New rules: where can I legally ride an e-scooter, hoverboard or e-unicyle?
Before you purchase your hoverboard, you need to ask yourself this question - where can I ride a hoverboard? There is much debate in the UK about hoverboard legal rules and at the moment, it is illegal to ride any electric mode of personal transportation (excluding bikes) on roads, pavements and public footpaths.
This means that it is illegal to ride hoverboards, e-scooters and e-unicyles on any road, pavement or public path in Britain.
Are hoverboards legal in the UK?
Every new hoverboard owner is sure to type the words ‘are hoverboards legal UK’ into Google search. The good news is, yes, it is perfectly legal to own a hoverboard as long as you ride it on private land with the landowner’s permission.
Hoverboards where to ride
You can ride your hoverboard around your house – the 6.5” Classic Disco hoverboard is a nifty model that will move around your home with ease and is small and agile enough to move in and out of obstacles.
Plus, you can use your hoverboard in the garden or a friend’s as long as you have the homeowner’s permission.
Don’t ride your hoverboard in car parks or industrial land, as that isn’t allowed either unless you have been given permission by the landowner.
Where can you ride e-scooters?
The rules for riding e-scooters and hoverboards are the same in the UK. They are both electric powered modes of transport and therefore, are prohibited from public highways and footpaths.
Incredibly, they are illegal under a Highway Act laid down in 1835 that says people cannot use the footway to ‘lead or drive any ass, horse, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle, or carriage of any description.’ Break this law and you can be fined up to £500.
The first person to be prosecuted for riding a Segway in public was fined £75 plus £265 costs. There is also the chance that police would charge you with driving a vehicle without insurance.
Segway Law in the UK
When it comes to hoverboard, where to ride, the Department of Transport says that hoverboards do not meet vehicle approval, even though the police class them as ‘motor vehicles.’ This means they are subject to the same laws as cars and should be taxed, insured, registered and ridden by a qualified driver. However, hoverboards and segways, do not meet UK vehicle standards, so cannot be given any of those approvals. It’s a conundrum that needs solving.
You can’t use hoverboards or e-scooters on public land either, such as parks, however, if there is a commercially operated site that has an area designated for the use of hoverboards, then you are free to ride them there.
The rules are different in other countries – for example, you can ride a hoverboard on the pavements in America, France, Germany and Italy and with demand for motorised personalised transport increasing, it is only a matter of time before new rules are laid down in the UK, giving hoverboard riders more freedom.