About other road users

Information for moped riders

A moped is a two-wheeled motor vehicle with an engine capacity of no more than 50cc or which has an alternative power source (for example, electricity). Its maximum speed capability is no more than 50km/h. This definition also includes three-wheeled vehicles registered as mopeds before 10 May 2011.

You are licensed to ride a moped if you have either a motorcycle (Class 6) licence or a car (Class 1) licence. When riding a moped on a Class 1 or Class 6 learner licence, you must display an L plate. If you’re on a learner or restricted licence, you must not ride the moped between 10pm and 5am.

Safety rules for moped riders

  • A moped is a motor vehicle. Therefore, you must not ride it on the footpath or a cycle path. The exception is where a road controlling authority has authorised the use of a footpath by a moped or motorcycle rider for the purpose of delivering newspapers, mail or other printed material to letterboxes.
  • You must wear an approved motorcycle safety helmet when riding a moped.
  • At intersections, you must:
    • follow the rules for motor vehicles, or
    • get off your moped and walk across.
  • You may ride beside another moped or cyclist, but you must not ride beside other vehicles.
  • Pass other vehicles in single file.
  • A moped must not be towed by any other vehicle.
  • A moped may tow a trailer, but must not be fitted with a sidecar.
  • You must not carry a pillion passenger on a moped, unless you have a pillion seat and footrests. If you are carrying a child, the pillion seat must protect the child’s legs from the wheels.
  • You must not park a moped on the footpath.
  • You must turn on your moped’s headlight during the hours of darkness (from 30 minutes after sunset on one day until 30 minutes before sunrise on the next day) and at any other time when you can’t clearly see a person or vehicle 100 metres away.
  • You must also turn on either your moped's headlight or its daytime running lights during daylight hours if your moped was manufactured on or after 1 January 1980.

Features your moped must have

Your moped must have:

  • a rear red light that can be seen from 100 metres away
  • a headlight powerful enough to see clearly anything 30 metres in front of you
  • a horn
  • good tyres, with a clear tread pattern
  • a good exhaust system that isn't excessively noisy
  • safe steering
  • mudguards
  • good brakes at the front and back
  • one or two red rear stop lights (if first registered in New Zealand after 1 January 1991)
  • a red rear reflector.


Any load you carry on your moped must be tied on firmly and must not touch the ground.

< previous | next >

Last updated: 4 October 2012