Riding an electric scooter is great fun, especially kids find it quite entertaining. It doesn’t mean electric scooters are not for adults. Manufacturers of action-sport gadgets offer electric scooters for all ages and gender. However, you need to understand its potential first. It must have a spacious deck, and it can manage a weight up to 220lbs or more.
Anyhow, riding an electric scooter is one thing and riding requirements (such as licensing and permission) is an entirely different thing. In fact, understanding legal requirements for riding an electric scooter is more important. This post shares information on the question, “Are electric scooters illegal in the UK?” The simple answer is NO! But you cannot ride it without fulfilling certain criteria.
According to UK government, you don’t have to get any license for electric scooter if:
• You’re over 14 years old.
• The vehicle meets specific requirements
If conditions mentioned above are met, there’s no need to register a vehicle as well. Furthermore, the electric scooter will be exempted from tax and insurance as well.
EAPC and Its Requirements
In the UK, electric scooters that meet government’s requirements are known as EAPC (electrically assisted pedal cycle). So, if you have a tricycle, a bicycle or tandem, it may be treated as an EAPC if it fulfills following requirements:
1. The electric scooter must have pedals for propelling it.
2. The electric scooter must not exceed the limit of 15.5 miles per hour. Or If the bike is traveling at a speed more than 15.5mph (via pedaling), the motor should not propel it at a greater speed.
3. The motor of the electric scooter should have a power output below 250 watts. It’s the maximum range to qualify for EAPC vehicle.
4. There must be a number plate on your electric scooter reflecting manufacturer’s details. The information on the number plate include:
• Power output of the motor or the information about the manufacturer
• The maximum speed of the electric bike, or the voltage input required by its battery.
Where to Ride EAPC in the UK
Riding electric scooters that fit EAPC requirements is easier. The reason is, EAPC scooters also fall into the category of normal pedal bikes. So, you can ride your electric scooter wherever pedal bikes are allowed, such as pavements and cycle paths.
What About Other Electric Scooters
Electric scooters that do not meet the criteria of EAPC have different requirements. They may be categorized into:
• Below 30mph electric scooters
• 30mph+ electric scooters
Requirements for Non-EAPC Bikes
1. The vehicle should be registered, and, therefore, taxed, like normal vehicles. However, there’s a tax discount for electric scooter, and there is no road tax.
2. The owner of the bike must possess a license to ride it. Registration documents and number plate are also mandatory.
3. You need to wear a proper helmet for riding your electric scooter.
4. You cannot ride your electric scooter on the motorway (if its maximum speed is under 30mph).
5. You can ride a 30mph-electric scooter if you’re over 16 years and have a car license issued before Dec 2001. But if it’s a 30mph+ electric scooter, your car license wouldn’t be enough to ride it. You ought to have a CBT certificate.