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Do you need a licence for an electric scooter?

Do you need a licence for an electric scooter?

Electric scooters are a cost-effective and efficient alternative to petrol powered scooters. They can be charged at home or on the go, and can be fully charged in just a few hours. They have a surprisingly large range considering the size of the battery, and only cost pennies to fill up. It's important to remember electric scooters follow the same rules as any other road vehicle, and so the same training also applies.

The Go electric scooter

Our Go electric scooter is classed as a full road vehicle and follows the same rules as a 50cc scooter. This means riders must wear a helmet, and have valid tax and insurance. Just as with petrol scooters, you'll also need to have a valid MOT after 3 years. You also still need to register it with the DVLA, although electric vehicles are exempt from road tax.

Because electric scooters follow the same rules as 50cc scooters, you need to be at least 16 and have a CBT to get on the road. CBT stands for Compulsory Basic Training and is a one-day course that teaches you all you need to know about safe road use. There isn't a specific CBT for electric vehicles as the theory is still the same, just on a different vehicle.

A CBT certificate is valid for two years and once it expires you either need to take another one or obtain your full motorbike licence to stay on the road. It also means you have to display L-plates on your scooter, and that you can't carry pillion passengers. CBT holders are also banned from the motorway, but this isn't somewhere you'll want to be on a vehicle with a maximum top speed of 30mph anyway.

The M488 folding electric scooter

The M488 is a great little toy, and is very similar in design to a manual micro scooter. It's classed as a PLEV (personal light electric vehicle) and so is not legally allowed on public roads or in public spaces. This is mainly due to its low maximum speed of 15mph, which would be dangerous for you to use in traffic.

While this might seem like a disadvantage, it also means you don't have to have a valid licence to ride it. It also means you don't need insurance, tax, or an MOT. You just need to be over the age of 14 and have somewhere private you can ride. This could be your garden, or a privately owned open space. The M488 is a great way to teach young riders how to safely use an electric vehicle, and is good practice for moving up to a proper scooter.

Getting on the road with an electric scooter is just as easy as with a petrol one. If you're buying the Go, all you need is a CBT. These are very cheap and widely available, and will last you for two years. If you're buying the M488, these can't be used on roads and so there's no need for you to have a licence.