The quick answer is yes. And no.
The UK is the last major European economy where e-scooters are still banned to use anywhere except on private land. However, this doesn’t stop people buying them, or insurers offering cover (of sorts).
For example, one provider has simply updated its cycle insurance policy by shoehorning in a reference to e-scooters. According to the general exclusions, any claim for theft or causing damage or injury will be rejected unless the scooter is being ridden on private land with permission.
In other words, the insurer will reject claims arising from the use of an e-scooter being used on parks, pavements, footpaths, roads and where it is not permitted by law.
Most e-scooters in the UK today are being ridden illegally on footpaths or the road. So before you spend money on e-scooter insurance, consider carefully whether the policy will pay out if you make a claim.
There’s also a question mark over locking requirements. Locking away from home still makes reference to securing a bicycle through its frame. As a result, it’s not clear how that applies to e-scooters, which don’t have a frame in the conventional sense.
When will e-scooters be legal on UK roads?
Under current British law, e-scooter riders face a £300 fixed-penalty notice and six points on their driving licence for using them on the road or pavement. The law classifies e-scooters as motor vehicles, but their legal status is further hampered by the fact they do not have a seat which is currently a requirement of all road going vehicles. That means that with the exception of the various trial schemes dotted around the country, you can’t ride an e-scooter on a public road, on pavements or cycle lanes. You also have to be 18 or over to use one.
Ireland has very recently made e-scooters legal to use on public roads and cycle lanes and with no requirement for registration or insurance, but limited to a speed of 15.5mph. However, there are no indications the UK plans to follow suit anytime soon.
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.