but it also saves on having to buy another car!

    We no longer use the scooter/motorbike anymore as my little brother moved out on his own. But we still have it around. Actually, if anyone in the Central Fla area is interested in buyin a used scooter we have pics/ details available from when we tried to sell it on ebay a little while ago. danaldrman@yahoo .com

  • Sheila says:

    Having lived about an hour from Denver for 5 years, WOW, you and I have a different definition of ‘mild’ weather! 🙂 Love that and admire him for riding even in the winter. I so admire you guys for having this attitude and good thinking at this stage of your marriage. You are setting the groundwork for your entire lives very well.

  • Robin says:

    My husband and I decided to do something similar this year. He ended up with a Harley, which gets 35-45 mpg, but still better than his car that gets about 10mpg! His car is paid for, but is slowly falling apart. The motorcycle was our compromise – it has a tiny monthly payment for the next year (along w/ cheap compared to a car insurance as well), and I don’t have to worry about him driving a beater that is going to die any day now. (the noises this things make is very worrisome but the car is worth about $75, so it isn’t worth getting it fixed at this point)

  • MB says:

    We live in Denver & my husband commutes exclusively by bike (about 2 miles). There are few days a year where I have to drive him. It’s a great climate for that & we bought our house because of its proximity to his work. We calculate about $150/year for his bike maintenance….so much cheaper than a second car! I drive a car with our kiddos, but it really helps our expenses to only have one!

  • Maegen says:

    My husband wants to get a scooter for his short commute to the train station, but I’m just too nervous. I feel like everyone in our town drives a giant truck or a mini van, and everyone seems to speed. Of course, I’m a nervous Nellie.

    I’m glad you found a good solution. Very creative thinking!

  • Emily says:

    Quick question on the expenses: In the article you said that your husband has a three-mile radius for all of his day-to-day spots he needs to be at. You also said he fills up the tank every week, and the moped gets 70mpg. How big is a moped’s tank? I’m trying to get an idea of how much the expense of gas really is….in my head I’m equivilating it to my car, which has a 12 gallon tank, but that would be a LOT of miles he’s driving weekly if he goes through that large of a tank weekly.

    Thank you so much for your help!

  • jenn says:

    Years ago, my mom had a paper route to help pay for necessities and small extras. My parents bought a moped and that is how she did her route- summer, spring and fall. Winters in Iowa can be nasty so she only used the car in winter and when it was raining.

  • My husband recently bought a used scooter. He gets 65 miles to the gallon, and it is a one gallon tank. He fills it from home with a gas can rather than driving to the gas station. It is a 2-stroke engine, so he also has to add an additive to the gas, but it is just a tiny amount (the amount is on the container).

    He figured that it saves him $5 a day in gas by taking the scooter.

    Plus, in our state, certain scooters (it depends on the type) do not have to be registered and insured. We chose one that did not, in order to not have that cost. Years ago my husband had a motorcycle, which required both, and did not get nearly the gas mileage that the scooter does.

    We are a one-car family as well. My husband got the scooter to save money on his drive to work, and to help us put off buying a larger vehicle for a while. When we need to go to church, he can take the scooter and I can drive the rest of the family. We still need a vehicle big enough for our family, but this was a way for us to wait, and to save money on gas during the waiting time.

  • Wendy says:

    The savings come at a huge risk, though: motorcyclists are much more likely to die in an accident than people in cars. (5.5 times more likely when measured per vehicle or THIRTY-FIVE TIMES more likely as measured by miles driven! source:

    If you want to save on gas and save on car costs, great – but insurance is high, and you better have life insurance/disability insurance and enough money in the bank to help your family through your medical bills if you get hit. (Which has very little to do with how safe a driver you are, and has much more to do with how safe a driver everyone around you is. A moped is even harder to see than a motorcycle.)

  • Amanda says:

    My husband drove a scooter to work for about 2 years while we were living in Denver and were a one car family as well. It worked out really well. Since moving to Seattle we haven’t had as much success due to a further commute on busier streets with lots of hills and rain. Loved it while it lasted though!

  • Bethany M says:

    I sure don’t want to be Miss Negativity, but I lost a good friend on a motor cycle. He was wearing a helmet and doing his part to be safe. The truth is, you risk a lot more than finances when you opperate one.

    • Cassy says:

      The moped is a great idea but my husband won’t ride be or a motorcycle because he says they are too risky. We heard of a family in is army unit that watched their father/ husband die in front of them in a an accident on the highway. He was also wearing a helmet. I think the scooter is a great idea, but risky. We also live in denver while my husband goes to grad school but he commutes 16-20min by car to work wi lacrosse gear in tow so a scooter wouldn’t work for us.

      • Allie says:

        That is horrible and I am so sorry for your friend! Of course, safety is a concern we need to think about, which means no riding at night or anything other than 25 mph 2 lane roads at most. We live in an area where he takes residential streets the whole way. No way would this be a good option if you have to do anything more than that!

    • Lesli says:

      I agree that it is a huge risk. My Father in Law got one to save on gas, but was hit by a minivan while on it last year. She pulled across a four lane road that also had a turn lane and hit him in the furthest lane, throwing him 36 feet. He survived the impact, was lifeflighted and spent 7 weeks in icu before dying from his injuries. Saving money on gas cost $7,000 for a funeral, over a million in medical bills(which Medicare had to pay for bc the other driver only had 50,000 in coverage), and my FIL his life. We have two girls (5 & 2 at the time of the accident) that don’t have their silly grandpa anymore. I was 25 weeks pregnant with our son when the accident happened, so FIL never got to see his only grandson who has his eyes. I’ve had to watch my wonderful MIL grieve and wonder if she made the right decisions for his care in the hospital, and I’ve watched my husband lose his father and take on the responsibility of caring for his mom since he is the only child. The only saving grace in this whole nasty mess is that they had some insurance and Mil will be able to keep a roof over her head, but not the one that they spent 30 years in together. She can’t maintain it by herself since he did most of the maintenance.

      Bottom line, scooters can save money, but make sure if you are going to take that risk to save some money that you and your family are financially protected in the likely event that you have an accident.

  • Shelly says:

    My husband did this for about a year too. He only has a 15 minute commute but his vehicle we had at the time (until it was stolen out of our driveway) only got 11 miles to the gallon. So the scooter was quite the money saver for us just in gas.

    But since we get lots of rain here, we live in Oregon, the rainy part and after he was almost hit three times by motorist in cars just not paying attention or just not seeing him. We decided it was time to part with the scooter.

    We did purchase ours used to save on the purchase and when we sold it we actually got more for it than we paid for it.

  • Diane says:

    My cousin works in law enforcement and calls these liquor-sicles, that’s because the people who drive them around here have lost their license to DWI’s.

    • pamela says:

      Ha! Ha!

      I was thinking the same thing!

      When my brother was wild and crazy in college, one night he rode a mo-ped with a headlamp on his head to see, and was pulled over by the police.

      Yep, he got a DUI while driving 5 miles per hour on a mo-ped.

  • Carrie says:

    I’ve been doing the same, but with my bike. I also stick within a 3-mile radius most days so I don’t feel the need to have any kid of motor for the kids and I to get around. Since we moved to the SF Bay Area in June, our family has not bothered to buy a car at all. My husband either takes the bus or bikes to the ferry to get to his job in San Francisco, and I got a trailer for my bike on Freecycle and use it to drop the littlest off at preschool, get groceries, etc. My older kids walk to school.
    It’s gotten to the point where the kids are so used to biking and walking everywhere that if we rent a car on a weekend (which is usually quite cheap through Hotwire), they complain about having to ride in a car!

  • cheryl says:

    This is a great idea and with all that savings you can purchase a LIFE INSURANCE policy to help your loved ones after you crash and die. Or DISABILITY INSURANCE if you live.

  • jr says:

    Some of you are just ridiculous for using scare tactics, most of you know a guy who knows a guy who died from a bike collision. Maybe if you knew someone personally it’s a little different. And surprise surprise I had two family members die in cars but no one talks about how unsafe they are….. and one of them was driving a semi truck and that a freaking tank. To anyone who wants a scooter it’s safe and very affordable, stay out of blind spots and it’s better to slow down instead of trying to get around someone. And last but not least at least get 150cc scooter they have to be registered and that’s around 150 then after that insurance in between 70 to 150 for a year! The extra horse power will help you stay with traffic. Make sure you flash brakes when slowing down and slow down slowly. To ride any vehicle it takes comments sense and the ability to not trust other drivers judgements because you can die in any vehicle driving 20miles per hour or more and nothing is safe so no need for false security when you drive your SUV or truck. Be careful keep distance and stay safe my freinds!

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