E-scooters, hoverboards, motorised unicycles and similar devices like Segways, broadly have the same rules and guidelines for their use.
Legally, they're classed by the UK government as 'powered transporters' which means they're subject to the same laws and guidance as road vehicles (they're defined under Road Traffic Act 1988).
Right now, electric scooters, hoverboards, Segways and similar are only allowed on private land with the owner's permission. It's basically against the law to use them on public roads, pavements, cycle lanes, or pedestrian-only areas. This includes parks, car parks, university campuses or other similar areas with public access.
In some areas of the UK, e-scooter trials are taking place. Under those trials, e-scooters are allowed to be used on public roadways under specific guidelines. Currently, the West Midlands trial, previously run by Voi, has come to an end. Find out more about trials elsewhere on the gov.uk website.
Note - the term 'powered transporters' does not apply to electrically-assisted pedal cycles (EAPCs) or e-bikes, which have their own regulatory framework. Find out more about those on our E-bikes page.
General tips for using e-scooters or similar.
If you use an e-scooter or other powered transport device, you should:
- carry a mobile phone for emergencies
- wear a helmet and appropriate clothing
- ride on suitable surfaces – avoid uneven surfaces, gravel and grass
- avoid distractions, like using headphones or your phone, while riding.
You should NOT ride:
- on pavements, roads, canal towpaths or motorways or any publicly accessible places, as described above
- while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- with more than one person on the scooter.
For tips on safely maintaining your e-scooter, take a look at this great page by Halfords - Electric Scooter Maintenance Guide
Charging your e-scooter, hoverboard, unicycle or Segway
If you have your own device and charge it at home, always exercise caution when charging batteries. Do not attempt to modify or tamper with the battery. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Reduce the risk of overheating
Batteries can become warm during use, so allow them to cool before attempting to recharge. To ensure that heat can dissipate properly, batteries should only be charged on hard, flat surfaces. Take care to avoid exposing batteries to damage and extremes of temperature.
Follow instructions carefully
When charging, always adhere to the manufacturer's instructions and never leave a battery unattended or charge it while you are sleeping. When finished, unplug your charger right away and always use the correct charger for your batteries - buying replacements from reputable sellers only.
Where to charge your batteries
Be mindful not to block your escape route with your e-scooter or other devices when storing them; store them in an area away from paths or exits. Prepare an escape plan with your family in case of a fire - if one does start, dial 999 immediately instead of trying to tackle it yourself.
Always make sure you have smoke alarms fitted in a property where you're charging devices. Every home should have a smoke alarm, with at least one on each level of the home. Find out more about smoke alarms.