Are electric scooters legal?
There has been loads of information in the press about electric scooters over the last few years, and you see people riding their scooters about the place every day, so what exactly is the current situation with e-scooters? Are they legal or aren’t they? Let’s take a quick look at what the law is now, how we got here, and what might happen in the future.
Can I own an e-scooter in the UK?
You absolutely can, and thousands of people up and down the country already do. It’s totally legal to use an electric scooter to your heart’s content on private land (with the landowners permission of course), for all your high speed or off road needs. There are even some public parks in major cities that have electric scooter programmes, so you can test out your new mean machine and find out what it’s capable of.
There are already thriving communities of people who use e-scooters for all kinds of activities, including stunt scooters that can be used in skate parks or scooter parks, and people who use them for off-road adventures. Even better, you don’t need any kind of special license or documentation to ride an e-scooter on private land: No insurance, no tax, no registration.
Are e-scooters legal to ride on the road?
At the moment, it’s not currently legal to use electric scooters on public roads. This is because the Government currently treats them the same as a car or motorbike, and just like a car or motorbike your scooter would need to be registered, taxed, MOT’d and insured – which isn’t currently possible. The good news is that electric scooters are used on the road with great success in other countries, so freedom from pollution and public transport is just a stroke of the politicians’ pen away.
What about pavements?
Sadly you run into the same problem when it comes to using your e-scooter on the pavement. Because the Government treats your electric scooter like a car, it’s subject to the same rules as a car, which means no driving on the pavements (which is probably for the best when it comes to cars, at least). The same applies to other places cars can’t go like bus lanes, cycle lanes and pedestrian areas.
Will the law ever change?
The UK Government is currently consulting on whether or not to change the laws on electric scooters, bringing the UK into line with France, Germany, the US and Singapore and allowing you to ride your scooter on roads and pavements. This is due to run until 2022, after which more consultations are likely, but many local authorities are having great success with trial schemes up and down the country as well as rental scooters that can be driven on roads.
Ultimately, the electric scooter is a cheap, safe and environmentally friendly way to get about which keeps polluting cars off our streets and gets people outside and active. They’re an amazing mode of transport that answers a heap of questions about how we’re going to reduce carbon emissions and make people live healthier lives, and we’re confident that the Government will see sense and change the law pretty shortly.
Why aren’t electric scooters already legal?
There are a few myths going around about why it is that electric scooters aren’t already legal, but as usual the simplest answer is the right one: The Government wants to be really, really sure that this new and exciting form of transport is really as safe and good for the environment as people say it is. Ridden properly and within existing laws, electric scooters are no more dangerous than any other form of transportation. In fact, as statistically the least safe common way to travel, by getting more cars off the road, electric scooters are helping to make the roads even safer in other countries around the world.
It’s also not true that you can’t use electric scooters in the rain, or that they are limited to 6mph. In recent years great strides have been made in waterproofing and weatherproofing scooters, so that even micro-scooters often come with total weatherproof bodies that can be ridden in all weathers. This makes them even better for the British climate, which doesn’t always guarantee sunny weather and dry roads. While certain powered vehicles like mobility scooters are limited to very low speeds, it is unlikely that legalized e-scooters would be put into that same category!
How can I help?
We love a rebellious spirit at Moose, and we’re all about fighting the power of typical ICE vehicles to embrace an electric, e-scooter future. Having said that, the best way you can help make the case for legal e-scooters in future is to be the best damn e-scooter user that there ever was. Don’t give electric scooters and their users a bad name by breaking the law, try not to drive your electric scooter too fast or without proper control, and don’t put other scooter users or pedestrians at risk with your riding.
We love to show the Government and the public how amazing electric scooters are as a form of transportation, and how fun and safe it can be to encourage more people to use them, so the best thing you can do is be the perfect example of a safe and happy electric scooter rider. That means being courteous and kind to road users, wearing a helmet to protect yourself and others, respecting the world around you, and wearing reflective or high visibility clothing where possible.
How do I get into electric scooters?
Electric scooters are already massive in China, and they’re getting bigger every day in places like the US and Canada, so there’s never been a better time to learn more. Here at Moose we have an amazing range of top quality refurbished scooters to browse, from some of the world’s biggest manufacturers. We give you unbiased, no-nonsense information about each one so you can make the best decision, and start your all-electric life with a bang!