UK Electric Bike Laws

UK Electric Bike Laws and Regulations

While Electric Bike Conversions Ltd agree that there are many grey areas regarding UK electric bike laws, we felt that we should make you aware of the basic laws for electric bikes (ebikes). The below is correct as of 1st January, 2018. Who knows what may happen with the powers of Brexit, or any other industry changes that may be for coming. These rules apply to both electric bikes and also electric bike conversions. Familiarise yourself with the basics and if there are any law changes, we will make you aware as and when they happen.

England, Scotland and Wales

UK Electric Bike Laws - England, Wales and Scotland

You can ride an electric bike in England, Scotland, and Wales as long as it meets certain requirements and as long as you are over the age of 14 years old.

Electric Bikes (eBikes) are known as 'Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles' (EAPCs). You don't need a license and it doesn't need to be taxed, registered or insured.

The laws are different for use in Northern Ireland. More on this to follow later.

What is an EAPC?

An EAPC mush have pedals to propel it.

It must be labelled to show either:

  • The power output
  • The manufacturer of the motor

It must also show:

  • The batteries voltage
  • The maximum speed to which the motor will disengage

An EAPCs motor must:

  • Have a maximum power output of 250w
  • Should not be able to propel the bike when its travelling more than 15.5mph (25kph)

An EAPC is not only limited to two wheels. Trikes, Tandems are also classed as EAPCs.

Where can I ride my EAPC?

If your bike meets the required EAPC requirements its classed as a normal pedal bike. Thus, meaning you can ride it on cycle paths and anywhere else pedal bikes are allowed.

UK Electric Bike Laws - Can ride on UK Cycle Paths

More powerful than 250w UK Electric Bike Laws - Above 250w is for off road only

Any electric bike that doesn't meet the above EAPC specification isn't classed as an EAPC so can't be used on UK roads or cycle paths. These are to be used off road only.


Laws for Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, all electric bikes are classed as a moped so you will need a moped licence to ride. The bike must also be registered, taxed and insured.

Registering and taxing

To register and tax your bike you will need to complete an V55/4 form and sent it to the DVLA. The address to return the form to is on the form.

You will also need to include:

  • A registration fee of £55.00 – Payable to the DVLA by cheque or Postal Order
  • An insurance certificate or cover note
  • Proof of identity

You won't have to pay to have your bike taxed.

Proving your identity

Easiest way to do this is to send in a photocopy of your photocard driving licence.

If you are unable to do this you must send in photocopies of a document that proves your name and another document that proves your address.

Documents that you can use to prove your name include:

  • Passport
  • Marriage certificate
  • Decree nisi or absolute
  • Birth certificate
  • Current UK paper driving licence (not a paper counterpart)

UK Electric Bike Laws - Passport one of the ways to prove your identity

Documents that you can use to prove your address include:

  • Utility bill from the past 3 months
  • Bank or building society statement from the past 3 months
  • Medical card
  • Council tax bill for the current year

If you happen to be a current DVLA trade plate holder, you can simply prove your name and address by filling out a V959 'Notification of name and address check' form instead.

Riding your electric bike legally

Now that you have your bike registered, to legally ride your electric bike you need to:

  • Wear an approved motorbike helmet
  • Display a registration mark on the back of the bike (you will receive this once your bike is registered)
  • Have insurance

You don't need to have your electric bike MOT'ed and you can't ride on cycle paths or pavements.

For more information and to download (request) forms please Click Here