E-scooters: Christmas gift guidance

The more organised among us might have started doing, or planning, our Christmas shopping. With that in mind, one of the big gift requests this festive season is likely to be an electric scooter, or e-scooter.


Following a presentation from Cambridgeshire Police and the South Cambs Community Safety Partnership to parish councils in September, we wanted to provide you with some helpful information about e-scooter use.


It’s currently against the law to ride an e-scooter on a public road or pavement. The only exception to this is in zones where trials are taking place, such as some areas within the city of Cambridge. In these areas, hired scooters can be used on the road and on cycle paths.


E-scooters can never be used on the pavement, and e-scooters you may purchase can never be used:

  • On a public road without complying with several legal requirements, which users will find very difficult
  • In spaces that are set aside for use by pedestrians, cyclists, and horse-riders; this includes on the pavement and in cycle lanes


You can buy e-scooters from many popular retailers, and your children may report to you that all their friends already have one. However, the law is clear – the only place an e-scooter can be used is on private land. So, right now, you can buy one, but you can’t ride it on a UK public road, cycle lane or pavement.


If you are stopped by police while using an e-scooter illegally, they will advise you of the current law about how to use one legally and ask you to take your e-scooter home. They may however still penalise you depending on the nature and gravity of the offence.


This is all because e-scooters are classed as a motor vehicle in the same way that motorbikes and cars are. This means they are subject to the same legal requirements, such as MOT, licensing, tax, and insurance. As e-scooters do not have numberplates, indicators, and do not always have visible rear lights, they cannot be used legally on the roads. Further details can be found on the following Government website at www.gov.uk/government/publications/powered-transporters/information-sheet-guidance-on-powered-transporters


Cambridgeshire Police say: “We understand the public’s support for environmentally friendly modes of transport. We want to work with the public to make sure the roads are safe for everyone. The UK Government is currently taking part in “Future Transport Zone” trials for e-scooter hire, with a view to making them legal to use on the roads. You can find details of the trails closest to you, at www.gov.uk/guidance/e-scooter-trials-guidance-for-users


If you have a question, contact Project Officer – Community Safety Partnership, Beth Watson, on