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Is it legal to ride electric scooters?

With electric scooters or e-scooters becoming more and more popular, and in some locations government trials being employed, the understanding by some of the law surrounding this topic has become muddled. As part of our Insights series, Is it legal to…here’s a speedy breakdown.

E-scooters in law are referred to as ‘Powered Transporters’ as they are powered by a motor. Powered transporters are covered under the laws and regulations that apply to all motor vehicles. However, there are different rules for privately owned e-scooters and rented e-scooters.

Privately owned

To use a privately owned e-scooter on public roads you must comply with the following:

  • Conformity with technical standards and standards of use.
  • Payment of vehicle tax.
  • Licensing and registration.
  • Driver testing and licensing.
  • Use of relevant safety equipment.

It is illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter in spaces set aside for pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders (i.e. the pavement and cycle lanes).

You CAN use a privately owned e-scooter on private land, if you have express permission from the owner of the land.


Rented e-scooters are currently being trialled across the UK, including Norwich.

  • You must have the Category Q entitlement on your driving licence.
  • If you have a UK provisional licence, you do not need to show L plates when using an e-scooter.
  • You can use a rented e-scooter on the road (except motorways) and in cycle lanes.
  • You CANNOT use a rented e-scooter on the pavement!
  • You should not use a rented e-scooter when drunk or otherwise intoxicated – you may be prosecuted under drink or drug driving laws!

How much trouble can I get in?

If you are found guilty of an offence, you could face a range of legal action, including:

  • Fine.
  • Penalty points on your driving licence.
  • Disqualification from driving.
  • Impoundment of e-scooter.

Those found to be using e-scooters dangerously or under the influence of drink or drugs can also be convicted of offences leading to imprisonment. Offences relating to the standard of driving and speeding can also apply.

If you would like any advice on driving offences, our Crime and Motoring team are available for professional and expert advice. For more information, please go to our Motoring pages, call the team on 01603 620508 or email them directly.

At Fosters Solicitors, our specialist Personal Injury team also provide support to those injured in road traffic incidents and are expert in road traffic injury claims. For more information, please visit their service pages or contact them directly on 01603 620508 or by email.

This article was produced on the 2nd November 2023 by our Crime & Business Defence team for information purposes only and should not be construed or relied upon as specific legal advice.