Are e-scooters legal? | read time 2-3 minutes
Recently, electric e-scooters have hit the UK like wildfire, with an estimated 1 million e-scooters now on the UK’s roads; accidents have soared with over 200,000 reports this year alone. As a result of the increased injuries and cases regarding e-scooters, the police have cracked down on illegal e-scooter riders.
Below, we have detailed everything you need to know about e-scooters and the law surrounding them. If you are facing a criminal charge involving an e-scooter, we can help. Get in touch today on 020 3795 9020.
Are privately owned e-scooters legal?
Put simply, NO!
It is currently against the law to ride a privately-owned e-scooter in any public place in the UK. This includes the following areas:
- Public footpaths
- Cycle Paths
It is important to note that it is not illegal to own an e-scooter or to operate an e-scooter on private land.
What are the penalties for using a privately owned e-scooter on the road?
E-scooter riders caught illegally using an e-scooter can face the following punishments:
- A fine of up to £300
- Six penalty points on your driving license
- Driving disqualification
- Confiscation of your e-scooter
Have you been accused of an e-scooter driving offence? Just give us a quick call on 020 3795 9020.
What type of e-scooters are legal?
In short, the only e-scooters that are legal are ones you can rent through authorised schemes.
Currently, the government is carrying out trials for e-scooters in 32 cities around the UK. In July 2018, the Department of Transport (DOT) began the ‘The Future Mobility’ scheme to examine new eco-friendly transport methods and how the UK’s infrastructure and current legislation regarding motor vehicles may need to adapt to these new technologies. The trial will take place until 2022, where officials will review the findings to determine the future for e-scooters.
Individuals can hire e-scooters through this scheme and drive them legally on roads and cycle paths. The e-scooters scheme allows authorised operators to rent insured e-scooters that are limited to 15.5mph.
What criteria do I need to meet to rent an e-scooter legally?
For those wanting to rent an e-scooter legally, you must:
- Hold a provisional or full driving license.
- Be aged 18 years or above.
- Have completed an e-learning safety course before your first hire.
What driving-license do I need to ride for a rented e-scooter?
To legally rent an e-scooter, you need to hold a valid full or provisional driving license with the ‘Q’ category listed. The following driving licenses categories include the ‘Q’ category:
For more information on driving licensing categories, please click here.
Can I use an overseas driving license to rent an e-scooter?
It’s important to note that if you have an overseas driving license, you can use an e-scooter if you:
- Own a valid full license from an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country
- Own a valid full driving license from another country that entitles you to drive a small vehicle (mopeds or motorcycles), and you entered the UK in the last 12 months.
You can use our online tool to check if you can drive in Great Britain with your non-GB licence by clicking here.
What laws apply to driving a legally rented e-scooter?
Currently, e-scooters fall under the same laws and regulations as other motor vehicles. Therefore, users must adhere to the Road Traffic Act when using the e-scooter on the road.
The most common types of offences that occur regarding rented e-scooter use are as follows:
- Dangerous driving
- Using a mobile phone whilst driving
- Careless driving
- Drug driving
If you have been charged or accused of any of the above, please contact 020 3795 9020. We can connect you to a criminal defence lawyer today.
How can a lawyer help?
The law surrounding e-scooters is complex and requires a specialist lawyer. If you have been accused or issued with a court summon document after unlawfully driving an e-scooter, it could lead to you losing your driving license.
Therefore, using an expert criminal litigation lawyer is essential. A criminal litigation lawyer can review the evidence at hand assess if it is substantial to hold up in court. It may be that the evidence collected is not significant enough to lead to the court prosecuting you.
Furthermore, if the evidence is substantial, a criminal litigation lawyer understands the nuances of the road traffic legislation and can assess if any mitigation circumstances apply to your situation.