UK Government Updates E-Scooter Regulations

Recently the UK government updated its guidance for e-scooter users, with the rental trials happening in many urban areas across the UK. Here are some highlights for you;


Insurance is to be arranged via the rental company/operator. Riders should have a Category Q driving licence, or a foreign licence that equates to a Full UK or Provisional. It remains unclear how the insurer would cross-check a rider’s licence level from say Pakistan, Uganda or Chile, compared to a UK hirer. This underwriting problem must be fixed in major cities, as there are millions of overseas students, workers and visitors here who may wish to hire an electric scooter.

Road Use

The latest government regs state quite clearly that the only roads where electric scooter travel is illegal are motorways. The pavement is off-limits too. Cycleways are OK too of course.

Anywhere else classified as a road therefore is OK, until there is a test case ruling.  In theory that means a hirer could ride along the Mancunian Way in Manchester, in rush hour, wearing a cheap bicycle helmet, and not break any laws. Some might say that is asking for trouble, time will tell.

Carrying Stuff

e-scooter riders must not hang luggage from the handlebars, use a mobile on the move, or carry passengers. However you CAN use a screen to navigate via Sat Nav, which in layman’s terms, means you ARE using a mobile.

Towing anything is a no-no and you must stay in the local area. There is no distance radius which defines that locality in the legislation however, so it could be ten miles. Maybe more.

As a failsafe, the government notes that all riders are subject to T&Cs applied at the point of hire by the rental company. So at least lessons can be learned and the terms of use modified, tech used to disable a scooter when it is 6+ miles from the base station perhaps, or particular individuals banned from hiring?

Areas vary from Darlington to leafy Cambridge, Yeovil to Liverpool. The stats on average speed, accidents, pedestrian collisions, pavement excursions per trip, theft rates and so on will make interesting reading in 2021. Let’s all hope that not too many lives are lost in this utopian, globalist, social experiment which will allow car drivers who have never even ridden a bicycle, never mind a moped or scooter, or passed an actual driving test, let loose in busy traffic.


About alastair walker 7109 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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