If high gas prices are really busting your budget – and you don’t mind standing out from the crowd – consider buying a moped for your day-to-day trips. Mopeds are small scooters that look like miniature motorcycles with the pedals of a bicycle. They don’t have the distance range of a regular car, but they’re great on gas mileage. So even if you don’t use the moped as your primary vehicle, you can use it for a few trips a day and save a bundle on gas.
Typically, the two things that separate a moped from a regular motorcycle are a smaller bore engine and smaller tires. Each state defines what makes a bike a moped differently, although they essentially define the same thing. For instance, Massachusetts says they have to have an automatic transmission, they cannot be capable of going more than 30 mph, and their cylinder capacity must not exceed 50 cc.
Take a trip to just about any college and you’ll see at least a few mopeds parked around campus. They’re perfect for short trips that are either too long for bikes or too short for a car. Currently, you can buy a new moped for about $1,000 to $5,000. You can also find used mopeds in good condition for around $500 to $1,000. If you’re interested in picking one up, check with motorcycle shops in your area or look for classified ads in your local newspapers and on Craigslist.
Mopeds will deliver excellent return on the investment – primarily in this area of gasoline consumption. There are some models that can give you as much as a hundred miles per gallon. A few have even been recorded to provide 120 miles per gallon, although that’s not a consistent range that you should expect. Just like any car, riding your moped at a lower speed will help reach the higher fuel efficiency levels, as will keeping up on your bike’s maintenance.
In addition, there are rumors of a future “hybrid” moped that will allow you to recharge the battery by using the pedals. This way, when you’re going downhill and don’t need the engine, you can use the pedals and save even more gas at the same time. This would make the moped even more fuel-efficient than it already is and lead to even greater gas savings.
Currently, there are only a few moped makers in the United States, so the supply is limited. This promises to change soon though, as more people seek out alternative means of transportation to try to cope with rising fuel prices. This could also lead to an increase in the price of these mini-bikes, so if you’re in the market for a moped, now’s the time to buy.
If you’re looking for new ways to save gas and live in a relatively urban area, consider downgrading from your car to a moped for all your in-town errands. Using a moped for short distances – like getting groceries or going to the movies – can save you a bundle when it comes to gas prices. Sure, you might get a few funny looks, but take heart – while others are laughing at how strange you look, just look at how much money they’re paying to put gas in their cars and you’ll feel better right away!