Electric scooters provide a world of convenience, both in terms of your daily commutes as well as saving you a handsome amount of cash while you go about your daily errands. But one of the common questions we’re asked is where can I ride my electric scooter legally in the UK.
Well, the answer is a bit tricky, but here’s the lowdown. First things first — electric scooters are a bit of a grey area, as they are classified as PLEVs (Personal Light Electric vehicles), which also happens to be a category that includes a category that also includes cars and motorbikes.
Vehicles in the PLEV category require licensing, tax, MOT, signaling ability, number plates, visible rear red lights, an should also meet a certain set of construction criteria to be considered road legal. But pedal assisted electric bikes in contrast are treated the same way as traditional bicycles, and do not have to be registered, insured or taxed.
However, small caveat is that you need to be at least 14 years old to ride a pedal assisted electric bike, and the output power of the bike should be at least 250-watts. Adding to this, the motor shouldn’t be able to propel the vehicle if it reaches a speed of more than 15.5 mph.
Any e-bike that doesn’t fit the above rules is considered an electric bike or electric moped. Another class of electric vehicles includes mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs, which are considered class two, and cannot be used on the road.
Class three electric vehicles can be used on UK roads, and offer a max speed of 8 mph. Class three vehicles do need to be registered, and can only be driven by anyone 14 years of age, and over.
Where can I Ride my Electric Scooter Legally in the UK?
When it comes to the legality of electric scooter, and where you can ride them legally on UK roads, there’s good news and bad news? Good news is that electric scooters are road legal starting July 4, 2020, and you can ride one on cycle paths, cycle lanes and roads, but the bad news of that it must be part of a hire scheme.
This means that you can only ride your electric scooter on private property, and with permission from the property owner. If you’re wondering what will happen if you’re indeed caught riding a personal electric scooter on UK roads, you could receive a £300 fixed penalty notice.
And if you have a driving license, things get a bit worse with six points on your driving license, and the fine of £300. These penalties however have not deterred people from riding electric scooters on UK roads, and as an example police stopped a little over 100 electric scooter riders over a single weekend last summer.
If you want to legally ride an electric scooter on UK roads, you will have to be at least 16 years old or over, and have at least a provisional driving license. Although, it is not required that you wear a helmet when riding the hired electric scooter, it is obviously highly recommended that you do even when riding a traditional bicycle.