As the world is moving towards a greener future by ditching fossil-fuel powered vehicles and welcoming electric vehicles, the popularity of electric scooters is increasing rapidly. But, this is also raising the question, “are electric scooters legal?”
To put it simply, yes, they are legal in most of the regions, but that does not mean that you can use it anywhere you want. There are many rules and regulations regarding electric scooters because of safety reasons.
If you are planning on buying an electric scooter, pause for a bit and read this article so that you can get a better understanding of what you can and can’t do with your E-scooter. Some rules can be a deal breaker for you so it’s better to check first.
Rules and regulations regarding electric scooters
Electric scooters have been around for quite a time now but they are still new in the world of vehicles. This is why there are so many different laws regarding this in different countries. Governments are still on-going with the process of creating rules and regulations for this ride.
For example, electric scooters are completely legal in Austria but you can only use it on private properties in the USA. Yes, you can’t use them on public streets in the USA. Same goes for the UK. In some countries like France or Germany, you can use them on bicycle lanes only. So, before you buy an electric scooter, check whether your country allows it on public streets or not.
Why are electric scooters illegal on public streets?
Currently, you can only use electric scooters on private land and foot paths. This raises the question “why are they banned on public streets?”
This is because they fall under the same category “powered transporters” as other motor rides. Yes, there are no specific laws for electric scooters. This means they have the same rules and regulations as the other motor vehicles – tax, MOT, and licensing. If electric scooters could meet these requirements then you could use them on public rodas, but that’s virtually impossible.
Another reason is that the electric scooters do not have any signaling lights, rear lights or number plates. You know how important these things are. Without them, people can get into accidents quite often on public roads. And without the number plate, it will be hard for the police to identify the vehicle if it was used for crime.
How do I ride an electric scooter legally?
The UK has started a trial rental program which will determine whether e-scooter should be legal on public roads or not. This rental program started in 2020, and has been extended till march 2022.
If you want to join this program and rent an e-scooter, you must have a driver’s license. To be specific, you need an Q entitlement on your driving license.
Riders who have an overseas license can also rent e-scooters as long as they have full provision to drive vehicles such as motorbikes or cars.
This is currently the only way you can ride an electric scooter on public roads. Well, at least after you fill up an online course first. Yes, you can’t immediately hire an electric scooter even if you have a license.
How old do I have to be to ride an electric scooter?
If you are planning on riding an electric scooter on privately owned land, there is no age restriction for that. Of course, you need the permission of the land owner or else you might get in trouble.
If you want to join the rental program and rent an electric scooter, you have to be 18 years old. You won’t get to hire it if you are younger than 18. You have to take an E-learning safety course online if it’s your first time hiring an E-scooter.
Lastly, do not try illegally riding an electric scooter on public roads because you will get fined up to 300 dollars/euros and up to six penalty points. If you are unfortunate enough, you might get your e-scooter seized by officials.
Just because lots of countries have banned electric scooters on public roads does not mean that the vehicle itself is lacking something. It’s just, we don’t have the perfect conditions for riding electric scooters on public roads right now.
This is why many countries are starting the rental program which will tell whether electric scooters are fit for public transport or not. Regardless of the outcome, we can’t deny the advantages of using an electric scooter.
So, before you rush out to buy your brand new electric scooter, carefully read this article and also ask your local government authorities if they allow e-scooters on public roads or not. As we have said earlier, different regions have different rules and regulations regarding electric scooters.