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What is electric scooter insurance?

Do you really know all the rules around electric scooters for adults? And do you have the right electric scooter insurance in place? We’ll tell you everything you need to know.

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Young couple having fun driving electric scooters through the city.

More people than ever are riding electric scooters so the demand for electric scooter insurance, UK wide, is soaring. Many people see them as the future of transport.

But do you really know all the rules around electric scooters for adults? And do you have the right electric scooter insurance in place? We’ll tell you everything you need to know.

What is an electric scooter and how much do they cost?

An adult electric scooter, UK wide, is defined as a two-wheel, motorised scooter. Their average speed is 12mph and you should be able to travel 11 miles on one before needing to recharge. 

You can buy a motorised scooter from all kinds of shops and online retailers, and you could pay anything from £100 to £4,000. As they don’t come cheap, electric scooter insurance can be a welcome form of protection for those who have forked out a lot of money on one.

You’re legally allowed to own an electric scooter in the UK.

What exactly defines a vehicle as an e-scooter, UK wide?

The government’s definition of electric scooters, UK wide, is that:

  • They’re designed to carry one person only

  • They have an electric motor with a maximum continuous power rating of 500w

  • They don’t go over 15.5mph

  • They have two wheels aligned in the direction of travel

  • They have a mass of 55kg or under

  • They can be controlled using the handlebars linked to the steered wheel

  • They have their speed controlled using had controls, and a power control which defaults to the ‘off’ position.

Can I legally ride an electric scooter, UK wide, on the pavement or road?

An electric scooter is officially classed as a ‘powered transporter’. This means you’ll need to have an MOT, tax, a driving licence and electric scooter insurance to use a privately owned one in public. As this isn’t currently possible, you’re only allowed to ride one on private land. Even then, you’ll need permission from the land owner.

If you’re caught riding a privately-owned electric scooter on a public road or in another public place you could get in trouble. It’s currently considered a road traffic offence here in the UK to ride an electric scooter in a park or on a footpath or pavement.

In many other countries, it’s legal to ride an e-scooter on public roads. The UK government is currently fast-tracking electric scooter trials in some parts of the UK, with a view to legalising their use on public roads. This is because electric scooters could potentially offer people a fast, cheap and clean way to travel around their local area. Legalising electric scooter travel could also ease pressure on transport networks. Plus, it would support social distancing.

The 12-month trial uses rental scooters only, which are limited to 15.5mph. It began in the summer of 2020 and will assess the impact of electric scooters on motor traffic and safety.

If the legislation is passed, e-scooters will be allowed in the same areas as bicycles – on the road (not motorways) and in cycle lanes and tracks.

If electrical scooters are legalised for use on pavements, would I need electric scooter insurance then?

This hasn’t yet been confirmed by the UK government. However, the more electric scooters there are on the pavements and roads, the more risk there will be for things to go wrong.

You could need an MOT, tax, a driving licence and possibly electric scooter insurance to use a privately owned electric scooter in public. The government will confirm what’s needed when they decide whether to legalise electric scooters for use in public places.

What does electric scooter insurance currently cover you for?

If you have an electric scooter – also known as a personal light electric vehicle (PLEV) – it’s wise to have electric scooter insurance in place. They’re worth a lot of money so having electric scooter insurance, UK wide, could give you some helpful protection in case something went wrong.

Don’t forget that electric scooter insurance, UK wide, won’t cover you for riding on public land such as road or pavements. You’ll only be covered for use on private land.

You can get electric scooter insurance to cover you for:

  • Theft: As they’re expensive, electric scooters are desirable items and can be targeted by thieves.

  • Fire/vandalism: With electric scooter insurance, your scooter could be repaired or replaced if it was damaged by fire or vandalism. 

  • Personal accident: Electric scooters don’t come without risk. If you had an accident you could risk seriously injuring yourself. Personal injury cover offers protection against injury and death.

  • Public liability: Due to travelling at speed, there’s a risk you could injure someone else in an accident. Public liability covers you for compensation claims made against you due to injury or property damage.

Do I need electric scooter insurance, UK wide? 

Having electric scooter insurance isn’t a legal requirement. But the question to ask yourself is whether you could afford to replace your scooter yourself if something happened to it. If the answer is ‘no’ then electric scooter insurance could be exactly what you need to protect your prized possession.

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