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vespa vs moped

i want to go to europe and i hope to stay for a year or more so i dont want to be reliant on trains or busses for all of my travel. i was considering buying a vespa when i arrive with a international license. can any one help me which whould you choose and where whould you suggest getting one. Or do you have a better idea?

Posted by
9363 posts

Before you plan on buying a vehicle, you had better find out about how to go about being allowed to stay in Europe "for a year or more". Without a visa, you are limited to 90 days in the EU in the 180 day period following your first entry into an EU country.

Posted by
21346 posts

And do you know the difference between a Vespa and moped? Vespa is a brand name for a scooter style of motorcycle that can range from low power to high. A moped is a general term for a motorized bicycle. You can buy scooters just about anywhere in Europe. In most of the US the lower powered (49cc) do not require license or insurance but don't the know the requirements for Europe.

Posted by
7979 posts

A vespa is considered a motorcycle of sorts and in Germany at least, you need a motorcycle license. Not sure how that works with international licenses. I also do not how you would work purchasing, registering, insuring and licensing of your vespa if you are not a resident of some European country. A moped is out. Seriously, it is a bike with a little motor on it.

You might want to re-think the public transportation idea. It is the easiest way to get around.

Do you have a visa for one year?

Posted by
2 posts

im not going for a couple years and i will have a visa that allows me to travel for more than 3 months in the EU also i was aware of the difference between a vespa and a moped, but there is an arguments for both depending on what you want out of the trip and i want to really talk to locals and experience europe. thanks for your imput

Posted by
1829 posts

The trains and buses will be full of locals for you to talk to. In fact that is often considered the perfect place to strike up conversations.

Posted by
135 posts

Get a Vespa or another kind of motor scooter if you want to travel between towns and countries. Get a used one, it shouldn't be hard to find a dealer. However, be aware that you take your life in your hands, you'll get blown off the road by cars and trucks. Also, if it rains, you'll get really, really wet. I would decide what to buy (and if to buy) after getting to Europe and taking a look at the local situation. Public transportation is great; however, for exploring the by-ways your own wheels are a must. Also, you may find an adventurous friend with whom to share travels. Another thought: get a moped or just a good bike and take it with you on bus or train for long hops between destinations and then use it to explore the surrounding areas. In fact, on reflection, that seems to combine the best of both worlds. Tell the truth, sounds like a wonderful adventure to me. Have lots of fun!

Posted by
337 posts

The usefulness of such small powered two-wheelers depends heavily on your location. They're vastly more useful in a small or medium town, or the outskirts of a city, than in city centers or rural areas, aren't they? If there is a halfway decent public transport system at all, the public transport will most likely be more convenient and cheaper than such a small vehicle. And of course you can't "travel" with them, they're only suited for local transport.

Posted by
11798 posts

We had a scooter when we lived overseas. It got us around cheaply with little worry about parking when we got somewhere. A milk crate on the back holds groceries well. If you get a stepthrough with the brake on the pedals or handles, you can fit an ice chest between your legs for a trip to the park or beach.

It was great to have as long as you drive very defensively. Other drivers are the biggest worry. You have to assume you're invisible because people won't see you. My wife and I each went for slides when caught in the rain unexpectedly. Except for some road rash, we survived.

Posted by
586 posts

Hey, Kate. I've got a gas scooter (49cc) in Chicago, and I love it. However, I would advise that after you get settled, you rent one for a week (at least for a long weekend), and really do some driving, to make certain you feel comfortable and safe. Would also advise, at the very least, a lesson of some type, even if it's just informal from the renter. That way, if you decide it's not your thing--or not really realistic for the area (weather...especially cold and rain and wind...are factors, as is the grade of the roads around the town)--you haven't already made the purchase. Also, even if it's not 'cool,' wear a helmet!

Posted by
2138 posts

Kate - Not sure where you are going in Europe but purchasing a motorino is very difficult here. It really depends on what country you start in... In Italy for example, you must be have resident status to purchase, register, and insure a vehicle. And you do not get that with just a visa, or even a permisso sigorno (permission to stay). You have to apply for resiedence status. Without an EU connection (relative, family, etc.) it can often take 8-12 months to get to that level.

Your IDP is good for one year. If you live in Italy for more than a year, you cannot use an IDP after 12 months. You have to get an Italian license.

Every country IS different. Heck, parts of Italy seem to be different. Here you can drive up to a 125cc motobike without a motorcycle license - although I recommend you get one in the US and have that :stamped" on your IDP. This link can help answer a few questions on the IDP - CLICK HERE

Again, all this depends on where you start. Riding a bike is a great way to get around. Know that there are many limitations on where different size bikes can be driven. I'd certainly do a lot of research before I headed over here. Expat "sites" can provide a lot of info for you. Many of us own bikes, and not cars. Good luck!

Posted by
3313 posts

Wow, Ron! I read your website and it is very good. But Google associates all kinds of ads for bogus "international drivers licenses" with your page (as you warn). How frustrating that must be.

Doesn't Google have some policy for fraudulent advertising?

Posted by
43 posts

Kate - Have you had an opportunity to ride a scooter where you live? I ask because I have a Derbi Atlantis, and while I love it, I have to admit it can be a bit scary at times to ride it in traffic. I'm picky about the routes I take (which you can do as well in Europe) and I'm careful about the time of day I ride. While I will ride at night, I won't ride in the rain.

Yes, Europeans ride in a variety of conditions every day but I'm sure they're familiar with traffic patterns, traffic signs and signals (will there be a language barrier for you when it comes to reading traffic signs)?

I did a lot of research before I decided on the Derby Atlantis and so, of course, I would recommend it to you if you decide to purchase a scooter.