When can I ride an e-scooter legally?

We know there’s still a lot of confusion about e-scooters, including where you can and can’t ride them. We’ve pulled together a helpful list of everything you need to know in order to combat some of the myths!

While e-scooters are legally available to purchase, it’s currently against the law to ride a privately owned e-scooter in any public place in the UK. This includes roads, pavements, parks, town centres or canal towpaths.

The only place a privately owned e-scooter can be used is on private land.

This is because e-scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) so they are treated as motor vehicles. As such, if they are used on a road, pavement or public place they are subject to the same legal requirements as any motor vehicle.

Here’s the penalties for using a ‘motor vehicle’ on a road or other public place:

  • Without insurance - 6 points, £300 fine, seizure of vehicle
  • Without a licence - penalty points, fine, seizure of vehicle
  • Failing to comply with Construction & Use legislation - ranging from non-endorsable fixed penalty to being reported to court for using in a dangerous condition
  • Impaired by alcohol/drugs - licence disqualification, fine or penalty points

We understand that e-scooters are very tempting for presents, but we would urge people to fully understand the law first.

If our officers find anyone using e-scooters in a public place, the scooter will be seized, and the rider reported for any offences.

We would also urge anyone using an e-scooter legally - i.e. on private land - to carefully consider their safety before doing so. All riders should wear a helmet, younger riders particularly, would benefit from additional protective clothing such as knee and elbow pads to minimise injury.

The government is running trials of e-scooters. They have published additional guidance for members of the general public who are using e-scooters that are part of trial such as VOI. More information about e-scooter trials and guidance for users can be found here.

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