A Guide to Commuting to Work on eScooters

The popularity of the electric scooter, better known as the e-scooter, has risen dramatically over the past few years. At the time of writing, these practical forms of transportation are legally restricted for use on private land, but this is about to change. The government has decided to prioritize e-scooter testing and allow these vehicles to be used on roads and pavements throughout the UK in the very near future. 

So, could the use of an e-scooter be the next most popular mode of conveyance for the commute? In the following article we will examine the trial schemes taking place at the moment and deduce what it could mean for the future of electric scooters in the UK.

How will the trial work?

The government has recently concluded a consultation period on trial proposals. The proposal states that plans are in effect to allow for the trial of e-scooters in various parts of the country in the near future.

In accordance with these plans, many e-scooter manufacturing companies will be working with local areas to provide scooters for hire, much like the rental schemes found in other countries. These electric scooters will be legal for use on public roads as well as cycle lanes. But they will not be allowed on motorways. 

To rent an e-scooter, the user will unlock their vehicle with an app, ride to their desired location and then return the e-scooter and pay a fee with the app. The price of the trip will be determined by the distance travelled or the duration of their trip. 

It should be noted that this current test period will not include the use of privately owned e-scooter. These will be restricted for use on private property.  

When does the trial start?

This trial was set to start in July 2020, but there has still been no official declaration of the beginning of this trial period.

Where is the trial taking place?

Prior to being fast-tracked, the test for e-scooters was set to take place in four regions of the UK: Southampton, the West Midlands, Portsmouth, Derby, West of England Combined Authority and Nottingham. 

Now, many local areas can choose to participate in this trail and will be able to set their own conditions when doing so. For example, they can determine the number of e-scooters they will allow to be available in their region.  

Who can take part in the trial?

According to recommendations set down by the government, there are some requirements for those who can take part in this trial.

Those with full or provisional driver’s licenses

Those aged 16 and older

 Use of a helmet is mandatory

There will be no mandatory training courses

Those companies providing e-scooters for use in the trial will also be required to provide insurance coverage

What are the laws governing the use of electric scooters in the UK?

While there are no laws against owning or using e-scooters in the UK at the moment, they are not permitted for use on the roads, pavements or cycle lanes. In the UK, e-scooters are regulated by the same laws that apply to all other motor vehicles, but do not meet the same requirements for insurance, licensing, etc. 

If you would like more information on the laws that govern e-scooter use, you can check out this advisory article. 

Commuting by Electric Scooter

At the moment, the trials are only for rental scooters, but this suggests the government is preparing to change their position on the use of all e-scooters. This means that in the future it may be possible for private e-scooters to be used on UK roads.

This is good news for those considering using e-scooters for their daily commute. There are a wide range of benefits that this particularly practical means of personal conveyance can have for the commute, including: 

They are an especially environmentally-friendly means of transportation.

With many motorists switching to e-scooters, this can reduce the traffic congestion

They allow for social distancing that has been a problem for public transportation. 

This is an especially affordable means of transportation; many models start at a mere £200

They are portable and easy to store

Where can I buy an electric scooter?

At Halfords, we have a terrific line of e-scooters available for selection and include many of the best selling brands, including Xiaomi. Furthermore, we offer a full selection of accessories for the e-scooter including annual scooter care plans that cover unlimited brake adjustments, puncture repairs and free fitting.

Adam Hansen