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Legality of Electronic Scooters in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland


— March 8, 2021

Once e-scooters meet the same requirements as motor vehicles (for instance, in terms of registration, license, tax, insurance,), then it can become legal to use them on public roads.


One of the up and coming modes of transport is e-scooters or electric scooters. However, there is a lot of uncertainty around where and when you can legally use them. The world is slowly trying all the alternatives like Electric vehicles, Solar Power vehicles and other options. Like electric cars, electric scooters have turned the table and companies are investing huge amounts in the electric scooter industry; but unfortunately, there are some road legality issues electronic scooters are facing, especially in the UK and Ireland.

In this article we decided to go through the rules as they are right now due to the recent decision of the government to fast-track e-scooter trials. 

Are E-Scooters Legal in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland? 

Yes – sort of. E-scooters are legal in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. However, there are many restrictions. According to the government policy: If you own an e-scooter it’s legal to ride on private roads, cycle paths, and cycle lanes. Only private owners can ride it anywhere but you can’t ride your e-scooter on private properties unless you’ve permission from the property owner.

According to an electric scooter provider, Green electric scooters, “The government in the Republic of Ireland plans to introduce legislation that will legalize the use of electric bikes and scooters on non-private roads.”

Where Can You Use Electric Scooters? 

It is illegal to use electric scooters in pedestrian-only areas, in cycle lanes, on pavements (sidewalks), and on public roads. This is because the government classes electric scooters as “powered transporters”, so electric scooters fall under the same laws and regulations applying to every motor vehicle. That is why it is illegal to use them in pedestrian-only areas, in cycle lanes, and on pavements.

Woman walking past row of Lime eScooters; image by Vince Jacob; via Unsplash.com.
Woman walking past row of Lime eScooters; image by Vince Jacob; via Unsplash.com.

Once e-scooters meet the same requirements as motor vehicles (for instance, in terms of registration, license, tax, insurance,), then it can become legal to use them on public roads. However, they cannot meet these requirements now. 

Do I Need Insurance for My Electric Scooter? 

  • No! It is illegal to ride an electric scooter on public roads, so you do not currently need insurance. It is not even possible to get insurance for an electric scooter. 
  • Do I Need a Driver’s License for My Electric Scooter? 
  • No! As mentioned above, you cannot drive an electric scooter on public roads. 
  • Why are E-Scooters Currently Illegal on Pavements and Roads? 

It is illegal to ride an e-scooter on public roads because the same legislation as motor vehicles covers them. Unfortunately, electric scooters cannot meet the same requirements. There have been discussions about the laws that specifically cover electric scooters. Therefore, there may be some developments in these laws in the future. 

When Will It Be Legal to Drive Electric Scooters on Pavements and Roads? 

One of the plans of the government has been to run e-scooters trials in 2021. However, the government had to fast-track the trials because of the coronavirus outbreak. The government plans to start the trials in July 2021. You should know that the government plans to involve the rental of e-scooters, so it does not plan to include privately owned electric scooters.

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