November 16, 2020
Be patient, be safe, be lawful. Personally owned e-scooters are currently illegal and should not be used on public land. Yet.
It’s Road Safety Week (16-22nd November 2020) and we’re opting in by raising awareness on the topic of e-scooter usage in the UK. Specifically, we’re clarifying current UK laws. Do you own an e-scooter? Perhaps are you thinking about buying one soon? A Christmas present maybe? If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep reading to learn more about the current rules in place.
As you may recall, Bolt e-scooters were previously approved for UK city trials back in July. Since that time, we’ve been supporting national and local authorities to offer Bolt e-scooters as a viable transport option to get people moving around safely and affordably. However, if you live in a densely populated area it’s likely that you’ve seen a large uptick in the use of privately owned e-scooters on pavements and city streets.
Although e-scooters sales are booming in the UK, the laws around their use are largely misunderstood.
As of November 2020:
Given the current scope of the law, there are not many places where you can legally ride e-scooters — certainly not in densely populated areas where private land is scarce. Because of this, Bolt strongly advises not buying an electric scooter – a £300 fine and 6 points on your license isn’t a good Christmas present.
With that said, progress is being made.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has been working with local authorities around the country, to establish legal, shared-scooter trials with select operators that administer them. This means e-scooters would be subject to the laws of each council but could only be used if rented through a transport rental company (like Bolt)!
In most cases, using a privately owned e-scooter puts you at risk of breaking the law. Although you can buy an e-scooter at a local bike shop or online, your scope of use is limited.
In comparison, e-scooter rental operators need to show the DfT and local authorities that their e-scooters have undergone stringent vehicle tests and safety evaluations. They hold liability insurance on your behalf and are provided with a licence that meets the needs of the city that they support.
If you want to experience the thrill of riding an e-scooter safely and legally, riding through an e-scooter rental company is the way to go for the foreseeable future.
Soon! As we mentioned above, we’re working hand-in-hand with local councils to offer Bolt’s e-scooter model as a viable option to address their transport needs. We are also highlighting Bolt’s global E-Scooter Sustainability Pledge which aims to make all Bolt scooter rides climate positive by the end of 2020.
So in the meantime, please be patient. Bolt e-scooters are on their way.
Be patient, be safe, be lawful.
Download the Bolt app and be one of the first to learn when e-scooters go live in the UK!