E-Scooters – the facts about legal use

This has come from the MET Police


Electric Scooters & Giro’s: the facts

We know that the rules around the use of scooters on the pavements and roads of the capital

are often misunderstood or misinterpreted, this document will hopefully give you sufficient

information regarding the use of electric scooters and giro’s on our roads and pavements and

the law which relates to them.

Are adult electric scooters legal in the UK?

The adult electric scooter is powered partly by a battery motor and is therefore classified as

Personal Light Electric Vehicle (PLEV) by the Department for Transport (DfT),

making it illegal to use on UK roads and pavements.

However, it is legal to use them on private land and property.

Using them on the road commits the offence of “using a motor vehicle with no insurance”, and risks a £300 fixed penalty notice and six points on a driving licence.


Can adult electric scooters be used on the road?

No, an electric scooter cannot be ridden on the road for a couple of reasons. The DVLA

requires electric vehicles to be registered and taxed in order to use the road. However,

because the adult electric scooter falls within the PLEV category (Personal Light Electric

Vehicle) its power and low maximum speed mean it cannot be used on public roads in the

  1. This rule also extends to pavements too.


Can you ride electric scooters on footpaths?

Under the Highway Act, electric scooters are not allowed to be used on a footpath unless

needing to do so in order to park. Some of the same restrictions apply to other spaces, which

are nevertheless accessible to the public, such as car parks, public squares that are not

restricted to pedestrian use, privately owned roads, industrial estates, and university campuses.

There are no statutory restrictions on the use of powered transporters on private land, which

is not accessible to the public. The permission of the owner and/or occupier of the land will

be required however.


Can you use an electric scooter on Cycle lanes, bridleways, and restricted byways?

No, Powered transporters are prohibited from using cycle tracks, cycle lanes on roads, or

other spaces dedicated to pedal cycle use only (section 21(1), Road Traffic Act 1988). EAPCs

and mobility scooters are exempt from this ban.

In addition, powered transporters cannot be used on bridleways or restricted byways (section

34, Road Traffic Act 1988).


Do you need a licence for adult electric scooters?

No, you are not required to have a driver’s licence or learners permit in order to use an

electric scooter because it cannot be used on roads.


Do I need to register or tax an adult electric scooter?

No, you do not need to register an electric scooter and it is tax exempt because it cannot be

used on roads.


Do I need to insure an adult electric scooter?

No, insurance is not required to ride an electric scooter.


Can I ride an Electric Bike in London?

Yes, You can ride an electric bike in England, Scotland and Wales if you’re 14 or over, as

long as it meets certain requirements.

These electric bikes are known as ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ (EAPCs). You do not

need a An EAPC must have pedals that can be used to propel it.

It must show either:

  • the power output
  • the manufacturer of the motor

It must also show either:

  • the battery’s voltage
  • the maximum speed of the bike

Its electric motor:

  • must have a maximum power output of 250 watts
  • should not be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph

An EAPC can have more than 2 wheels (for example, a tricycle).

Where you can ride If a bike meets the EAPC requirements it’s classed as a normal pedal bike. This means you

can ride it on cycle paths and anywhere else pedal bikes are allowed. You do not need a

licence to ride one and it does not need to be registered, taxed or insured.

Think very carefully before buying one of these.

Met Police.


Author: Paul Middleton

Paul is a Ward Councillor for St. Andrews & Hornchurch Resident's Association Executive member.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.