Posted on 02/04/22

Everything You Need to Know About Autocycles 101

Everything You Need to Know About Autocycles 101


They're familiar with the roads. It looks small at first but you soon realize that there is only one wheel in its back. The car flies by you, the passengers enjoying the open-air cabin and getting a good tan while taking in the sights. These things might seem cool to you. Or maybe you think they're ridiculous. What is the autocycle? Meet the autocycle.


Let's begin with what autocycles don't look like.

Autocycles are technically not three-wheel motorcycles. This is because the rider does not use handlebars or straddle the vehicle. Instead, they sit in a chair and steer with a wheel. Autocycles share certain characteristics with motorcycles. They have less than four wheels, and some models have exposed cabs. Helmets are therefore required in some states.

Although they aren't classified as motorcycles, autocycles are often referred to as "small cars".


We now know what an autocycle is technically. But what about legal terms? What are the laws surrounding these mystifying motorcycle car hybrids?

The main federal agency responsible for categorizing vehicles (NHTSA), does not currently have an autocycle-specific category. They are therefore technically "motorcycles" and must adhere to motorcycle safety standards.

Each state has made great strides over the past decade to ensure that motorcycle licenses are no longer required for riding an autocycle. 46 states require only a standard driver’s license. Rhode Island, Alaska, Pennsylvania, and Alaska are the four remaining states that require a motorcycle endorsement.

Although the federal level might still be a little vague, many states have been hard at work creating their own laws to create an autocycle subcategory or specific classification. They also set clear regulations about licensing, helmet use, seat belts, and other safety issues.

This state-by-state breakdown shows which states have specific autocycle rules, which require helmets, and which require motorcycle licenses in order to ride on the roads.


Are you not ready to learn all the rules and regulations that come with owning an autocycle? There's good news! It's still possible to rent one and enjoy the ultimate three-wheeled adventure.

Prices for renting an autocycle range from $50-100 per hour to $300-500+ per day (or more). Most places require a $1,000 security deposit before renting a vehicle. Most rental companies require you to purchase insurance. This usually costs between $15-25.

Helmets are not required in states that have a legal category for autocycles. If they are considered motorcycles in the state, a helmet will be required. Additional safety precautions such as gloves and goggles are highly recommended, especially for models with open cabs.

Although it's not easy to navigate the world of autocycles, it is possible. It is best to check all laws in your state before renting or buying this type of vehicle. The rental company should be able to guide you through local laws if you rent.

When buying an autocycle, your location will dictate the safety standards for your vehicle, what type of license you need (standard or motorcycle), and requirements for helmets.

You've found the perfect autocycle, but are having difficulty shipping it. Move Car connects you with thousands of professional transportation companies that specialize in motorcycle shipping.