As the government-backed e-scooter rental trials take over cities around the UK, many people are wanting to purchase their very own e-scooter. 

These convenient and eco-friendly vehicles are offering a real and viable solution to many issues that inner-city commuters face, but what are the rules surrounding private use in the UK?  

Where can you ride an e-scooter? 

Whilst it is legal to own and buy an e-scooter, there are still lots of restrictions around where they can be used. It is currently illegal to use privately owned e-scooters on public roads, on pavements, in cycle lanes and pedestrian-only areas.

In the UK, it is only legal to ride a privately owned e-scooter on private land with the land owner's permission. 

Alternatively, you can whizz around on the government-backed trial e-scooters that are available in over 40 towns and cities. 

Where are the e-scooter trials taking place? 

If you want to try before you buy, check out these locations to have a go on a rental scooter: 

  • Bournemouth and Poole
  • Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury and High Wycombe)
  • Cambridge
  • Cheshire West and Chester (Chester)
  • Copeland (Whitehaven)
  • Derby
  • Essex (Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester and Clacton)
  • Gloucestershire (Cheltenham and Gloucester)
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Kent (Canterbury)
  • Liverpool
  • Milton Keynes
  • Newcastle
  • North and West Northamptonshire (Northampton, Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough)
  • North Devon (Barnstaple)
  • North Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe)
  • Norwich
  • Nottingham
  • Oxfordshire (Oxford)
  • Redditch
  • Rochdale
  • Salford
  • Slough
  • Solent (Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton)
  • Somerset West (Taunton)
  • South Somerset (Yeovil, Chard and Crewkerne)
  • Staffordshire (Stafford and Newcastle-Under-Lyme)
  • Sunderland
  • Tees Valley (Hartlepool and Middlesbrough)
  • West Midlands (Birmingham, Coventry and Sandwell)
  • West of England Combined Authority (Bristol and Bath)
  • York

You can find out more information here. 


When will e-scooters become legal in the UK? 

Since summer 2020, electric scooter rental trials have been taking place in a variety of locations across the UK. 

The rental scooter companies have been working with local councils to see if e-scooters can be used as a safe and efficient mode of public transportation.

The trials have been extended until the end of March 2022 so that they can gather more extensive evidence of the scooter's integration into cities as a new urban travel option. 

There is likely to be another deliberation phase before the official legalisation of privately owned e-scooters begins.  


Do you have to have insurance or a driving licence to ride an e-scooter?

If you are using a rental e-scooter, the insurance is covered by the rental operator.

You must have a valid full or provisional driving licence to ride an electric scooter.

The UK government website states: 

“You must have the category Q entitlement on your driving licence to use an e-scooter. A full or provisional UK licence for categories AM, A or B includes entitlement for category Q. If you have one of these licences, you can use an e-scooter.”

At REEL, we believe the use of micro-mobility, such as e-scooters, will revolutionise the way we move around busy cities and towns. The emission-free, two-wheeled vehicles are helping to solve the problem of congestion and pollution in cities around the world. We think it's important that the UK follows in our neighbouring countries’ footsteps to create a greener and healthier future, sign the petition here.