Here’s where things get a little complicated. Under UK law, most electric scooters are not street legal unless they are properly registered. Recently, however, the government announced it was speeding up trials of e-scooters in the hope of overturning existing laws banning them (which are based on the 1835 regulations governing horse and carriage driving). This should encourage more people to use alternative modes of transport when traveling to work.
These trials, which are now being set up, allow you to legally hire and use an electric scooter in public places where trials are held (more on that later).
Some powerful electric scooters are technically classified as mopeds, although even that classification can be a little tricky. It’s safe to assume that none of the scooters included below can technically be used anywhere other than private land in the UK.
Pure Electric, the UK’s largest e-scooter retailer, says: ‘In practice, electric scooters are already widely used across the UK illegally, with the police routinely turning a blind eye to all but the loudest reckless activity of riders.’
With big names in the business concerned about the environmental impact of cars, you can count on at least some pressure on lawmakers to change things. But, to clarify: electric scooters can be used on private land with the consent of the owner. Thanks to a combination of the Highways Act 1835 and the Road Traffic Act 1988, the use of electric scooters on roads, cycle paths or pavements is prohibited. Exceptions are made for scooter trial areas, exclusively for scooter hire provided by the relevant local authorities. All other use of scooters on a public road will continue to be a traffic violation and may result in a fine and/or driving license points.
US law varies by state, so you really should check your local laws before purchasing an electric scooter.
Finally, take it from us: Whether the laws in your area require it or not, you always want to wear a helmet when riding an electric scooter. These things move fast and are potentially very dangerous. Take care of your head and always be considerate of other people around you.
Read more below:
Are electric scooters legal in the UK?
The best electric scooters you can buy right now
1. Clean air
The best electric scooter you can buy
Best for: Balance of performance and price Max. Speed: 25 km/h. 15.5 mph Range: 30 km. Weight: 16.5 kg / 36 lbs
Reasons to buy
+ 10-inch wheels + Excellent price + Waterproof design + Large maximum load capacity + Ease of maintenance
Reasons to avoid
-Heavier than competitors -Unsmooth folding mechanism TODAY’S BEST DEALS Check Amazon
We think the Pure Air might be the best all-around electric scooter out there. Its performance and range are on par with most other electric scooters on the market, but the build quality, safety, comfort and ease of maintenance are class leading, which is highly commendable given the affordable price.
The big thing here is the guaranteed IP65 water resistance, which if you plan to use your e-scooter in the UK is a must, especially if you’re using it for winter travel.
Another big plus is the 10-inch wheels and air-filled tires. They are able to cope with large bumps and uneven road surfaces better than smaller wheels – providing a more comfortable and safe ride.
Like the Pure Air Pro, the Pure Air features a sleek, sophisticated design with premium build quality and finish. It’s definitely built to last and designed to safely carry a hefty 120kg (19st) maximum load (including rider and luggage).
Okay, the Pure Air isn’t the highest-end electric scooter on the market – it’s not the fastest or has the longest range – but if you’re looking for an affordable, safe, reliable e-scooter with decent performance, then the Pure Air is definitely the best electric scooter for you.
2. Xiaomi Mi 1S
An excellent affordable e-scooter from Xiaomi
Best for: Affordable wagon Top speed: 15.5 mph / 25 km/h Range: 18.5 miles / 30 km Weight: 12.5 kg / 28 lbs
Reasons to buy
+ The most popular brand + Advanced battery saving features + Easy assembly + Good app
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most attractive-No, as good as the Pro model-8.5 inch wheels TODAY’S BEST DEALS $679 View on Kogan.com $679 View on Catch.com.au $690.99 View on Dick Smith
While Xiaomi may be better known for its affordable smartphones, the Mi 1S proves that the company is just as adept at creating smart electric scooters. While the top speed isn’t the fastest (although at 25km/h at 15mph it’s absolutely no slouch), this foldable electric scooter has some of the best app connectivity features we’ve seen.
In addition to tracking your travels and how fast you’ve gone up those hills, you can quickly see how much of the scooter’s massive battery still remains. The Mi Home app also offers advanced battery-saving features, meaning you can potentially squeeze in an extra mile or two if you’re smart about how you use it, and an F1-like KERS setup means the battery charges while braking.
We found the Xiaomi Mi 1S’s speed and acceleration controls to be extremely easy, anyone can learn to drive in a matter of minutes. The lightweight aluminum construction means you can quickly fold it up for portability and storage.
Xiaomi also has a more premium model called the Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 (also on this list) with an extended range. We think the standard Mi 1S is better value for money and is a great all-round electric scooter.
3. Pure Air Pro
Looking for a little more performance? This could be the best e-scooter ever
Best for: Range, performance and price Max. Speed: 15.5 mph / 25 km/h Range: 22.4 miles / 36 km Weight: 17 kg / 37.5 lbs
Reasons to buy
+ Waterproof + High maximum load + Strong performance + Strong, reinforced construction + Ease of maintenance
Reasons to avoid
-Heavier than competitors -No cruise control TODAY’S BEST DEALS Check Amazon
Overall, the Pure Air Pro is a very impressive package. Pure took a market leading electric scooter, looked at it logically and found actually useful ways to improve it for use in the UK.
Pure Air Pro is a line of models from Pure. It has a longer range than the Pure Air and a more powerful motor, which means it will struggle less on steep hills.
It features all the Pure Electric DNA, leading in its class for build quality, safety, comfort and ease of maintenance. Just like the Pure Air, the real highlight is the guaranteed IP65 water resistance.
It’s a little more expensive and heavier than its competitors, but it’s still a great choice of e-scooters.