E-Scooters can only be used on private land, with the consent of the land owner. 

They are illegal to use on public roads, including pavements. The only exception to this is where there are government trials ongoing, with rental scheme in some areas, with tight restrictions.  Lincolnshire is not included in the trial.

More information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-scooter-trials-guidance-for-users

We will engage with users of e-scooters but where they continue to use them, we have the power to seize them.

Owners can recover the e-scooter by proving ownership (by way of receipt), produce photo ID and make payment for the recovery and storage charges.

The law

An electric scooter is essentially a scooter powered by a motor, meaning they are classified as a ‘motor vehicle’ in law.

Because of this, you must be aged 18 and over to use an e-scooter.

The Government is running trials to explore the positive and negative impacts of e-scooters on public roads, as well as to ascertain where the law should stand on electric scooters moving forward. 

E-scooters are currently limited to a maximum speed of 15.5mph.

Riding an e-scooter in public when it is not part of an authorised trial is against the law and can result in penalty points, a fine and the vehicle being seized.

If caught riding an e-scooter on a public highway, pavement or cycle lane it could be seized by the police.

To recover the seized scooter could cost you £150 and a further £10 a day in storage fees.

You could then be reported for driving offences which would lead to significant penalty points and a fine.

When it is legal to use an e-scooter

  • On private land with the permission of the land owner.

When it is illegal to use an e-scooter

  • On a public road without complying with several legal requirements, which potential users will find very difficult.
  • In spaces that are set aside for use by pedestrians, cyclists, and horse-riders. This includes on the pavement and in cycle lanes.

Any person who uses an e-scooter on a public road, or other prohibited space in breach of the law is committing a criminal offence and can be prosecuted.

Road traffic legislation

As a motor vehicle, e-scooters must comply with various pieces of Road Traffic Legislation, including, but not limited to:

  • Driving with a licence
  • Driving/riding with insurance
  • Driving/riding other than on a road
  • Needs to be taxed

It is not currently possible to get appropriate insurance for privately owned e-scooters, meaning it is illegal to use them on the road or in public spaces.

Police enforcement

The most appropriate action for the circumstances will be given, these include:

  • A Fixed Penalty Notice for no insurance, with a £300 fine and six penalty points
  • A Fixed Penalty Notice for no driving licence, up to £100 fine and three to six penalty points
  • Riding on the footway: Fixed Penalty Notice and £50 fine
  • Using a mobile phone: £100 and six penalty points
  • Riding through red lights: Fixed Penalty Notice, £100 fine and possible penalty points
  • Drink driving offences: As with driving cars; court-imposed fines, driving ban and possible imprisonment

E-scooter safety

When using an e-scooter on private land or within a trial area, we would always recommend you:

  • Wear safety protection, such as a helmet when riding.
  • Keep to the speed limit.
  • Consider wearing high visibility clothing at night-time.
  • Use your brakes judiciously. Your braking habits can have a direct impact on how smooth or rough your ride will be.
  • Ride defensively. A sensitive rider has a better chance of avoiding and preventing a collision.
  • Slow down before turning or looking back. Just as riding a motorbike, make a habit of slowing down.

More help and support

e-scooter trials

Department of Transport Guidance

Related Documents & Further Reading

30 Jun 21 8:32 AM

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