Electric scooters are a great choice for young and old, and everyone in between for several reasons. First, they are a much cheaper option for daily commutes compared to their petrol powered counterparts, and second are highly portable. But one of the common questions that crops among riders is what license do I need to ride an electric scooter UK? So, here’s all you need to know to ride a no-license scooter, without breaking any laws.
If you live in any major city in the UK, great chances are that you’ve seen zipping around on electric scooters, sometimes dubbed e-scooters in short. These two-wheeled scooters are similar in design to micro scooters that were used by kids in the early 2000’s, but only this time around they’re powered by small electric motors to achieve high speeds.
E-scooters are popular the world over including cities such as San Francisco and Paris, but are illegal to ride on UK roads for the most part. In the UK, this range of no license scooters are billed as “powered transporters”, which basically is a name given to myriad other upcoming vehicles as well that are powered by a motor.
They are subject to the same rules and regulations in the UK as cars and motorbikes, owing to the way they are designed and motorised. This means that just like cars and bikes, e-scooters do need to be taxed, MOT’d, and insured to make them legal to ride on the road.
Speaking of which, no license scooters are classed as PLEVs (Personal Light Electric Vehicles), which means that their max speed power would need to be increased in order to ride them legal to ride on roads in the UK. Adhering to these requirements is another daunting process in itself, because you will have to find an insurance company to insure the vehicle, and the chances of this happening are slim to none.
So, if you cannot ride an no license scooter legally on UK roads. But that’s not all – since these as classified as powered transporters, it is also illegal to ride them in areas used by pedestrians and cyclists. On a brighter note, you can buy an e-scooter UK and ride it on private property, which can be either your or with permission from the land owner.
However, the electric scooter company Bird has found a small loophole, which allows some no license scooter riders to ride their vehicles as part of their daily commute. This route runs from Stratford Station in London to and through to the nearby Olympic Park. The downside to this is that you will have to hire a Bird e-scooter, and can’t ride your own.
If you have a job or are running errands in an around Olympic Park, you can hire a Bird PLEV upon arrival at Stratford Station, and then travel to your destination via the estate’s private roads. All in all, it is illegal to ride a no license scooter on UK roads, but this may very well change with the onset of new laws.