Why are Electric Bikes Legal but not Scooters

As the world evolves, the modes of transportation have also been transformed in to the improved variants in terms of cost, efficiency and performance. Electric bikes and electric scooters are one of such modes of transportation that are trending nowadays. People are switching to them because these vehicles do not use fossil fuel. They are compact, convenient and easy to maintain in the age when the economies are struggling with inflation and increase in fuel prices.

In the past few years, People used to employ them in sports and recreational activities but now, the electric bikes and scooters are being used as a convenient mode to commute. One of the reason why their usage has sky-rocketed is the outbreak of Covid-19, due to which people renounced the crowded public transport and switched to the isolated ways to commute. However, there are various legal obligations and doubts about the classification and usage of vehicles. So, those who are planning to buy one must learn about the difference of E-bikes and E-scooters and check whether the one they are buying fulfills all legal requirements of the state.

So, in this article, we have come up with various factors that differentiate electric bikes from electric scooters. It is significant to learn because some bikes are not legal as per law. Also the main reasons of why are electric bikes legal but not scooters.

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Why are Electric Scooters illegal in Uk but not the Electric Bikes?

Why are Electric Bikes Legal but not Scooters

E-Scooters and E-bikes, despite of the few differences, have a lot of similarities so it feels dumbfounding that e-scooters are not legal on the roads in UK while E-bikes are allowed. The E-scooters are only allowed on the private lands. You can ride it on your own land or on anyone’s private land with his permission only. The reason is the UK law that categorize the e-scooter as a motor vehicle.

E-scooters do not comply with the UK law. They are not equipped with the registration plates or the rear lights while the E-bikes do. Government requires the owner to get the e-bike insured and obtain a license for riding the e-bike. Moreover, E-bike owners also get the bikes registered for taxation which the e-scooter are not registered with the tax authorities.

So, the E-scooters are deemed to be illegal on UK roads despite of the fact that they are quite similar to that of the e-bikes. If you are caught riding an e-scooter on the roads of UK then you will be liable for the fine. The fine of 300 pounds or 6 penalty points are imposed if you get caught by the authority.

What is an E-Scooter?

E-Scooter is an upgraded bicycle equipped with a motor. The electric motor is backed up by an electric-powered battery so the scooter does not depend upon fossil fuel like the conventional scooters do. So, the main difference between the electric scooter and the conventional scooter is the power they utilize.

Why are Electric Bikes Legal but not Scooters

What is an E-Bike?

Any E-bike is also a two-wheeled cycle that is equipped with a motor. This motor offers assistance to the rider and the level of assistance can be regulated by the rider. The E-bike also features a rechargeable battery that powers it up. It also contains a monitoring system or control through which you can check the battery level.

Why are Electric Bikes Legal but not Scooters

Electric Bike Vs Electric Scooter:

E-bike and electric scooter seem to be the same kind of vehicles but there are few factors that make a significant difference. There are reasons why you see more e-bikes on the bike lanes as well as bicycle lanes. So, let dive in to the differences between ebike and electric scooter.

  • The first difference is the level of comfort one obtains from the e-bike. E-bikes are considered to be more convenient & comfy because they are equipped with bigger and sturdier tires that improve balance and can accommodate greater weight as compared to the e-scooter. However, it is a relative decision whether to choose an E-scooter or an e-bike because some people experience more comfort with e-scooter.
  • Another difference is the deference of size and weight. E-scooter are lightweight and compact as compared to the E-bike because E-bikes are equipped with some additional parts like handlebars and high-end frame construction. The e-scooter is often foldable so one can fold and take it anywhere.
  • Ebikes are equipped with lithium-ion batteries that are more durable and last longer than that of the lead acid batteries. Lithium ion batteries are costlier but offer great value for money, While the e-scooters have lead-acid battery having lesser life span.
  • E-bikes are safer than E-scooters because they feature sturdy tires which are bigger in size and capable of tolerating shocks and bumps. Ebikes are good for all types of commutes and are available in different variants like city bikes, Fat tire bikes and Off-road bikes etc. so you can choose an e-bike according to the type of journey.
  • E-bikes are the improved variants. They are equipped with high-end mechanical parts so they can attain greater speed and can take you to the distant places faster than that of the e-scooters. The maximum speed, a e-scooter can attain is lesser than the speed of the ebike. E-bikes speed varies according to its class and the state you are going to ride it in. Different states have different speed limitations so one should learn about the allowed speed for a certain class before buying an ebike.


Wrapping Up:

UK Law is a bit complicated when it is about riding an e-bike or an e-scooter. However, one should have thorough knowledge about the state’s prevailing rules and the category/class of bike when he or she is going to make a buying decision. Despite of the minor differences, both vehicles are treated differently on the roads, The E-Scooter is deemed to be illegal on the roads while the E-bikes are allowed to hover on the land provided that they religiously comply with the state’s applicable rules & regulations.

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