What you can and can’t do with Electric Scooters in the UK today.
With e-scooters ever increasing in popularity, there are more and more people keen to take them out and about. Whether you want to ride an adult electric scooter
or a kids electric scooter
though, there are a number of things you need to know.
So, before you buckle on your helmet and jump on your e-scooter, here is everything you need to consider about the legalities of electric scooters.
What are the rules on Electric Scooters?
The current rules for electric scooters, whether it’s for a child or an adult, prevent their use on roads and pavements. Currently, it is illegal to use an electric scooter on public property. This means that you can buy one, and we’d encourage you to do so, but you can’t use it on a road, pavements, cycle tracks or in a park.
These rules are under pressure to be changed though, to make them line up with those for e-bikes. Trials are underway to make this a reality.
Where can Electric Scooters be used legally in the UK?
While you can’t use them on pavements and roads, you can currently only use electric scooters on private property. If it’s not your own property, you’ll need to ask for permission. As long as the land is privately owned though, and you have the landowner’s permission, you’re good to go.
Sadly, this means they currently aren’t the alternative to public transport that many are hoping for, but that may be changing.
Why are electric scooters illegal on public roads, pavements, and cycle tracks?
This is where things get technical. Currently, electric scooters are considered to be ‘Personal Light Electric Vehicles’ (PLEV). This means that they are in the same classification as mopeds and other motor vehicles. It all comes down to their maximum speed and the motorised nature of the vehicle. You can read more about this on the government website here
Under this classification, they require tax, licencing and an MOT. Also, as they are classified as a PLEV, they would need a rear backlight and number plate to be deemed ok for public roads.
Can we expect the rules to change in the future?
There’s currently a big push taking place to allow for electric scooters to be used on the road. The government has rolled out a number of e-scooter trials around the country, using rental scooters.
These trials were set up to allow the government to define how scooter legalisation can be done safely. It will look at usage information to work out how well used they are, any safety risks or downside and how best any benefits can be realised. These trials were increased in size due to the COVID-19 pandemic as e-scooters are seen as an excellent alternative to public transport, and the government is hopeful that e-scooters could be legalised soon.
Electric Scooter FAQs
If you’re still unsure about the rules for electric scooters, we’ve gone over a number of FAQs below that could clear up any more questions you have.
Will you need insurance for an electric scooter?
Based on the electric scooter’s current classification as a motor vehicle, you would need insurance to use one on the road. There’s a chance this could change if they are re-classified, but under current laws, you will need insurance.
For more information see the government site
Do you need a driver’s license for an electric scooter?
As with insurance, the current legislation would require you to have a full license to ride an e-scooter on the road. You would need the correct license for the type of vehicle and would be required to wear a helmet.
For more information on whether you need a full or provisional license, check the government’s guidelines
How fast can an electric scooter go
Many electric scooters have a max speed of 15.5mph. Current trials for the legalisation of e scooters have a maximum speed limit of 12.5mph, however, it’s being investigated as to whether this could be raised to 15.5mph to make it in line with e-bikes. Our own 350w electric scooters
have a maximum speed of 15.5mph or 25kmph.