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3-Wheeler Laws and Regulations

United Kingdom

Supplement:  What can you drive at 16 years of age in the U.K?

NOTE: The Information contained in this section is believed to be correct.  Laws and regulations change all the time and the webmaster of this site does not state that this list is in any way exhaustive or correct.  The information is provided as a guide only and official sources should be contacted to confirm any points you find.

I get numerous emails from 16 year olds in the U.K every week asking, “What can I drive at 16?” and so I have decided to make a section especially for 16 year olds with hopefully all the information that you require.

Minimum Age

In general, the minimum ages for driving on British roads is 16 years for invalid carriages and mopeds, 17 years for agricultural or forestry tractors, small vehicles and motorcycles, and 21 years for medium/large sized vehicles, minibuses and buses. 

At 16 years old a person can drive a 3-wheeler that is powered by an engine no greater than 50cc.  You have to be 17 or over to drive a larger 3-wheeler like the Reliant Robin. (750cc - 850cc).  However; A 16 year old enititled to Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate (Mobility Allowance) may drive a Microcar

FAQ by 16 year olds:

Q: OK, so what 3-wheeler cars can I drive?

A: You can drive any of the following. (Click the image for more information).These are only the ones I know about, al vehicles are 50 cc..

The Bamby

No longer made (UK)

Vitrex Riboud

No longer made (France)

Q: Where can I buy them from?

All Car

No longer made (France)

Replicar Cursor

No longer made (UK)

Amica 203

Available New (Sweeden)

Piaggio Ape

Available New (UK / Italy)


Available New (Netherlands)


Available New (France)

A: Sadly many 50cc 3-wheelers are no longer made and so cars like the Bamby and the Replicar Cursor can be very hold to get hold of, though they do pop up for sale every now and then.  The Piaggio Ape is available new in the UK from Reliant (yes as in the Reliant Robin) as they now import them.  They can be quite costly new though if you only intend to drive it for one year.  There are always second hand vehicles popping up for sale at good prices on places like ebay.

Q: Do you know anyone selling one?

A: No, sorry I don’t.  If people are selling them I usually spot them on ebay.

Q: I really liked the Amica 203, where do I get one from?

A: The Amica 203 (along with a few of the other 50cc 3-wheelers) is not easily found in the UK unless you can find a model that has been imported.  Occasionally you can find them on ebay

Q: So if you were 16 would you buy one?

A: It depends on what I planned to do.  If you aim to pass your driving test when you are 17 and get a bigger vehicle, the cost of one of these 3-wheelers for just a year can be quite costly. In that case I’d buy a 2-wheeled moped.  If I planned to keep it for a couple of years then it becomes something more viable.

Q: Did you have a moped?

A: Yes indeed, I had two and drove them quite happily for about five years. Parents do seem to worry as they do not think they are safe though they are just as safe as any other vehicle and more importantly offer your own independence.

Q: Can I drive a Reliant Robin at 16?

A: No, not until you are 17. .

Q: Oh, so can a Reliant Robin be restricted to 50cc?

A: No, Reliants in general are 750cc - 850cc.  (Older Regals are 600cc - 700cc)

Q: Do moped cars (3-wheelers) go faster than moped bikes?

A: No, all mopeds are limited to 30mph. (theoretically though some are a little bit faster).

Q: OK, so if I get a moped do I have to pay the London Congestion Charge?

A: No you don’t, mopeds are exempt from the charge.

Q: Are there other 50cc 3-wheelers that are like trikes?

A: Yes, there are things like the old Ariel 3 from the 1970s and the 1980s Honda Gyro.

Ariel 3

No longer made (UK)

Honda Gyro

No longer made (Japan / UK)

Useful Sources of information:

Honda Stream

Available New (UK)

DVLA: Main Web Site: http://www.dvla.gov.uk


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