Good news: it is legal to buy electric scooters in the UK. Bad news: it is not yet legal to drive your scooter on public roads. Better news: the current scooter rental law may soon change.
Private scooters: the law today – October 2022;
Technically, an electric scooter is a two-wheeled motorized vehicle or personal light electric vehicle (PLEV). Not only do they not have pedals, but they differ from e-bikes in that they are considered vehicles according to traffic laws.
Why are electric scooters illegal?
As e-scooters (usually) don’t have to obey traffic laws, they don’t have tail lights or license plates, so it’s not legal to use a private e-scooter on public roads. British roads.
That’s why you hear they’re only legal on private property (and even then only with the owner’s permission).
What if they catch him?
If you were caught on a public road, you would technically be driving uninsured; you could face a fixed fine of £300 and six points on your driving licence. If the case goes to court, you could face unlimited fines and lose your license. Your scooter may also be confiscated.
Even if you have a compliant model, you still need to comply with other laws to use it: taxes, insurance, ITV, driving license and helmet.
Scooter rental: the law today – October 2002
The government is currently carrying out tests in 31 areas where it is legal to use rental scooters on public roads (except motorways) and cycle paths (but not for pedestrians).
During the trial period, the entrepreneur has business insurance. Users still need a valid driver’s license (full-time or part-time – categories AM, A1, A2, A and B) before they can drive the electric scooters on motorways and roundabouts (please note: non-pedestrian). Helmets are recommended but not required.
They should be used safely and with caution. Don’t use cell phones, avoid bags hanging from handles, and don’t drive while intoxicated.
The trial was originally scheduled to end on November 30, 2021, but was extended due to the pandemic. It was then renewed a second time and is now due to expire on November 30, 2022. Existing participating municipalities were given the option to suspend or extend the local test until May 31, 2024.
Scooter rental companies include TIER, Lime, Voi and Dott.
Personal electric scooters are also not allowed to drive in these test areas.
Electric scooter test sites in 2022 and 2024;
The current test sites that have announced expansions through 2024 are:
- Bournemouth and Poole
- Buckinghamshire (Ailesbury, High Wycombe and Princes Risborough)
- Milton Keynes
- South Somerset
- West Midlands (Birmingham, Coventry and Sandwell)
Regions that have yet to announce an expansion (as of mid-October):
- West Cheshire and Chester
- Copeland (White Haven)
- Essex (Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Colchester)
- Gloucestershire (Cheltenham and Gloucester)
- a large pear
- London (participating districts)
- North and West Northamptonshire (Northampton, Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough)
- North Devon (Barnstaple)
- North Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe)
- Solent (Isle of Wight and Southampton)
- West Somerset (Taunton and Minehead)
- River Valley (Hartlepool and Middlesbrough)
- West of England Consolidated Management (Bristol and Bath)
- I do not know
- Currently, only one region necessarily stops this process
- Kent (Canterbury) – for security reasons
- Private Scooters – Future Legislative Change
The government is considering legalizing electric scooters. Key issues:
- Should they be treated like e-bikes?
- What should be the maximum speed or power?
- Is a driver compulsory?
- Should e-scooters be allowed on bike paths?
- Distance, lighting, size, etc.
- Do users need to register, have a license, be a certain age?
In a recent government consultation, the general consensus was to treat them legally like e-bikes. There was broad support for legalization and an overwhelming view that clear regulation is needed.
Definition of Electric scooter;
These are the criteria the government has used to legalize rental scooters in court; This is a reasonable starting point for what can be legalized (but could be changed in some way):
- A single electric motor with a maximum continuous power of 500 W
- No pedals that can propel the scooter.
- Designed to carry one person
- 15.5 km/h top speed
- 2 wheels, 1 front and 1 rear, facing in the direction of travel (so no hoverboards!)
- Weight under 55 kg A mass that includes the battery but excludes the cyclist
- Directional control via handlebars mechanically linked to the steering wheel
- It has an ability to control speed through manual controls and a power control that defaults to the off position.
- Seats are allowed.
- A white Front Drive electric Scooter position light and a red rear position light
When will scooters be legal in the UK?
Rental scooters homologated in the 31 test areas (maximum 30 from November 2022) are already approved for use on public roads, provided they have a driver’s license. The legalization of private scooters depends on the government, which has said it intends to pass the law in the current parliamentary session, i.e. before spring 2023. This was announced last month, before Rishi Sunak became prime minister, and he hasn’t committed either.