What are e-scooters and what are the rules around them?

As e-scooters are classified as powered transporters, they are subject to the same legal requirements as motor vehicles, i.e., MOT, tax, licensing etc.

In the UK, the law says you are allowed to buy and own an electric scooter, but it is illegal to use a privately-owned one on public roads, pavements or cycle lanes. They can only be legally used on private land.

The Government are trialling the use of hop-on-hop-off e-scooters that can be ridden legally. They are available to rent in some city destinations, but what are the rules for being able to use them?


Many people do not know that you need to have a full or provisional licence to ride one of the hop-on scooters. Also, if you’re in London you have to complete an online course first on the e-scooter app.


E-scooters must have motor insurance, but for the hop-on scheme, this will be provided by the e-scooter operator, usually the local council.


It’s not a legal requirement to wear a cycle helmet when using an e-scooter, but you’ll be encouraged to do so.

Other rules

  • You must not use an e-scooter on the pavement. E-scooters in some cities may soon be fitted with onboard cameras to stop them from being used on pavements.
  • Only one person at a time should use the e-scooter.
  • They should only be used in the area of the trial.
  • Do not use your phone while riding on the scooter.
  • Do not tow anything.


There are calls for more measures to prevent the scooters from being ridden on pavements, with well-founded concerns about the risks posed to pedestrians, especially those with disabilities. The fitting of onboard cameras may help.

It was recently reported that the increase in e-scooters has led to a rise in personal injury claims. There have also been reports of the scooters being used by people under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Riders can be prosecuted under drink or drug driving laws, and dangerous driving offences also apply to users of e-scooters.

If you’re injured, through no fault of your own, in an accident involving an e-scooter, it may be possible to make a personal injury claim. At Simpkins & Co Solicitors, we are experts in personal injury compensation claims. Call us on 01425 275555 or email info@simpkinsand.co.uk for a free consultation to find out whether you have a claim.


You might also like: