A moped means a motor vehicle, other than a power-assisted pedal cycle, that has:

  • 2 or 3 wheels
  • a maximum speed not more than 50 km/h
  • either
    • an engine cylinder capacity not more than 50cc or
    • a power source other than a piston engine.

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

Safety rules for moped riders

  • You must not ride a moped on the footpath or a cycle path. The exception is where a road controlling authority allows a moped or motorcycle rider to use a footpath to deliver newspapers, mail or other printed material to letterboxes.
  • You and any passenger 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 not 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 passenger on a moped, unless you have a pillion seat and footrests. If you’re carrying a child, the pillion seat must protect the child’s legs from the wheels.
  • You must not park your moped on the footpath.
  • You must turn on your moped’s headlight during the hours of darkness, from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise, and at any other time when you can’t clearly see a person or vehicle 100 metres away.
  • You must also turn on your moped’s headlight or its daytime running lights during daylight hours if your moped was made 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 clearly see 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 2 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.