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Know what the UK law says about e-scooters before whizzing around

Clean travel and efficiency have prompted the rise and rise of e-scooters across European cities. The free-floating model for picking up a scooter from any hub and leaving it in another has made it one of the simplest inter-city modes of transport. The UK, too, is looking to join this micromobility revolution with e-scooter rentals in the city. If you or your kids also want to hop on one and enjoy the freedom and joy of a scooter, first thing first, let’s find out scooters adults and kids UK legality.

What is an electric scooter?

Scooters are no longer just for toddlers and teens kicking their way to trailblazing glory. The motorised or electric scooter is powered by a motor. They have two sturdy wheels, a deck to stand on, and a handlebar with controls for manoeuvring. The portable ones have a foldable handlebar for the ease of multimodal travel. An electric kick scooter also allows human propulsion. Some e-scooters have a seat, a basket or a cargo bag, and suspension. These resemble a mini moped.

Are electric scooters legal in the UK?

Yes, electric scooters, adults’ and kids’ are legal in the UK, but there are several limitations to using them. You can legally buy and own an e-scooter; however, their use is still restricted to private land. A nationwide rental e-scooter trial scheme that began in July 2020 is road-legal. It is part of the UK government's efforts to adopt sustainable transport and reduce traffic congestion in the cities. All motorised vehicles in the UK must comply with the Highway Act.

Do you need a license to ride an electric scooter in the UK?

Yes, if you are using a rental scooter. No, if you are using a privately-owned scooter. At present, the UK law for e-scooters falls under "powered transporters," which has the same regulations for a motor vehicle. The same legal requirements, such as MOT, tax, licensing, and build specifications apply. You need a driving license with category Q entitlement to ride a rental scooter on public roads. Category Q permissions are supported by full or provisional UK driving licenses with categories AM, A, or B.

Is there an age restriction for electric scooters in the UK?

There is no age restriction for using non-rental electric scooters in the UK. The requirement for a provisional license to ride a rental scooter means you must be 16 or older. You have to be at least 15 years and 9 months old to get a provisional license.

Where can you ride electric scooters?

You can ride privately-owned scooters on any private land. Rental e-scooters that are part of the trial are allowed on public roads and cycle lanes. They are not allowed on cycle tracks or the pavement. In London, you cannot carry an e-scooter on public transport. Although you can hit the highest speeds on the scooter when you are on private land, when on public roads, you have to stick to a 15.5mph speed limit, the same limit allowed for electric bikes.

What are the rules and regulations that need to be adhered to when riding a scooter?

  • When riding an e-scooter, it is recommended that you wear a helmet, but it is not a legal requirement.
  • If you are using a scooter off the trial scheme, you can only use it within the area hosting the trial.
  • There should be no passengers on a scooter.
  • It is vital to be attentive and stay vigilant of pedestrians, other motor vehicles, and objects on the road.
  • Never use a phone while you ride an electric scooter.
  • Rental e-scooters should have front and rear lights.

While a scooter’s legal status on the road in the UK will eventually change and become more inclusive to all e-scooters in the future, it’s important to abide by the current laws. The flexibility, portability, and dynamic power of this little machine will become a part of our everyday transport, which will be less about the size and more about the environment. Check out the most feature-packed e-scooters in the UK by visiting Mini Bikes Off Road.

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