E-Bikes and UK Law

E-Bikes and UK Law

All electric bikes sold by The Electric Bike Shop are pedal assist - Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) 

You do not need a licence to ride an EAPC bike and it does not need to be registered, taxed or insured. 

E-Bikes purchased from us can be ridden in the same places a non powered bike can which includes of course roads, cycle routes, most bus lanes, bridleways, most canal towpaths. Plus also where a pavement or path has been designated a cycle way (blue signs will show this classification) If you are unsure please refer to the Highway Code Rules for cyclists (59 to 82) found HERE

We do not sell non EAPC bikes and we do not make EAPCs non-compliant or convert non powered bikes to electric.

Sometimes there is confusion about the regulations which are listed below - you can also refer the GOV.UK website HERE

The Law

Here are the main legal points you should know:

  • In UK law, legal Ebikes or Electric Bikes are known as ‘Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles’ (EAPCs).
  • You need to be 14 years old or over to ride an ebike in the UK if the bike is an EAPC.
  • To be a legal EAPC, the bike must have pedals to propel it.
  • An EAPC must show the manufacturer of the motor or its power output.
  • It must also show the battery voltage or maximum speed.
  • An EAPC’s motor must have a maximum power output of 250 watts.
  • It must not propel the bike more than 15.5mph or 25 km/h under motor assistance.
  • A throttle is allowed up to walking pace (3-4mph)
  • You do not need a licence to ride an EAPC.
  • You do not need to register, tax, or insure an EAPC.
  • An EAPC is classed as normal pedal bike and can be legally ridden anywhere a normal pedal bike can (subject to local byelaws or private property)

Any electric bike that does not meet EAPC rules is classed as a motorcycle or moped and needs to be registered and taxed. You will need a driving licence to ride one and you must wear a crash helmet. This includes de-restricting legal EAPC’s to get around the 15.5mph assistance limit. In addition to being illegal, this will void your manufacturer’s warranty too.

You should also be aware that the Department of Transport have said that electric bikes limited to 25kph but fitted with off-road modes that, when triggered, enable a bike’s motor to continue assisting to speeds beyond 15.5mph, are not EAPC’s and therefore do not comply with UK ebike law.

Before ebikes can be legally sold in the UK, manufacturers or importers must go through a procedure known as type approval, which involves their bikes passing minimum safety standards. If a bike has been type approved, it should have a plate or sticker showing its type of approval number. If a bike does not have this, it is illegal to sell it before it is even ridden.

Buying a cheap powered bike off an online auction website or similar can be tempting but very often these powered bikes will not meet EAPC regulations, they can be inferior quality and and also unreliable.

If you have any further questions one of our team will be happy to help, please just ask when in store, via our Live Chat service or simply give us a call.

Further reading

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