Electric scooters have been around for a while. But in the last year, there has been a surge in the sales of e-scooters in the UK. According to Halfords, there was a 184% increase in e-scooter sales since November 2020. This was shortly after rental e-scooters were legalized last year.
However, despite this rise in sales, it is not legal to drive an e-scooter everywhere in the UK. Certain laws and regulations restrict how and where e-scooters can be ridden. Here’s what you would like to understand about the rules guiding electric scooters in the United Kingdom.
What is the law for electric scooters in the UK in 2021?
Currently, you cannot legally use a privately-owned electric scooter on a public highway in the UK. You can do so on private land which is not accessible to the public and with permission from the landowner. This however does not limit your right to buy, sell, or keep an e-scooter.
With this law, you cannot ride an e-scooter on public roads, pavements, or cycle lanes. Breaching this rule can attract a penalty of £300 or six penalty strikes on your driver’s licence. Likewise, your scooter can be impounded as well.
On the 4th of July, 2020, the UK government made rental e-scooters legal on British roads. This trial was scheduled to last for 12 months in more than 30 cities across the country. However, the government has recently extended this trial to continue till March 31st, 2022.
This means that people can ride selected rental e-scooters on public highways subject to the local rules governing the geographical area. By using smartphone apps like Voi and Lime, people can hire e-scooters just the same way as hire schemes for bicycle work.
Do You Need a Licence For an Electric Scooter?
Electric scooters are categorized under “Personal Light Electric Vehicles” (PLEVs). This is because they can transport a person from one location to the other on a public highway. As a result of this, they are regarded as automobiles and are therefore bound by the same legal conditions.
Guidance released on July 13, 2020, by the Department for Transport makes it mandatory to have an e-scooter licence. The rules state that you need a category Q entitlement on your driving licence before you can legally ride an e-scooter. This category includes a provisional or full UK licence of A, B, or AM category.
If you have a temporary (provisional) licence or learner’s permit, there is no need to put an L-plate while driving an e-scooter. However, if you have a foreign provisional licence, you cannot use an e-scooter in the UK. You can only do so if you have a foreign driving licence but this is subject to certain conditions.
How Much Does a Scooter Licence Cost?
As earlier stated, to get an e-scooter licence, your driver’s license must have a category Q entitlement. This category allows you to drive 2 and 3 wheeled vehicles that have an engine size of 50cc and a design speed of no more than 15.5mph (25km/h). The trial e-scooters fall under this category.
The cost of getting a driving licence is dependent on whether it is your first full or provisional GB licence. Also, other factors such as whether you are renewing, replacing, changing, or exchanging your licence may affect the price you may pay.
Getting a first provisional licence costs £34 when applied online and £43 when applied by post. On the other hand, a first full driving licence can only be applied for by post and this costs £43. Other activities such as replacing a stolen, lost, or damaged licence will cost £20.
How to Register an E-scooter
Electric scooters are exempted from road tax. However, they are still required to follow every other rule of the road. This includes having valid insurance and being registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). This is so that your licence plate will be validated and accessible by both insurance companies and the police.
To register your e-scooter, you have to attach your details and fill in the relevant documents. Although some people opt to post this to their local DVLA office, it is advisable to make a personal delivery as this is much safer. This procedure is also quicker and takes only about 2-3 days for you to receive your tax disc and UK registration number.
When Will the Electric Scooter Law Change?
When the rental e-scooter trial began in July of last year, it was scheduled to be a twelve months trial scheme. Hence, the trial was scheduled to come to an end in the summer of 2021. However, this was extended to the end of March 2022 to enable the collection of more comprehensive evidence.
As a result, the decision about the permanent legalization of electric scooters in the UK is still elusive. Hence, any change to the legislation guiding e-scooters will be made known after the expiration of the extended time.
Since the pandemic, the demand for electric scooters in the UK has continued to increase. The flexibility of movement and ready-to-ride solution provided by this two-wheeler makes it a hot cake for users. If you are also looking for a stylish, eco-friendly and comfortable electric scooter, then choose from the wide range of ZERO e-scooters by Diana Cole and get the delivery the very next day in the UK even during this time of the pandemic. However, the laws regulating the use of e-scooters in the UK have always been dynamic and not so clear. Hence, the need arises to know the rules guiding the use of electric scooters in 2021. Contact our friendly and experienced staff and they will help you with all the details and rules for the same.