From mountain bikers looking for a bit of ‘power assist’ on the climbs to commuters looking for a quicker and less strenuous ride to work, electric bikes (or eBikes for short) are here to stay and are growing in popularity by the day.
Before buying an eBike it’s important to know the rules and regs surrounding their use on public roads. For instance, if you want to ride an eBike in Northern Ireland you need a full motorcycle licence and not having one could land you with a fine of up to £1,000 and six pently points.
For those of you living in the UK you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t need a licence and the rules are slightly different which is why we’ve put together this handy guide.
Do you need a license to ride an eBike in the UK?
No. According to the GOV.UK Electric Bike Rules, eBikes are classed as Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (otherwise known as EAPCs) and as they’re not classed as ‘motor vehicles’, no license is required.
How old do you need to be to ride an eBike?
It’s a common myth that you need to be at least 17 years old to ride an eBike (the age you have to be to drive a motor vehicle) but in fact, the law states that you must be 14 years, or older.
Can you ride an eBike on the pavement?
No. The same rules apply to normal push bikes…legally, you should either be riding on designated cycle paths, or on the road. Check out our blog on Cycling Laws to familiarize yourself with all the laws on push bikes.
Do you need to tax and insure an eBike?
No. For the same reason that you don’t need a license, because eBikes are classed as EAPCs, this means there is no requirement to register with the DVLA, or tax and insure your electric bike.
What speed are electric bikes limited to?
The law states that the electric motor should have a maximum power outlet of 250w, and should not be able to power the bike if it is travelling at more than 15.5mph.
Make sure you check out the full UK electric bikes rules and regs here.
Got any more questions? Our Southampton and Chichester shops are eBike Specialist stores, so our team know a thing or two making the most out of an eBike. If you’re yet to take the leap and get your own electric bike, check out our Beginners Guide To eBikes.