E-scooters are becoming a more common sight on the roads and pavements across Essex. 

They are popping up on our streets as part of pilots across Essex. 

You can rent scooters via Spin in Basildon, Colchester, Clacton and Chelmsford. 

Any e-scooter which is not part of this trial, remains illegal to use other than on private land which must not be accessible to the public.

Under UK law, you can buy an e-scooter and it’s permitted to ride an electric scooter on private land as long as you have the landowner’s permission.

But it’s an offence to ride them in public – including on paths, pavements and roads.

If you're caught riding an e-scooter without insurance you could receive an on-the-spot fine of £300 and six penalty points.

It has prompted Essex Trading Standards to warn people about the rules. 

It said: "Currently in the UK, you can legally buy an e-scooter, but you cannot ride it on a public road, cycle lane or pavement (unless part of a Government approved trial).

"The only place it can be used is on private land.

"The reason for this is that e-scooters are treated as motor vehicles by the Department of Transport and are subject to the same legal requirement as other vehicles, such as MOT, licencing, tax and insurance.

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"Because they don’t always have number plates, signalling ability or visible rear lights, they cannot be used legally on the roads.

"We are raising awareness by providing guidance and information to retailers.

"Retailers have to disclose information that might affect a consumer's purchasing decision, as such retailers should make it clear to customers that the e-scooter they are purchasing has legal restrictions.

"National retailers are revising their approach to the sale of e-scooters to promote the responsible and legal usage of e-scooters by advising consumers at every stage of browsing and purchasing e-scooters online and in store."

Essex Trading Standards suggests retailers could:

  • Place prominent signage next to e-scooters in stores, clearly explaining the law, including that they are not to be used on public roads

• Provide a clear legal statement on all e-scooter price tickets

• Ensure there is a clear legal statement on all e-scooter warranties

• Ensure your sales staff are trained to explicitly outline the legal position when the customer considers buying an e-scooter (this includes drawing attention to the signage, as well as advising them that failing to adhere to these rules they would face a criminal offence and face prosecution)

• Try to ensure that till rolls and cash registers have pop up warnings to remind staff to again inform customers of the law at the point of sale

• Make sure that all e-scooter product detail pages state it is illegal to use them on a public road, pavement or cycle lane

What do the police say?

Essex Police has said it will start handing out fines and points on driving licences for those caught riding e-scooters illegally.

Up until now Essex Police say they have been simply seizing private e-scooters from those caught riding illegally.

However, due to recurring issues they will now be handing out fines and issuing points on drivers' licences.

A spokesman for Essex Police Colchester said: "I know, I know, it’s another post about e-scooters from Essex Police and to pre-empt the inevitable 'haven’t you got anything better to do with your time?' comments.

"To be blunt, yes, we do have other things we could be doing but the message around e-Scooters doesn’t seem to be getting through to some people and so we need to reinforce our messaging to keep our roads as safe as we can.

"Up to this point we have only been seizing e-scooters where they are being driven Illegally i.e. without insurance in public.

"But going forward we will now be issuing tickets for fines and points on your driving licence for traffic offences as well as seizing the e-scooter.

"If you don't have a driving license yet you could find that you will already have points on your license before you even sit your test."