E-scooter rentals are the only way to legally ride an e-scooter on private property and roadways in the United Kingdom, and even then you may only do so in select boroughs. Using an e-scooter on private property is lawful. They are classified as powered transporters for public use, which means they are subject to the same regulations that apply to automobiles and other motor vehicles. It is thus unlawful to ride them (beyond select trial areas) on sidewalks, footpaths, cycle lanes, or in pedestrianised areas.

A New Mode of Transportation

We hope to develop and popularise new, ecologically friendly modes of transportation that can help alleviate traffic congestion in the UK. That’s why we make sure that our new mode of transportation, the e-scooter, is safe for users and non-users.

Rental e-scooters come with many safety features, and there are many safety-oriented restrictions on their use. Some boroughs, for example, have designated no-go zones where e-scooters are prohibited. These zones will bring rental e-scooter use to a safe halt. There are also go-slow zones, where the maximum speed of an e-scooter is restricted to 8 mph.

Legal Use of Electric Scooters

The Department of Transport (DfT) has approved the London e-scooter rental plan.

E-scooters and other powered transports owned by individuals, rather than rented, are still not permitted to be used on public roadways.

E-scooters and powered transporters can be used on privately owned land with authorisation from the landowner or occupier, but several laws make riding one on public roads illegal and explain the penalties:

  • If you drive an e-scooter without insurance, you might face a £300 fine and six points on your licence.
  • It is illegal to drive vehicles on pavements at any time, and this includes all sorts of e-scooters and powered transports.
  • To hire an e-scooter, riders must be 18 years old and have a valid driver’s licence (full or provisional).
  • It isn’t illegal to drive any vehicle on any pavement (this would make roads illegal). So can you specify which vehicles or which pavement is illegal?

Some regulations do not apply to mobility scooters or e-bikes (electrically assisted pedal cycles) since they are not considered motor vehicles. The Gov.uk website contains information about the legislation regarding powered transporters

Bringing Scooters on Public Transportation

E-scooters and e-unicycles, even when folded, will no longer be permitted on TfL services, stations, or other facilities on the public transport network as of Monday, December 13, 2021. This precaution was taken after fires on the network were caused by malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries in privately owned e-scooters and e-unicycles.

Noncompliance may lead to a fine of up to £1,000.

TfL has always prohibited carrying e-scooters rented via e-scooter trials on public transport because they can’t be folded. Meanwhile, non-motorized scooters may still be carried but not ridden on public transport services.

The E-Scooter Rental in United Kingdom

From June 2021, e-scooters will be available for hire in a number of UK boroughs. Rental businesses have been granted permission to provide e-scooters in these trials, which will begin on July 4 in various areas around the nation. Working on a single experiment ensures that the research works smoothly in all of the participating boroughs, with safety being a primary consideration.

Three different companies will rent out electric scooters:

The operators were selected following an open and competitive procedure to examine their capacity to satisfy stringent safety and operational criteria. Scooter batteries, for example, may be monitored to ensure they comply with fire safety rules.

Approved e-scooters are currently available for rental in the following locations:

  • Tower Hamlets (limited parking at Canary Wharf and some TfL stations)
  • Lambeth (north of the borough only)
  • Hammersmith & Fulham
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Richmond upon Thames
  • Camden
  • City of London
  • Westminster
  • Southwark
  • Ealing

How to Rent an Electric Scooter

The operators’ e-scooters may be rented using their mobile phone applications. You’ll have to:

Install the app of your preferred operator.

Verify your age and driver's licence as part of the registration procedure.

Complete the required in-app instruction before your first ride.

You will now be able to locate an e-scooter. To unlock an e-scooter via the operator’s app, scan the QR code or use the vehicle ID shown on the e-scooter.

Putting Safety at the Top of the List

e scooter vs car

We’re taking efforts to guarantee that anybody riding a rented e-scooter does so safely and in accordance with the regulations of the road as well as the rental operator’s instructions.

A variety of safety restrictions are included in the rental system in UK, including:

  • Riders must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s licence.
  • Rental e-scooters have a maximum speed of 12.5 mph and will automatically decrease down to 8 mph in ‘go slow’ zones. In ‘no-go’ zones, the e-scooters will come to a safe halt to guarantee that they may be ridden safely.
  • All first-time riders in the UK must complete required training on how to ride safely.
  • The rental e-scooters are well-maintained and feature big wheels to make navigating road conditions easier.
  • Throughout any rental, the lights in the front and back of the cars are always turned on.

Learn how to ride rental e-scooters safely and prevent harm to other road users with these safety tips and recommendations.

How to Ride a Rental E-Scooter Safely

While it is not yet a legal requirement to wear safety equipment when riding a rented e-scooter, the injuries that have already occurred in the UK, as well as the long-term risk of serious head injuries as seen in the US, mean that riders must wear appropriate protective clothing when riding e-scooters.

When riding an e-scooter, always keep the following in mind to keep yourself and others safe:

  • Wear safety equipment such as elbow pads, a helmet and knee pads.
  • Wear bright colours or fluorescent apparel to make yourself visible to other road users.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and avoid passing other pedestrians at high speeds.
  • Never use an electric scooter on a paved surface.

The government’s safety advice to e-scooter renters at this time includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • e-scooters should only be used inside the local region hosting the trial
  • only one person should ride an e-scooter at a time
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