According to the Department of Transport, e-scooters are classed as ‘powered transporters’ and meet the legal definition of a ‘motor vehicle’.
They must therefore meet a number of requirements in order to be used on the road, including having insurance and conforming to ‘technical standards.’
As they do not, they are considered illegal to use on roads in Britain.
The Metropolitan Police has also said it is illegal to use e-scooters on the road and riders risk being fined or even having penalty points on their licence.
Riders also risk having their e-scooters seized by police.
The Department of Transport said e-scooters are covered by the 1988 Road Traffic Act, which also includes Segways, hoverboards, go-peds (combustion engine-powered kick scooters), powered unicycles, and u-wheels’.
The ban does not apply to electrically-assisted pedal bicycles.
According to the Department of Transport: ‘For motor vehicles to use public roads lawfully, they must meet a number of different requirements. These include insurance; conformity with technical standards and standards of use; payment of vehicle tax, licensing, and registration; driver testing and licensing; and the use of relevant safety equipment.
‘If the user of a powered transporter could meet these requirements, it might in principle be lawful for them to use public roads. However, it is likely that they will find it very difficult to comply with all of these requirements, meaning that it would be a criminal offence to use them on the road.’
E-scooters are also banned from using pavements under the 1835 Highway Act. E-scooters can be used on private land with the landowner’s permission.