Is it Legal to Ride an Electric Scooter in the UK

Adam Electric Vehicles 15 Comments

Xiaomi M365 Electric Scooter Now Available in the UK

The improvements in battery technology over recent years has created a huge rise in the amount of small electric vehicles available. However, the law in the UK is still dragging its heels and is quite behind and confusing. I’ve done my best to clarify the situation below based on bike style.

I recommend also looking at this excellent guide on the laws surrounding electric scooters and mopeds.

The law that stops scooters from being legal on the pavement is the The Highways Act 1835 Section 72. It’s slightly ridiculous that this act from nearly 200 years ago is stopping thousands of people from a quiet, green commute.

If any person shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers; or shall wilfully lead or drive any horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or carriage of any description, or any truck or sledge, upon any such footpath or causeway; or shall tether any horse, ass, mule, swine, or cattle, on any highway, so as to suffer or permit the tethered animal to be thereon.The Highways Act 1835 - Section 72

“Carriage of description” encaptures basically any vehicle meaning no, it’s not legal. Quite simply, If it’s not a pedal bike, and has a motor, then it’s not legal to use.

The details are explored below and riding them is at your own risk. However, I find it difficult to imagine many police pursuing you all things considered. Riding a pedal bike on the pavement is also illegal yet is commonplace without incident (sadly!). So keep a low profile and don’t do anything stupid or dangerous and you might be okay. Here are some tips.

Due to being a motored vehicle with less than 4 wheels and a low top speed, most electric scooters fall into the subcategory of being moped. This means they would requi