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Q605: I have seen some electrically assisted pedal cycles advertised are they legal to use on the roads without insurance etc?

An Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EAPC) must:

  • Have pedals that can be used to propel it.
  • Have two or more wheels – can be a tricycle or quadricycle.
  • Have an electric motor not exceeding 250 watts that can't propel the bike when it's travelling at more than 15.5mph.
  • Have plate showing the:

- Manufacturer's name
- Battery voltage and output of the motor

Or, be marked with the:

- Manufacturer's name
- Maximum speed in mph or kph
- Power of the motor in watts or kilowatts

  • Be fitted with a leak proof battery
  • Be fitted with a controller biased to the off position that allows power to come from the motor only when the drive is operated.
  • Be fitted with a braking system that complies with EU/UK legislation/standards.
  • Not be ridden by a person under 14.

An EAPC that complies with the above can be ridden on the road and won't need to be taxed, registered or insured and the rider won't need a driving licence or have to wear a helmet.

There are many electric bikes available on the internet that don't conform to the above requirements – such bikes must be taxed, registered and insured as a motor vehicle, the rider will require an appropriate driving licence and must wear a crash helmet. Additionally, the bike will have to be type or individually approved before it can be registered.

If you want to buy an EAPC , we would suggest you go to a reputable dealer to ensure the bike complies with the law.

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