Want to slash your gas costs by 50 percent or more? Consider swapping your car or SUV for a two-wheeled alternative. Scooters and mopeds easily get 50 to 100 miles per gallon or more, and can take some pressure off your budget by relieving that pressure at the pump.
These tiny two-wheelers not only keep your budget in check, but also help to reduce emissions, resulting in environmental benefits like cleaner air. Sure, most top out around 40 miles per hour or so, but that's usually enough for city dwellers or those traveling along neighborhood streets.
On top of added benefits like lower insurance and cheaper sticker prices than cars, some smaller mopeds might not even require a license to drive, depending on where you live.
Then of course, there's the cool factor. Ever since Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck on a Vespa sped through the streets of Italy in the 1953 film "Roman Holiday," scooters have maintained a certain allure, a je ne sais quoi that's only possible when you're riding on two wheels with the wind in your hair.
Think you can identify the most popular scooters and mopeds to ever hit the streets? Take our quiz to find out!
Austrian company Puch is famous for its scooters and mopeds, which are known for being reliable and easy to maintain. The Maxi -- which offers fuel efficiency as high as 120 mpg -- gained popularity in the '70s thanks to oil shortages.
Known as the Jazz in Canada and the Scooby in other parts of the world, the Honda Metropolitan was introduced to the U.S. market in 2002. A 50 cc version known as the Metropolitan II zips along at 25 mph.
Aprilia introduced its Scarabeo 50 in Italy in 1993, then brought the scooter to the U.S. in 1999. This 50 cc moped is known for having larger wheels like a motorcycle, resulting in a more comfortable ride.
Taiwanese company Kymco split from Honda in the '60s, and introduced its 50 cc People scooter to the U.S. market in 2001. The People is known for its large 16-inch wheels, which cut into storage space, yet provide a smoother ride than many other scooters and mopeds.
Vespa sold its ET2 two-stroke, 50 cc scooter in the U.S. between 2001 and 2006. The first Vespa designed to accommodate either a two- or four-stroke engine, the ET came with polished chrome accents and an advanced microchip key to reduce the risk of theft.
Introduced to the U.S. market in 1989, the two-stroke, 50 cc Yamaha Zuma has an EPA fuel efficiency as high as 123 mpg. Earlier models are easy to spot thanks to dual bug-eyed headlights. The Zuma has small, fat tires and enough storage space for a standard helmet.
The Honda Ruckus has a definite dirt-bike style. Introduced in 2003, this rugged scooter has fat tires with very deep treads, and lacks the storage of many similar vessels.
The Vespa 946 was introduced in 2012, and inspired by classic Vespa designs from the 1940s. Sold in limited edition runs, this shapely scooter sells for roughly twice the price of a standard Vespa model.
Known as the Beverly throughout much of the world, the Piaggio BV 350 is an ultra-powerful scooter with big wheels like those found on a motorcycle. Its 330 cc engine can generate speeds of up to 80 mph, which means you can drive it on the highway as well as in the city.
Yes, it's a scooter, but the Wolf Blaze is modeled after sporty racing bikes. Known for its aerodynamic design and hot graphics, the scooter comes in both 50 and 150 cc versions.
French manufacturer Peugeot released the 103 scooter in the '70s, and sales quickly took off. Buyers loved the classic colors and styling, with plenty of chrome trim. Even today, this scooter is popular with some buyers because of how easy it is to maintain and find replacement parts for.
Vespa produced the Sprint from the mid-'60s through the mid-'70s. This 150 cc, two-stroke scooter has elegant, delicate curves. Early models are easy to spot because they lack turn signals, which became mandatory on U.S. roads in 1973.
Genuine introduced the Roughhouse model in 2008. This two-stroke, 50 cc model has a rugged, off-road style and a pair of very distinctive bug-eye headlights.
General produced only two moped models in the '80s, including the 5 Star. This lightweight bike has incredibly classic styling, with a top tank design reminiscent of vintage bikes from the '40s.
A Spanish subsidiary of Piaggio, Derbi started as a bicycle company in 1922 before moving to scooters a few decades later. The Atlantis Wave was sold using the tagline "Fun for City Surfers," and the scooter had a top speed of 30 mph.
Italian manufacturer Malaguti produced the two-seat Ciak with large tires for comfort, Known for its sleek lines, the Ciak also features plenty of storage for riders on the go.
The Lance PCH has a seriously sporty design inspired by racing motorcycles. Its 50 cc four-stroke engine can reach 30 mph, yet the scooter was priced low to attract customers looking for value.
The GTS in the Vepsa GTS 300 IE stands for Granturismo Sport -- which means it has an engine with plenty of power. Capable of higher speeds than many other mopeds, the GTS still claims an impressive 76 mpg.
The Genuine Buddy combines classic European design with modern efficiency and value. It comes in fun colors like orange and seafoam, yet can reach 50 mph, with fuel efficiency of around 90 mpg.
The Wolf Islander is designed for cruising to the beach at speeds of up to 30 mph. It comes in fun tropical colors and has a breezy, laid-back style.
The C 650 GT was one of BMW's first entries into the scooter market. Announced in 2010 and built using an engine from Taiwanese scooter maker Kymco, the BMW came with a 647 cc engine capable of a top speed of 112 mph.
Introduced to the U.S. in 2009, the Honda PCX is sleek and sporty with a definitive motorcycle style. It gets 100 mpg and has a top speed of 73 mph. A 2018 hybrid edition can help buyers scoot with speed on even less gas.
Suzuki makes Burgman scooters -- sold under the name Skywave outside the U.S. -- in 125 to 638 cc versions. They come in both base and executive models, with the highest trim levels tricked out with heated seats and grips, plus a back support for the rear passenger.
The Yamaha XMAX 300 launched in North America in 2018 to replace the company's popular TMAX models. The scooter's 292 cc engine can generate speeds up to 100 miles per hour, yet it still maintains an impressive fuel economy of 70 mpg.
The Vespa Primavera combines classic European design with modern comforts and technology. Built on relatively large 12-inch wheels, the scooter gets 98 mpg and advertises a top speed of 70 mph.
The Honda Silverwing ranks among the most powerful scooter models. Introduced to the U.S. market in 2001, its 582 cc engine produces speeds up to 105 mph, and can go from 0 to 60 in eight seconds flat. Named for an early Honda motorcycle model, the Silverwing still maintains an impressive 40 to 45 mpg despite all that speed.
The Piaggio S150 is lightweight and built with large wheels for extra stability, making it well-suited to new scooter riders. It can reach speeds of 60 mph or more and features shiny chrome trim and LED lights.
Vespa chose the name Elettrica for its first electric scooter, announced in 2017 for a 2018 release. Specs suggest a 62-mile range on a single charge, while the Elettrica X -- a hybrid version -- will travel up to 124 miles per charge.
Aprilia's SR50 DiTech was the first 50 cc scooter with 13-inch wheels, and has been one of the best-selling scooters in the U.S. since 1999. Introduced in North America in 1999, it's known for its edgy, sporty style.
The Wolf Lucky borrows from the classic style of the Vespa, but comes at a much lower price point. Available in both 50 and 150 cc models, the Lucky has a push-button starter, CVT transmission and alloy wheels.
The 170 cc Genuine Hooligan has a slim, sporty frame with a fuel tank that's integrated into the floor for a lower center of gravity. It can reach speeds of 60 mph with a fuel efficiency of around 100 mpg.
Sold in the U.S. from 2004 to 2014, the Yamaha Majesty has a simple, sleek style. Inspired by the classic Japanese racing bike, the Majesty uses a 395 cc engine to reach a top speed of 90 mph.
Aprilia designed its Mojito scooter in the style of classic '50s cruiser cars. The 50 cc boasts 70 mpg, while the 150 cc gets a respectable 60 mpg.
The Honda Forza would fit right in among classic Honda sport motorcycles. Inspired by the Honda Reflex scooter and introduced to the North American market in 2014, it tops out at 90 mph while still maintaining fuel efficiency of 68 mpg.
The Wolf Rugby is a simple four-stroke 50 cc ride that tops out at 30 mph. A 2019 redesign changed its look dramatically, adding rugged tires, a digital display and stylish dual headlights.
The Yamaha Vino hit U.S. scooter lots in 2002. It started off as a basic two-stroke, but was upgraded to a four-stroke after 2006. The low seat height on the Vino makes it popular with shorter or smaller riders.
The Vespa GTS maintains classic European scooter styling with the latest in technology. Capable of reaching speeds of 73 mph, the GTS also offers advanced traction control and anti-lock brakes.
Aprilia's Atlantic hit the U.S. market in 2001, making it the first full-sized maxi scooter to reach North America. Despite its size, it was surprisingly light, and came with advanced shocks and large wheels for a smooth ride.
The Honda Integra resembles a motorcycle/scooter hybrid thanks to its lack of a step-through and its visible chain and sprocket assembly. With 17-inch wheels, it offers a comfortable ride, even on bumpy city roads.