Kidus Wondwosen died a short time after the collision in Wilmott Street in the Hulme area of Manchester on Sunday.
In a tribute issued through Greater Manchester Police, his family said: “Kidus was a happy, friendly boy who was always smiling.
“He was very smart and his mum was proud that he was the smartest boy in his class at school.
“He loved his family, especially his mum, auntie and brother.
“He had lots of friends and loved to be out playing games with them. He also loved to play football and to go swimming.
“He liked Manchester United and his favourite player was Marcus Rashford.
“This lively, bubbly young boy had his whole life to look forward to and dreamed of being a policeman when he grew up.
“His whole family are devastated by his death and are struggling to comprehend that they will never see him again.”
A 32-year-old was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and later released under investigation.