Using E-scooters

Date published: 26 April 2023 09:51

E-scooters, or electric scooters or powered transporters, are growing in popularity, availability and use across South Yorkshire. But did you know there is clear legislation in place about where you can use them?

You can only ride them legally on private land, where you have the land owners permission, or on public roads and cycle lanes where there is a government approved rental trial.

If you own an e-scooter, make sure you know where you can ride one or you might find yourself committing an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and if ridden on a pavement, the Highway Act 1835.

E-scooters are classed as powered transporters and fall within the legal definition of a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1998. This means that the same rules that apply to motor vehicles, apply to e-scooters. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Driving with a licence
  • Driving/riding with insurance
  • Driving/riding other than on a road
  • Need 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 public spaces.

Legal use:

  • The only place you can ride a privately owned e-scooter is on private land with the landowner’s permission.
  • It is against the law to ride an e-scooter on any public land. This includes pavement’s, cycle lanes, beach promenades, bridleways, or any publicly accessible land such as parks and car parks.

Enforcement regarding private e-scooters:

  • An e-scooter is classed as a powered transporter and they are treated as a motor vehicle and fall under the Road Traffic Act 1988. They are subject to the same legal requirements as motor vehicles. This includes MOT, tax, licensing, insurance, and specific construction regulations.
  • If you are caught using a powered transporter on a public road, pavement, or other prohibited space you are committing a criminal offence and could be prosecuted


Some scooters can reach speeds of over 70mph and can be incredibly dangerous if safety measures are not followed.

South Yorkshire Police recommend that you wear appropriate safety protection, such as a helmet, when riding an e-scooter.

You should also consider those around you and ensure you are not putting other people at risk.

Government trials:

Remember, you can only legally ride an e-scooter on public land as part of a government trial using an e-scooter provided as part of the trial. You can find out more about locations and how to rent on the Government website: www.gov.uk/guidance/e-scooter-trials-guidance-for-users

You can also find out more local information about the trials taking part within BCP Council.

You can find out more about e-scooters and powered transporters here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/po