One of the most common questions surrounding electric scooters is, are electric scooters illegal in the UK? In short, the answer is no, they’re not illegal, but you could still find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you’re not careful. The rules surrounding the legalities of electric scooters are confusing, to say the least, but fear not!
To help make it easier for you to understand the (many) rules around can you use an electric scooter in the UK, the Scoot-A-Boot team has put together this handy guide to having fun on your scooter – lawfully.
Can I Legally Own An E-Scooter in the UK?
Yes, it’s perfectly legal for you to own an e-scooter if you live in the UK.
Are Electric Scooters Road Legal in the UK?
Privately owned e-scooters are not road legal in the UK, but trials are underway in which hire e-scooters can be driven on the roads (except motorways).
The reason privately owned e-scooters are not road legal in the UK is because they are classified as ‘powered transporters’, which means they are subject to the same regulations as cars but by their very design they can’t meet the same criteria. Depending on how the rental trials go, this could change.
Can I Ride an Electric Scooter on the Pavement in the UK?
No, you cannot ride an electric scooter on the pavement, regardless of whether you have a privately owned scooter or a hired scooter.
Can I Ride an Electric Scooter in a Cycle Lane?
Privately owned e-scooters cannot be driven in cycle lanes, but e-scooters that are part of the government’s rental trial can be driven in cycle lanes.
Where Can I Ride my Electric Scooter in the UK?
In short, privately owned electric scooters can only be legally driven on private land – with the permission of the land owner. E-scooters for hire that are part of the government trials can be driven on roads (except motorways) and cycle lanes. No electric scooter can be driven on a pavement.
Do Electric Scooters Need to be Insured?
Privately owned electric scooters do not need to be insured because they cannot be driven on the roads. Hire e-scooters that are on trial must be insured by the rental operator.
Can I be Fined for Using an E-Scooter?
Yes, you may be fined and receive points on your driving license (if applicable) should you be found to be using a privately owned scooter anywhere other than on private land.
Do I Need to Wear a Helmet on an Electric Scooter?
For safety reasons, it is always recommended that you wear a helmet whilst using an e-scooter, but it is not a legal requirement. That being said, a helmet could save your life if you fall off, so this is something we always encourage.
In addition to a crash helmet, we would also recommend a high-visibility jacket so that you can easily be seen, as well as knee and elbow pads for added safety.
Do I Need a Driving License for an Electric Scooter?
No, you don’t need a driving license for a privately owned electric scooter, but you do need one for the government trials.
When Will Electric Scooters be Legal in the UK?
It is likely that the laws surrounding privately owned e-scooters will change following the conclusion of the government’s hire trials. The trials were pulled forwards to summer 2020 in a bid to provide commuters with a more hygienic, eco-friendly alternative to public transport, specifically in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.