One of the most commonly asked questions from new eBike riders is whether it is legal to ride an electric bike on UK roads. The use of these bikes is becoming an increasingly more common sight on the streets across the country, but what is the law surrounding the use of eBikes?
Electric bike law in the UK
Ebikes are an incredibly easy and green method of getting around town, but it is important to understand the law before you jump on yours and ride away. While the use of electric scooters remains illegal on public roads and paths, the same is not true for electric bikes.
The vast majority of eBikes, or Electrically Assisted Pedal Bikes, that are sold in the UK meet all requirements and are typically treated as an ordinary pushbike. There are, however, several laws in place:
- Riders must be aged at least 14 years old
- The electric bike must have pedals
- The motor on the eBike cannot exceed 250W
- Speed must be limited to 15.5mph
If you are over 14 years old and your eBike meet these requirements, then it can be used on UK roads and designated cycling paths without any issues. You must abide by the same regulations as any cyclist, which means having front and rear braking systems, having relevant reflectors on the bike and riding with due care and attention for other road users.
If you are wondering how to check the legality of your eBike, then you will be able to find it on your bike. Most machines will feature a sticker or a plate that clearly states all of the required information, including the power output, motor manufacturer, battery voltage and maximum speed.
While it is possible to de-restrict your eBike to make it more powerful, they will only be eligible to be ridden on private land, meaning they are illegal on public roads. It is also important to remember that attempting to de-restrict your eBike will immediately mean any factory warranty is invalidated.
My eBike has a throttle, is it illegal?
One key fact to remember is that an eBike cannot have a throttle that allows the bike to move over 4mph without any pedal assistance (aka Walk Assist). Having this ability would class the eBike as a motorbike, which would require it to have insurance and road tax and would require a relevant driving licence to ride. Having a bike that exceeds the power and speeds listed above will also need the rider to wear a motorcycle helmet when in use.
However, just because your eBike has a throttle, it does not mean it is automatically illegal to ride. The rules on twist and go throttles only came into effect on January 1st 2016, so any electric bikes manufactured and purchased before this date are still eligible to be ridden on UK roads. Further you can utilise these on off-road/private land.
Thinking of starting your eBike journey?
Are you considering making the switch to an electric bike? There are a wide array of benefits to using an eBike, from helping to transform your commute to improving your health. Here at Electric Rider, our mission is to make eMobility as accessible as possible.
We offer a wide range of products, including eBikes, eScooters and electric motorcycles, ensuring our customers can always find the perfect electric-powered solution. We aim to deliver the very best service possible for our customers, offering the highest quality eMobility products possible, delivered directly to your door.
Want to find out more about our range of electric bikes? Check out the full range here.