As someone who drives professionally and has owned several cars and many mopeds over the years...I can say with some authority that a properly set up, well-maintained moped is of infinately greater reliability than any car.
Part of the problem about "Reliability" is that most mopeds are set up and prepped for sale by morons who know jack shit about proper shakedown proceedures for them...purchased by dweeds without a clue how to maintain them, and "maintained" (if at all) by chumps too lazy to put the time and care into keeping it up.
Most mopeds are bought new by kids, who ride them unmaintained for about 4,000 miles, and that's about how long the brakes last...they keep tightening the damn adjustors down tighter and tighter till they don't work no more, and then when actual work becomes involved they sell it off...and buyer beware indeed, cause most of those used mopeds in that shape are problems waiting to happen.
Think about how most folks treat their old push-type lawnmower...leave it in the garage, sitting, not even cleaned or prepped for storage, never change the plug, never check the mix...and then get perplexed when it's hard to start next summer...and yet, eventually it does usually start, eh ? - that's a two-stroke engine for you...try that with a car, see if it works.
And given my own situation...one point needs to be restressed - proper shakedown.
If you don't do a full and complete shakedown when you purchase a moped, new OR used - your buyin trouble right off...you shake it down, and do it right the first damn time, you don't many of the problems faced on this forum, my Targa's a classic example of what bypassing proper shakedown procedures will get you.
As for other commentary.
>>I wouldn't trust my groceries or getting to work on time with my moped or ANY moped.<<
I rode to work on one five days a week, Baltimore to Severna park on Sat, Baltimore to Annapolis on Sun - every week for three years straight..and in that time, never had a single breakdown or problem.
My grocery runs were made many times on that one, or after it was struck by a car with me on it, the Tomos trike-moped I replaced it with, and again...no problem, cept that you really don't wanna try carryin eggs cause the trike suspension system isn't real hot.
>>A moped getting a flat on the road is a disaster...you would need wrenches, tire spoons, a nice flat, clean area to work and take off your various parts, and a good amount of time<<
Two 17mm Wrenches, two spoons, an air pump, a Tube, and six to eight minutes max....if that.
Bicycle's about the same, in this.
Besides...My Targa has self-sealing tubes with Puncture Resistant tires..you'd have to shotgun them to cause a flat.
>>I'll just stick with my hatchback which gets 35 miles to the gallon,(which I was surprised to learn recently is about as good a sport or touring motorcycle) and is always reliable.<<
Yeah, well...yer talkin to a dude who traded a car in for a moped, once...cause between inspection, emissions, insurance, title, tags, registration, fuel and breakdown + time-effort costs...the damn thing was suckin me dry.
My Moped costs me $15.00 a year - what's yer car cost you ?
Mind, imma Cabbie by profession....I ride a moped cause I love it, but you have to pay me to drive a car.