The Boring Bit...
As it stands, the Road Traffic Act of 1988, legislates that an electric scooter rider must hold a valid driver's licence, valid insurance, a helmet and pay road tax. That means you will need to go to DVLA to insure and tax your vehicle.
Simple right? Nope.
Because the DVLA considers electric scooters unfit for the roads and therefore will not register them or provide you with a licence to use one. It’s a massive “catch-22”.
And yes, that means currently e-scooters are indeed illegal to ride on UK roads, and only private land as of the time of writing this blog.
Electric scooters are currently classed as a Personal Light Electric Vehicle or PLEV for short. However, DVLA have set restrictions over power and speed which means that any PLEV cannot be registered. It would make more sense if certain aspects such as brakes, top speed limitations, safety precautions and motor sizes were considered.
The Safety Bit...
Some say that electric scooters are way more dangerous than riding a bike. While others will argue that the jury is still out, research shows that bicycles with 10-20 gears have the potential to go much faster than the 20-mph top speed of an e-scooter.
And then on the other hand electric bikes, otherwise knowns as "EAPC" are considered to be perfectly legal and you can easily register one with them. DVLA’s reason - because they have pedals (UK Gov's electric bike rules).
We are scratching our head over this one.
Change is Coming...
More and more people are noticing the UK laws road and cycle laws are archaic and change is happening. Scooter Hub urges our community to sign one of the various petitions, such as the official UK Parliament one or the one over at Change.org, both of which have prompted the Department for Transport (DfT) to include electric scooters as a 'micro-mobility' option in a major, wide-ranging review of the future of urban transport.
To Sum Up...
It’s a confusing one and the UK law over electric scooters is evidently out of date and only Westminster can truly revise this. Scooter Hub Team believes it will only be a matter of time until we see legislation pass in full so we can all safely enjoy riding our electric scooter in our own neighbourhood.