What you need to know about the upcoming legalisation of electric scooters in the UK

Electric Scooter

E-scooter riders have been given the green light because of its upcoming legalization in the country. The UK government said that electric scooters or e-scooters will be legalized on the roads of United Kingdom come 4th of July.

This mode of transportation can help avoid the usual crowd of public transport that may spread coronavirus.

In this article, you’ll learn more about the upcoming legalization of e-scooters in the UK so that you can be guided accordingly before renting or owning an electronic scooter.

What Are Electronic Scooters?

Electric scooters or e-scooters are electronic transport devices designed to be stood upon. It comes with 2/10-inch or smaller diameter wheels, handlebars, and an electric motor capable of propelling with or without propulsion on a paved level surface at a speed of no more than twenty miles per hour.

Existing Laws

The 1835 Highway Act and the 1988 Road Traffic Act are the existing UK laws that ban e-scooters from being operated on pavements. Electronic scooters are considered motor vehicles, under the classification, Personal Light Electric Vehicles or PLEVs. That’s why e-scooters are subject to the same legal requirements, including specific construction, tax, licensing, and Ministry of transport or MOT testing.

However, despite the penalty, e-scooters have become a common sight on the UK streets. The authorities have become stricter when Emily Hartridge, a YouTube star, became the first-ever electric scooter fatality in the country.

Here are the details of the existing laws about electronic transport devices:

  • The law that covers electronic bikes or e-bikes are battery-operated pedal cycles. However, it does not cover e-scooters.
  • The UK government wants to regulate electronic scooters like e-bikes in future. Electric bikes are also called ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ or EAPCs and one don’t need a license to ride one. E-bikes don’t need registration, tax, or insurance.
  • If an e-bike meets the requirements of the EAPC, it is classified as a normal pedal bike. It means that one can ride it on cycle paths and in any place where pedal bikes are allowed.

Early Trials for Future Transport Zones

The Department for Transport says that there’s a high number of areas in the country that have expressed interest in running electronic scooter trials. The early trials aim to evaluate whether electronic scooters are green and safe for travelling. If the trials become successful, there will be more rolled out schemes in the next few months.

The “future transport zones” for the trials include the following:

  • West Midlands
  • Portsmouth and Southampton
  • West of England Combined Authority (Bath, Bristol, and surrounding areas)
  • Derby and Nottingham.

E-scooter Demand

Electric scooter retailers claim that there’s a surge in sales of e-scooters in recent months because many people perceive rentals as a clear manifestation that private ownership will soon be permitted. According to Graham Stapleton, Halford Chief Executive in an interview with The Times, e-scooters have been “flying off the shelves” with doubled sales over the last year.

A Hungarian online marketing specialist explains that businesses, including e-scooter sellers, should start formulating their digital marketing strategies to anticipate the big demand for electronic scooters. Aside from high-quality e-scooters, it’s best to position brand marketing in a way that strictly complies with the law with safety measures provided to the general consumers when it comes to using such transport devices.

E-scooter Ownership

The Department of Transport only permits rental schemes to prevent flooding or poor-quality e-scooters on the streets. Because of the change in existing laws, e-scooters will be temporarily limited to rentals. The government only allows licensed bike rental companies to offer electric bikes.

Owning an e-scooter for legal use still won’t be possible at this time. So, booking an e-scooter via a smartphone app is the next big thing.

Important Things to Keep In Mind

If you’re an e-scooter enthusiast or considering using electric scooters as an alternative mode of transportation, you need to be prepared. Be updated with the laws for compliance and safety.

Check out these important things to remember before riding and renting an e-scooter:

  • The top speed for e-scooters will be limited to 15.5 miles per hour like e-bikes.
  • Riders cannot use them on the pavements.
  • While helmets are not required by law, riders should consider wearing them for safety.


Indeed, e-scooters will soon become legal in the United Kingdom as ongoing trials and schemes are being ruled out. While e-scooters are limited to rentals at the moment, businesses are preparing for the upcoming changes in the transportation sector, as more and more people are becoming interested in using e-scooters as an alternative mode of transportation.