When it comes to electric bikes and the laws that surround them, there are always questions. Do you need a license? How old do you need to be to ride one? Can you ride them on the road? An electric bike or e-bike as they’re sometimes known are often mistaken for just a ‘push bike with an electric motor’ and while this isn’t necessarily wrong, they are actually a little more than that.
So much so that they have a number of laws surrounding them, including when an electric bike becomes more than that and actually becomes a vehicle. We’re going to take a look into the electric bike laws in the UK however, we must first state that what we’re about to discuss IS NOT legal advice and is merely a discussion.
UK E-Bike Laws
The UK law is pretty definitive when it comes to what can and cannot be defined as an electrically assisted pedal cycle. The current law states “if a bike has pedals that propel it; the electric motor won’t assist you when you’re travelling more than 25 kmph (15.5mph) and the power will not exceed 250 watts.” The cycles that meet these requirements, such as the cycles listed within our ‘Bikes’ category can be ridden on any cycle paths as well as any other paths that bikes are normally allowed.
Here in the UK, it’s also required that anyone that rides an electric bike be at least 14 years of age. Despite the age limit however, you aren’t required to have a license to ride one. You’ll be pleased to know that nor do you need to pay vehicle tax or register the bike.
There are times when an electric bike can break the rules, say for instance if it happens to go faster than 15.5mph. Perhaps the motor is more powerful than it should be or if it assists you when you’re cycling faster than 15.5mph (a standard UK regulatory electric bike should not assist when the rider is pedalling over 15.5mph) then it will need to be registered, insured and possibly taxed (dependent on current guidelines) as a motor vehicle.
If this is the case, you’ll also find yourself in need of a driving license in order to ride it as well as a motorcycle helmet. It’s at this point that the bike starts to become a moped or motorbike depending on the power and ability. You’ll usually find electric bikes with this sort of power refrain from adding pedals and are quite simply, an electric vehicle.
Electric Bikes Laws – Room For Change
While these are the current guidelines, as of 2016, the onset and subsequent completion of Brexit may lend itself to change when it comes to the specifics. Until then however, it pays to do your research into the model bike you’re looking to ride and the requirements.
If you’re looking at any one of the models on our website, you’ll find a certain amount of legal information listed with each individual bike. For more information, simply contact us today on 01928 58 30 30.