9 June 2022

Are e-scooters legal in Scotland?

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Are they legal?

Electric scooters have become a common sight on the streets of Scotland in recent times – despite plenty of confusion over their legality and correct use.

Whilst they are not legal on public pavements, roads and so on, they can still be purchased both online and in stores across the country.

The growing popularity of e-scooters is due to them offering a "greener alternative" compared to cars or motorbikes, while being less physical than cycling or walking. They are also relatively cheap (starting from 200£ up to 1000£), making them appeal especially to younger users, which often make use of these means of travel as a "game" or a "joke".

 

However, while everyone is increasingly likely to see them on roads, cycles lanes and pavements, should they even be there in the first place? are these designed for them? should we adapt to them?

We of EV Law Scotland put together all the key information you need to know about e-scooter use in Scotland – including what is likely to change following the government's announcement (, as it plans to legalise them in a new Transport Bill, which is under discussion, though nothing has been confirmed yet.

  1. The government has legalised e-scooters now, yeah? 

    Not really, Scottish Government and UK Government have not yet legalised the use of e-scooters. Hence, have some more patience to buy your new e-scooter.

  2. Has any Governement Authority said anything about it?

    The answer is, Yes! Eleanor Chappell, the Head of Micromobolity for the Department for Transport, said: "For private machines, unless they meet the requirements for motor vehicles – so you've got an motorcycle helmet on, you've got insurance which is hard to get and they meet the motor vehicle requirements – it is still illegal to use an e-scooter on public roads, and the police will continue to enforce it that way."

  3. Great, so is anyone legally authorised to buy and use one?

    Many reteailes both online and in-stores are actively promoting these electronic products and yes, it is completely legal to buy one whether online or in a retailer store. 

    Though, it is crucial and fundamental that privately owned scooters are restricted for use solely on private land with the permission of the land owner. It is illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter on pavements, cycle paths or roads at present, so don't do it, otherwise Police Scotland would and could fine you and seize your e-scooter. 

  4. Are there any rental schemes going on in Scotland like in England?

    There are no rental schemes going on in Scotland. The only rental schemes so far have been in England. Hence, only those are available at the moment - though Glasgow Council has recently encouraged the Scottish Gov to allow e-scooters on roads on the "road network". 

  5.  What are the risks if I use my own e-scooter on public land now?

    As mentioned earlier, up until the new Transport Bill legislation is passed, riding your own e-scooter in public will put you on the wrong side of the law, causing you and to your e-scooter loads of troubles.

  6. How long will it take for the Government to make changes?

    The Government has clearly stated that to make changes the bill would approximately take 1 year - as there are many things involved like insurances, users, age restrictions, speed limits and the list goes on.

    Pietro Furfaro - Marketing Executive - RTA LAW LLP


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