Tandem mobility scooter vs cycle rickshaw: Only one is legal

tandem mobility scooter and cycle rickshaw

Tandem mobility scooters are no different from a conventional model, they’re just a bit longer and have an additional seat so they can carry a passenger. However, they are not currently legal to use on British roads or footpaths.

If the two of you are lucky enough to have someone to pedal you around in a cycle rickshaw (which is perfectly legal), all well and good. But if your personal mobility relies on a tandem mobility scooter, unfortunately you are out of luck.

We wrote to the Department for Transport to ask why and this is what they said:

Tandem mobility scooters cannot legally be used on pavements or roads in Britain. In law, a mobility scooter and a powered wheelchair are both considered to be an ‘invalid carriage’, defined under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. The specific definition is: Section 20 (2) “invalid carriage” means a vehicle, whether mechanically propelled or not, constructed or adapted for use for the carriage of one person, being a person suffering from some physical defect or disability.

Tandem mobility scooters: Invaluable lifeline for older couples

It seems obvious why tandem mobility scooters can be so useful for older couples – especially when one person is no longer able to operate a scooter on their own – and yet the Department does not have any plans to amend the legislation to make them lawful.

We’d like to help get the law changed if we can. If you would be happy to provide us with a case study – by telling your own story about how a tandem mobility scooter would help you – please get in touch by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page. No need to leave contact details as we’ll be able to see your email address without it becoming public.

Insurance for mobility scooters

Fully comprehensive mobility scooter insurance from the ETA  represents excellent value for money. For more information click here

The policy includes everything you need to keep you moving should your mobility scooter be stolen, vandalised or damaged accidentally. At no extra cost, you also benefit from breakdown cover to take you home if your mobility scooter suffers a flat battery, mechanical fault or puncture – we’ll even pay up to £100 to get the puncture repaired.

For added reassurance, every policy includes £2m third party cover to protect you against claims for injury or damage caused while using your mobility scooter or powered chair. And should you be unfortunate enough to crash your scooter, our insurance policy includes personal accident cover up to £20,000.

Couples cover for mobility scooters

Insurance from the ETA already represents great value at £65 per year to cover a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair worth up to £3,500, but you can now buy the same policy to cover two people at the same address for only £90 per year – a saving of 30 per cent.

You now also have the option of insuring your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair for £3,500, £5,000. £7,500 or even £10,000.

There’s never been a better time to buy ETA mobility scooter insurance.

win a luxury hotel break for two

Everyone who buys ETA mobility scooter insurance over the coming months will be entered into a prize draw to win a UK hotel break for two worth over £1,000.

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance , breakdown cover  and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.



  1. James Kenrick


    We live in rural Lincolnshire. Buses are few and far apart. They are at 2hr intervals at best. A tandem scooter would an asset and could reduce the number of single seat scooters.

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